Phil Mickelson shot a 5-under-par 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA Tour event in Charlotte, N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Phil Mickelson has figured out the secret to the greens at Quail Hollow. Or maybe he just had a lot of good bounces for two days.
Mickelson opened with two 15-foot birdie putts, dropped in a 40-foot putt at the turn and made back-to-back birdies late in his round Friday. He finished with a 5-under-par 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Quail Hollow had everything go wrong with spring and wound up with putting surfaces that are mostly choppy. But Mickelson has taken a mere 50 putts in two rounds at the PGA Tour event.
“I think that the greens are putting very, very good, obviously, because I’ve putted them well,” Mickelson said. “But with them being slower, we’re able to putt them aggressively. We’re able to take some of the break out without fear of racing it way by. And I’ve made a concerted effort to leave uphill putts, which has allowed me to putt even more aggressive and play even less break.”
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Mickelson was at 9 under. Nick Watney (70), Scott Gardiner (67) and George McNeill (68) were tied for second place.
Rory McIlroy (71) and Lee Westwood (68) were among those at 6 under.
Ryan Moore (75) of Puyallup and Kyle Stanley (68) of Gig Harbor were tied for 26th place at 2 under. Ex-Washington Husky Richard H. Lee (70) was tied for 35th at 1 under.
Players with scores worse than 146 missed the cut, including Andres Gonzales (77-71 — 148) of Olympia and Jeff Gove (72-76 — 148) of Seattle.
Sergio Garcia (68) was at 4 under and didn’t sign his card until talking to rules officials. A TV viewer said it appeared Garcia did not replace his ball in the same spot where he marked it on the 17th.
Garcia said it appeared his ball was a fraction of an inch from the original spot and was not penalized.
• Ariya Jutanugarn, a 17-year-old from Thailand, shot an even-par 71 and led the LPGA Tour Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., at 7 under after two rounds. Stacy Lewis (68) and Angela Stanford (68) were one stroke behind.
Ex-Washington Huskies player Paige Mackenzie (72) was tied for 40th at 1 over.
Players with scores worse than 145 missed the cut, a group that included Wendy Ward (73-77 — 150), who lives near Edwall, outside Spokane, and ex-Washington State player Kim Welch (79-78 — 157).
• Mike Goodes shot a 3-under 69 in wind that gusted to 30 mph to take a one-stroke lead over Gene Sauers after the first round of the 50-and-older Champions Tour’s Insperity Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.
Pullman High graduate Kirk Triplett (76) was tied for 41st.
• Michael Putnam of University Place shot a 3-under 68 and shared the lead with Russell Knox (66) after two rounds of the Web.com Tour’s Stadion Classic in Athens, Ga. They were at 7 under.