Phil Mickelson survived another scare at the Accenture Match Play Championship on Thursday, beating Zach Johnson 1-up in a second-round matchup of Masters winners.
The fifth-seeded Mickelson is the highest remaining seed after Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh have gone home.
For the second day in a row, Mickelson staggered to victory.
Mickelson was 4-up with five holes to play, but his lead quickly shrunk to 1-up after Mickelson bogeyed the 14th hole, then watched Johnson birdie the 15th and 17th.
Mickelson finally closed out the match with a par 4 on 18.
I had a couple chances with a couple of short putts on 14 and 15 that could have ended the match earlier, but he fought hard to extend the match, said Mickelson, who has reached the third round for the first time since 2006, when he lost to David Howell.
The match played out much the same as Mickelsons 19-hole victory over Angel Cabrera in the opening round. Mickelson was 4-up with five to play against Cabrera, who squared the match on the 17th hole.
Mickelson said he has been working on his swing with coach Butch Harmon this week. Mickelson will face Stewart Cink on Friday.
Cink said hes looking forward to the match.
He has the ability to play really bad for a little while and then just play as well as anybody in the world, Cink said. So who knows whats going to happen. I just hope I have a decent game of my own tomorrow.
RORY ROLLS: Down two holes through 12, Rory McIlroy finished with a kick, birdieing four of the last six holes to beat Hunter Mahan 1-up.
I saved my best for last, McIlroy said. I dug deep and played my best golf when I needed to, which is very satisfying.
The 19-year-old from Northern Ireland had said it would be a dream to meet Tiger Woods in the third round, but that wont happen. Instead, McIlroy will face Tim Clark, who eliminated Woods on Thursday.
Its probably a good thing, McIlroy said. Ill be the first to say if I stood on the first tee with Tiger, I would be intimidated because he has been a hero of mine for the past I dont know how many years.
It would have been great to play him, but maybe another time, McIlroy said.
LONG AND SHORT OF IT: Stewart Cink needed 23 holes to beat Lee Westwood.
Camilo Villegas has played a total of 26 holes in the first two rounds.
In the longest match of the tourney, Cink was 1-up with two holes to play. But Westwood birdied the 17th, and the players swapped shots until Westwood bogeyed the 23rd hole.
Cink has played 42 holes this week. He needed 19 to eliminate Richard Sterne in the first round.
Im tired, but when youre that close in your matches, 1-up and 1-down, you never were more than one hole separated, today or yesterday, the adrenalines always right there, Cink said. So you dont really feel tired until after you get back to the hotel, maybe relax a little bit.
While Cink sweated out his victory on a sundrenched afternoon, Villegas had time take a dip in the pool.
One day after closing out Rod Pampling in 12 holes, Villegas beat Miguel Angel Jimenez in 14 holes (5 and 4).
Villegas has led for 24 of 26 holes so far. Hell try to keep rolling against Geoff Ogilvy on Friday.
Asked if he would see the par-3, 247-yard 16th this week, Villegas replied, Let me tell you something: I just try to focus on each shot and hopefully we can keep winning.
THEYRE BACK: On a day defending champ Tiger Woods was eliminated, only three players reached the third round for the second straight year 'Stewart Cink, Paul Casey and Justin Leonard.
Last year, Cink beat Leonard 4 and 2 in the semifinals before losing the championship match to Woods.
Cink is the only player who has made the third round three years in a row.
ALL-ENGLAND CLUB: Seven Englishmen entered the tournament. Five have reached the third round 'Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson and Ian Poulter.
Another Englishman, Lee Westwood, lost to Stewart Cink in 23 holes.
Obviously, its great for European golf, and its great for English golf, said Fisher, who routed American Pat Perez 6 and 5 on Thursday. Weve got some really good youngsters coming through, as well, that arent here this week. Theyre playing on the European tour. I think the future is very bright, not only for European golf but for English and British golf.
Wilsons 2-and-1 victory over American Anthony Kim may have seemed like an upset. But it didnt come as a surprise to Wilson, who teamed with Henrik Stenson to beat Kim and Phil Mickelson in the Ryder Cup.
(Kim is) a great player, and obviously the Ryder Cup, I think, maybe helped me a little bit, knowing that I already beat him before, said Wilson, who will face Leonard on Friday.
Wilson lost the first hole but fired eight birdies the rest of the way to send Kim packing.
Donald was 2-down with two holes to go but rallied to defeat Vijay Singh in 19 holes, reaching sudden death after Singh bogeyed the 18th.
Donald also needed 19 holes to beat Ben Curtis in the opening round.
My wife keeps telling me, Cant you just win on the 12th or 13th one of these days, to make it easier on her heart, Donald said. I was just pleased to take it into extra holes after being two down with two to play, but feel I just snatched this one out of nowhere.