Mickelson Makes a Move at Doral

By Sports NetworkMarch 4, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Ford Championship at DoralMIAMI -- Phil Mickelson posted a 6-under 66 on Friday to take the second-round lead of the Ford Championship at Doral. He missed the 36-hole record by a stroke at 14-under-par 130 and is two ahead of Billy Andrade.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods struggled Friday and is now five back of the lead.
Mickelson, who was part of a tie for the lead on Thursday, is unquestionably the hottest player on the PGA Tour. He won two of his last three starts, the FBR Open in Phoenix and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and played well before running into David Toms in the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
He finds himself with at least a share of the lead after his ninth consecutive stroke-play round. Mickelson missed Franklin Langham's 2000 record of 129 and the No. 4 player in the world can seem to do no wrong.
'The only thing that matters is leading on Sunday and that's kind of the goal right now,' said Mickelson, who leads the tour's money list. 'I haven't really thought about it much this week because there's so many good players right there.'
Andrade recorded a great bogey at the famed 'Blue Monster' at Doral Golf Resort and Spa. He finished with a second-round, 6-under-par 66 for a two-day total of 12-under-par 132.
Jose Maria Olazabal, who was one of four first-round co-leaders, shot a 3-under 69 on Friday and is alone in third place at 11-under-par 133. Billy Mayfair carded his second 5-under 67 in as many rounds and is fourth at minus-10.
This year's field boasts 11 of the top-12 players in the world rankings, with Ernie Els (No. 3) the only exception. Several of those players are in the group tied for fifth at 9-under-par 135.
Top-ranked Vijay Singh mixed six birdies and one bogey for a 5-under 67.
'I'm really happy with the way I'm striking the ball,' said Singh. 'I'm really disappointed I could have made one or two more under but that's the way it goes.'
Tiger Woods, the second-ranked player who can reclaim the top spot this week, was even after his first six holes, but rattled off four consecutive birdies around the turn to take the top spot.
Things turned quickly for Woods as he dropped a shot at the second, his 11th on Friday. He three-putted from 34 feet for another bogey at three and made it three consecutive bogeys at four when he three-putted from 33 feet.
'My bogeys were caused by a couple of three-putts and then on top of that, I made some poor decisions in commitment into the greens and consequently made two more bogeys on top of that,' admitted Woods.
Woods sank an 8-foot birdie putt at the fifth to get in the logjam at minus-9.
Also in the top 12 in the rankings and tied for fifth are Toms (66) and Stewart Cink (65). Defending champion Craig Parry (66), Langham (67), Joey Snyder III (69), Tim Clark (67), Hunter Mahan (69), James Driscoll (68) and first-round co-leader Brian Davis (71) joined the top players five out of the lead.
All of these great players are looking up at Mickelson on the weekend.
He opened on the back nine Friday and collected his first birdie at the par-5 12th. Mickelson's 3-wood came up short of the green, but he wedged his approach to 3 feet and converted the short birdie putt.
At the 372-yard, par-4 16th, Mickelson drove into a greenside bunker and blasted out to 6 feet. He made that birdie putt and added another at 18 when his 30-footer from the fringe was hit too hard, but found the bottom of the cup.
On the second nine, Mickelson kept his strong play going. The lefthander hit a 3-wood into a bunker at the par-5 first and hit his third to a foot. He tapped in the birdie putt and made it three birdies in a row with a 15-footer at two.
Mickelson parred his next six holes and found himself in a tie for the lead with Andrade. After Andrade bogeyed 18, Mickelson knocked a 7-iron to 8 feet and rolled in the putt for the two-stroke lead.
'I didn't necessarily hit the ball as well as yesterday, but I was able to salvage a lot of pars with my short game,' said Mickelson. 'That led to a bogey-free round which was really nice.'
Andrade was on fire on the front nine with six birdies and a single bogey. He ran home a 12-foot birdie putt at the 12th, then hit a spectacular wedge 2 feet short of the hole for a tap-in birdie at 17.
Andrade found trouble off the tee at the dreaded 'Blue Monster.' His drive went left into the water and he had a horrible lie for his third after the drop. Andrade's third went right of the green in a patch of grass near the bunkers. He chipped 20 feet short of the flag, but converted the bogey putt.
'Sometimes you make bad fives, and sometimes you make great fives,' said Andrade, who barely retained his card last season by taking 124th on the final money list. 'That was definitely a great five.'
There are some great players in a tie for 16th at minus-8. Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (69), former winner Jim Furyk (66), Sergio Garcia (68) and Paul Casey (70) headline the group six behind Mickelson.
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-under-par 141 and first-round co-leader Marco Dawson made it on the number after a round of 77. Justin Leonard (145), Davis Love III (147) and Adam Scott 147), all ranked in the top-20 in the world, missed the cut.
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