Dufner leads, Lefty lurking at CareerBuilder Challenge


Phil Mickelson fired up the crowd for a second straight day, but Jason Dufner pulled ahead to grab the lead heading into the weekend in Palm Springs. Here's how things stand through 36 holes at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Leaderboard: Jason Dufner (-15), Jamie Lovemark (-14), Adam Hadwin (-12), Andrew Loupe (-12), Jason Gore (-12), Anirban Lahiri (-12), Bill Haas (-12)

What it means: Dufner started the day tied for the lead, but he quickly moved ahead with six birdies on his opening nine holes. He’s made only one bogey so far, and he’s been deadly with the flat stick. The 2013 PGA champion needed only 22 putts Friday, and he was 16 for 16 on putts inside 15 feet.

Round of the day: Gore shared the honors for low round of the day (64) with John Huh. Gore made nine birdies against one bogey to move into a tie for third, three behind Dufner. Both players recorded their low rounds on the Nicklaus course.

Best of the rest: Dufner and Lovemark both signed for 7-under 65s. Lovemark’s round included an eagle on the par-4 first, his 10th hole of the day, six birdies and a bogey for the best 36-hole position of his PGA Tour career. Phil Mickelson also shot a 65 and finished four strokes off the lead. It was his lowest round since a 65 in the final round of last year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Biggest disappointment: Jeff Overton held a share of the overnight lead, but he could manage only a 1-under 71 at the Stadium Course and now sits six shots off the lead.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Two major champions from 2013 – Mickelson at the Open Championship, Dufner at the PGA – have yet to hoist another trophy, and they both have great chances to end that streak this weekend. But keep an eye on defending champion Bill Haas. He’s opened with a pair of 66s, and he also won this event in 2010.

Shot of the day: Once again there were plenty of hole-outs and chip-ins, and even an ace by Nick Taylor. But we’ll hand the award to amateur Jay Pumphrey:

Quote of the day: "I’ve also won with a lot less game than I have right now. I still expect to get into contention and have a good weekend.” - Mickelson