No Let-up From Lefty
Mickelson, fresh off his sixth career top-3 major finish without a victory, shot 7-under 64 Friday to finish two days in Hilton Head, SC at 13-under-par. His 129 total ties the 36-hole tournament record, set by Jack Nicklaus in 1975, and tied by Ian Baker-Finch (1991) and David Edwards (1994).
'I don't know why the scores are as low as they have been,' said Mickelson, whose 64 was his career best at this event. 'I think I'm going to have to keep the same pattern to maintain the lead.'
A trio of major champions, however, is hot on his trail. 1997 British Open winner Justin Leonard shot 64 to move to 11-under-par. Hes tied with 97 PGA champion Davis Love III, who followed his opening 62 with a more subdued 69.
I hung in there all day ' wasnt really going my way, Love said. Yesterday, I seemed to have birdie putts on every hole. Today, it was, like, every other hole. I didnt have any short birdie putts.
Two-time U.S. Open victor Lee Janzen is three back following a 67.
This is Mickelsons seventh start at Harbour Town; though, his first since 1999. In 98, he trailed Love by two shots entering the final round. Lefty carded a Sunday 73, while Love shot 65 to win his fourth tartan jacket with ease.
Friday proved to be a far better experience. Mickelson made seven birdies, and offset a pair of bogeys with an eagle at the par-5 second. The worlds No. 2 ranked player bogeyed his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th, but responded with three birdies by the turn.
Following another birdie at the first, Mickelson laced a 4-iron from 211 yards to within 10 feet of the cup on the par-5 second. He then converted the putt to tie Leonard, who was already in the clubhouse, for the lead at 11-under.
The 20-time tour winner bogeyed the third to fall one back, only to birdie five, six and nine to grab a two-shot cushion entering the weekend.
'This is the kind of golf course where you need to be creative,' Mickelson said. 'I love it. I love to be creative.'
While Leonard was able to shoot his best score, by two shots, at this event, Love struggled to get it under par.
The four-time tournament winner traded two birdies for two bogeys over his first seven holes. He parred Nos. 8-16. At the par-3 17th, Love chipped in for birdie from the second cut of fringe. He concluded his day with a 20-foot birdie putt at 18.
I was patient enough to let something happen in the end, rather than forcing it, Love said.
Cameron Beckman and Billy Mayfair are tied for fifth place, four back. Beckman tied the tournament record by shooting a front-nine 29 en route to his career low round on tour, an 8-under 63. Mayfair, who lost to Jose Coceres in a playoff last year, shot 68.
The cutline fell at even-par 142, with 75 players qualifying for the final two rounds. Coceres will be around for the weekend. The Argentine shot 69-72 for a 1-under total.
Full-field scores from the WorldCom Classic
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.