SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phil Mickelson birdied the ninth hole a day too late and missed a chance to break the PGA Tour’s 36-hole scoring record when he finished with a double bogey after driving into the water.
Mickelson followed his opening 60 with a 65 on Friday in the Phoenix Open to reach 17-under 125, a stroke off the tour record for the first two rounds of a tournament set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic and matched by David Toms at Colonial in 2011.
“Unfortunately, I made a double on the last hole and didn’t finish the way I wanted to,” Mickelson said. “But I think it’s a good example of what can happen on this course. You can make a lot of birdies and eagles, make up a lot of ground, but there’s a lot of water and trouble there that if you misstep you can easily make bogeys and double.”
He tied the Phoenix Open record set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001, but history slipped through his hands for the second straight day on the final hole.
On Thursday, Mickelson had a 25-foot birdie putt for a 59 on No. 9 that caught the right edge, curled 180 degrees and stayed out. A day later with little at stake on the par-4 hole, he hit to 4 feet and rolled the downhill putt into the center of the cup.
Mickelson parred the first six holes, and played the next 11 in 8 under before making a mess of the par-4 18th. His drive bounced into the left-side water hazard and, after a penalty drop, he hit an approach that landed on the green and rolled off the front edge. His chip ran 7 feet past and his bogey putt slid by to the left.
The double bogey left him four strokes ahead of Greer’s Bill Haas and five in front of Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker.
Mickelson will play alongside Haas and Bradley in the third round.
Haas began play on No. 10 and made the turn at 6-under 30.
“We all know the way the course is playing, if there’s no wind on the weekend, you’ve just got to keep making birdies,” Haas said.
Last year in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, Haas beat Mickelson and Bradley with a 45-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff.
“Hopefully, I can move up the leader board and he (Mickelson) doesn’t go too crazy,” Haas said.
Sterne rolls in Dubai
At Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Richard Sterne sank a birdie on 18 to take a one-shot lead over Danish youngster Thorbjorn Olesen and two others after the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic.
South Africa’s big-money tournament on hold
The South African tournament claiming to be among the richest anywhere outside the United States has been indefinitely postponed from its planned November date due to failing to secure sponsorship. The Tournament of Hope was to have prize money of $8.5 million.