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Mickelson stays four ahead

  

REUTERS

SCOTTSDALE: Phil Mickelson maintained a four-shot lead with another red-hot display at the Phoenix Open on Friday despite double-bogeying the final hole of his second round with a PGA Tour record in his sights.

Needing a four at the 18th to establish a 36-hole low on the US circuit, Mickelson surprisingly stumbled when his three-wood off the tee ended up in water to the left. After taking a penalty drop, he failed to get up and down from 161 yards.

The American left-hander, who came within a whisker of becoming the sixth player on the PGA Tour to dip under 60 in the first round, had to settle for a six-under 65 at the TPC Scottsdale and a 17-under total of 125. “It’s disappointing to finish both rounds the way I did,” twice Phoenix Open champion Mickelson told Golf Channel.

Mickelson ended another day of dazzling sunshine and ideal scoring conditions in Scottsdale, Arizona four shots ahead of compatriot Bill Haas, who carded a 64. FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker (66) and fellow American Keegan Bradley (63) were a further stroke back at 12 under.

The cut fell at four-under 138 with 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa, Germany’s former World No 1 Martin Kaymer and 21-year-old Japanese Ryo Ishikawa among those failing to advance.

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