Mickelson takes two-shot lead

Miami, March 14:

Phil Mickelson issued a reminder that there is more to golf than Tiger Woods when he opened a two-stroke lead after the second round at the $8.5 million CA Championship on Friday.

On a day when Woods drifted a distant 10 strokes from the lead in the World Golf Championships event, Mickelson carded a six-under 66. He posted a 13-under 131 halfway total, with fellow American Nick Watney (67) alone in second place on 11-under, and compatriot Kenny Perry (64) and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (66) another stroke behind in a tie for third.

World No 3 Mickelson is trying to maintain his form until next month’s Masters. It was a disappointing day for the three who shared the overnight lead with Mickelson. Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng dropped four shots behind, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh fell five back after a double bogey at the final hole, while South African Retief Goosen matched the day’s worst score to plunge 10 strokes off the pace.

Prayad led for much of the round, but a triple bogey at the par-four 18th was a demoralising way to end the day. He left his second shot 35 yards from the hole, chunked his next into a bunker, blasted out and then compounded his misery by three-putting. Woods, in his first stroke play event since knee surgery last June, also had his problems, battling to a mediocre 70. He expressed satisfaction with his driving, but struggled at times to control the distance of his iron shots into the greens. But Woods said he was satisfied with his overall progress in just his second event since surgery.