NORTON, Mass. – Phil Mickelson keeps saying how much he loves playing with top-ranked Tiger Woods. He opened with a 63 at the Deutsche Bank Championship to prove his point.
In a feature grouping of the top three players in the world ranking, Mickelson turned in the star performance Friday morning with a 28 for nine holes.
By the end of the round, when he played a risky shot from deep in the trees on his final hole to salvage a bogey, he was happy to have a share of the lead.
Mickelson was tied with Brian Davis, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole to join him at 8-under-par 63 at TPC Boston.
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“What Phil did today was pretty impressive,” Woods said after a 68.
Masters champion Adam Scott (73) said of playing partners Mickelson and Woods, “I wish I could have gotten in their jet stream.”
The Deutsche Bank is the second of four FedEx Cup tournaments, and the top 70 players in points after the event will advance to the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill.
Ryan Moore (66) of Puyallup was tied for seventh place, ex-Washington Husky Richard H. Lee (69) was tied for 45th, and Kyle Stanley (71) of Gig Harbor was tied for 68th.
Third-ranked Mickelson started his round by making birdie putts of 20 feet on No. 10 and 30 feet on No. 11. He ended his first nine with five straight birdies, the second nine-hole score of 28 on the PGA Tour this year.
And even after a bogey from the bunker on No. 1, he hit a 6-iron from 213 yards that settled just more than a foot away for an eagle on the next hole. That put him at 8 under for his round with seven holes to play.
“It was a good start,” Mickelson said. “I got off to a great front nine and somewhat stalled on the back. But after shooting 7 under the first nine, it was going to be a good round as long as I didn’t mess it up.”
• Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (6-under 66) leads by one stroke at 14-under 130 after two rounds in the LPGA Tour Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater in Portland. Suzann Pettersen (63) of Norway was in second.
Ex-Washington Huskies player Paige Mackenzie of Yakima and Wendy Ward, who lives near Edwall, outside Spokane, shot 68s and were tied for 34th at 5 under.
Sophie Gustafson, 39, of Sweden missed the cut and announced she was retiring. She won five times on the LPGA Tour.