Consistency has hardly been a strong point this year for Phil Mickelson, but he may have found some in his final start before the U.S. Open.
Mickelson finally got his second round underway Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and carded a 2-under 68 to remain inside the top 10 at the halfway point of the tournament. At 5 under, Lefty trails leader Ben Crane by seven shots.
Mickelson opened with a 3-under 67 Thursday, and this is only the second time in 2014 that the 43-year-old has carded back-to-back rounds under par on the PGA Tour. He was also in red figures in both the first and second rounds of the Shell Houston Open, where he ultimately tied for 12th.
Mickelson is still in search of his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season, and came to Memphis looking for some momentum before heading to Pinehurst with hopes of completing the career grand slam. Last year, he tied for second at TPC Southwind and went on to record the same finish at the U.S. Open at Merion the following week.
Though he was erratic off the tee, finding only six of 14 fairways during the second round, Mickelson salvaged a sub-par score thanks to a sound short game. He took just 29 putts, and after bogeys on two of his first three holes, he did not make another bogey the rest of the way. Mickelson finally got into red figures with consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 and 15.
After significant weather delays during each of the first two days, tournament play remains behind schedule in Memphis. Third-round tee times are slated from 4-6 p.m. ET Saturday, with groups going off both the first and 10th tees, with the goal still to complete 72 holes by sunset Sunday.