Mickelson Makes Major Move in Rd2

By Sports NetworkAugust 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PGA ChampionshipSPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- Phil Mickelson, the 2004 Masters champion, scorched Baltusrol's back nine, his opening side, on Friday with a five-under 31, en route to a five-under 65. He stands at eight-under-par 132 and is three ahead after two rounds of the 87th PGA Championship.
Jerry Kelly holed out from a bunker for birdie at the ninth, his 18th hole on Friday. He matched Mickelson's 65 and is alone in second place at five-under- par 135.
Davis Love III, the 1997 PGA Champion, posted his second two-under 68 in as many days and is tied for second place at four-under-par 136. First-round co- leader Rory Sabbatini (69) and Lee Westwood (68) joined Love in second.
Tiger Woods needed help on the back nine Friday to even make the 36-hole cut. He was seven-over par for the championship thanks to a two-over 36 on the front nine, and with the projected cut at plus-four for most of the round, the two-time PGA Champion had his work to do.
He drained a six-foot birdie putt at the 11th and made it two in a row with a 12-footer at 12. That got him to plus-five, but he got inside the cut line with a short birdie putt at 15.
Woods was at four-over when he hit a massive tee shot at the 650-yard, par- five 17th. He tried to become the second player in history to reach the green in two in a competitive round, but got a horrible bounce into the back of a bunker on the left. Woods had to blast out sideways into the rough and he could not get up and down for par.
He was now five-over and needed a birdie at the par-five closing hole. Woods hammered another drive into the fairway and knocked a seven-iron 12 feet right of the hole. He lagged his eagle try to tap-in range and polished off a round of one-under 69.
Woods made the cut on the number at four-over-par 144. He has made the cut in every major he has participated in as a professional, dating back to his 1997 Masters victory.
'It's one of those things you've got to stay patient, stay in the moment and keep grinding,' said Woods, whose PGA Tour record of 142 consecutive cuts made was snapped at this year's Byron Nelson Championship. 'You never know what can happen and it turned out well.'
Woods will begin the third round 12 shots behind Mickelson.
The lefthander started round two on the back nine at Baltusrol and wasted little time in breaking into red figures. He hit a nine-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie at the 11th, then he added birdies at 13 and 14 despite missing the fairway at both holes. Mickelson hit a five-iron into a bunker at the par- three 16th and failed to get up and down.
Mickelson took advantage of Baltusrol's two par-five closing holes. He ran home a 15-foot birdie putt at the 650-yard, par-five 17th, then assumed control of the tournament with a 20-footer for eagle at No. 18.
The deep rough at Baltusrol caught up with Mickelson at the par-four first. He left his third shot in the tall grass near the green and could do no better than double-bogey.
Mickelson, who holed three birdie putts of 30 feet or longer on Thursday, drained another long birdie putt at three. He ran home a five-foot birdie putt at the fifth to once again reach eight-under par for the championship.
He traded a birdie and a bogey on the way into the clubhouse and a commanding position.
'I'm feeling confident after the first two rounds, but certainly there's a lot of golf left,' said Mickelson, who was the runner-up to David Toms in 2001. 'The thing I was most pleased with was the way I was able to let go of some bad shots and forget about it and move on.'
Mickelson came within five strokes of winning the single-season Grand Slam last year after his breakthrough triumph at Augusta. He has not experienced the same level of success in the majors this year with a 10th-place finish at the Masters, a tie for 33rd at the U.S. Open and share of 60th at St. Andrews.
'I have done the same thing that I have done in the three previous majors this year as I did the four majors last year,' said Mickelson. 'I was able to get my short game and long game pretty sharp heading into this week.'
Mickelson owns the 36-hole lead in a major for the fourth time in his career. He held the halfway lead in the 1996 PGA Championship, the 1999 U.S. Open and last year's U.S. Open, but failed to win any of them.
Kelly, who is majorless, started on No. 10 and collected his first birdie at the 15th, when he ran home a 10-footer. He missed the green with his four-iron second shot at 18, but chipped to five feet and converted the birdie putt.
Kelly missed the fairway at the first, but hit a six-iron to eight feet to set up the birdie putt. He sank a 20-foot downhill birdie putt at the sixth to get to four-under par for the championship.
At the par-three ninth, Kelly played a four-iron into the right bunker. He holed his bunker shot to break out of the logjam at minus-four, and take second place on his own.
'I'm just going out and playing,' said Kelly. 'I knew it's been coming. I've been close. It's just nice to put it together. I kind of made it effortless, which is what I've been looking for. I've been putting so much effort into it for the last two years really, I guess that's what it took to kind of take the pressure off.'
Stuart Appleby, one of the six first-round co-leaders, managed an even-par 70 and is tied for fifth place with Greg Owen (69), Jesper Parnevik (69), Shingo Katayama (66) and defending champion Vijay Singh (67). The group is knotted at three-under-par 137.
Singh, who also titled at the PGA in 1998, started on No. 10 and recorded four birdies in his first 14 holes. He mixed two bogeys, including one at the ninth when his tee shot missed the green, and a birdie the rest of the way to stay in the hunt.
Stephen Ames and Trevor Immelman, two more of the first-round co-leaders, both posted matching rounds of two-over 72 on Friday. They are part of a group tied for 15th at one-under-par 139.
Ben Curtis, the 2003 British Open winner and final leader from Thursday, struggled to a three-over-par 73. He is tied for 23rd at even-par 140.
Among the notable players who failed to make the cut were: Lee Janzen, who won the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol (145), Justin Leonard (145), Chris DiMarco (146), Colin Montgomerie (148), Darren Clarke (150) and Padraig Harrington (153).
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