Mickelson birdies last five holes for 66

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LA QUINTA, Calif. – It took 31 holes, but Phil Mickelson’s finishing kick Friday was just what he wanted to see heading into the weekend at the Humana Challenge.

In danger of getting lapped on a day when the scoring average at PGA West’s Nicklaus Course was a shade above 68, Mickelson ran off five birdies in a row to close to shoot 66. He is currently in a tie for 36th, eight shots off the lead.

“It just took a while, after being out for four months, to focus on the shot and seeing the ball where you want it to go,” he said.


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Mickelson hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since withdrawing midway through the BMW Championship in September, and this is his first appearance since the Ryder Cup.

In the first round at La Quinta, Mickelson could muster only an opening 71 and sat outside the top 80. Now, after a 66, at least Lefty has a chance, but it’ll require two days of hot putting on the Palmer Course.

“I think I’ve got a really low one in me,” he said. “The game is where I want it to be, but now the last bit is that final touch of focusing, seeing shots and putting together the score.”