Singh One Stroke Back in the Desert

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Phil Mickelson won last weeks Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in his 2002 debut. Vijay Singh would like to do the same at this weeks Phoenix Open.
 
Singh followed an opening 66 with a 6-under-par 65 to move into contention in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Fijian is tied with Rory Sabbatini (64) at 11-under 131, one shot back of leader Duffy Waldorf, who shot his second straight 65 Friday.
 
Seventeen-year-old Ty Tryon did make it to the weekend, though it wasn't for long. Due to a 45-minute frost delay Friday, 25 players were forced to come out Saturday and complete their second rounds.
 
Tryon, who struggled to a first-round 77, finished his final three holes this morning for an even-par 71. At 6-over, he missed the cut by seven shots.
 
This is the second consecutive week that Waldorf has been at the top of the leaderboard heading into weekend play. He was a co-leader through three rounds of the Bob Hope, only to close in 68-74 and plummet into a tie for 31st.
 
The 39-year-old Californian is coming off his worst season in 11 years, having finished 120th on the money list.
 
I felt like I needed to improve my short game and chipping and putting, Waldorf said. Ive been trying to be a little more aggressive around the greens.
 
Those improvements were evident Friday. Waldorf began his round with a birdie on the par-4 10th, but bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12. After regrouping with a birdie at the 13th, the four-time tour winner dropped in a 35-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th.
 
I started out missing some short putts for par, and that eagle putt on 15 really got me going, he said.
 
Waldorf furthered his momentum with another birdie at the 17th, and continued his scoring with four more birdies on the front nine, including a chip-in at the par-4 fifth. His day ended, however, with a bogey at the par-4 ninth, thanks to a misclub from the middle of the fairway.
 
Like Waldorf, Singh is seeking his first PGA Tour title since the 2000 season. He won twice overseas last year, but failed to claim victory in the states, despite collecting six top-3 finishes and over $3.4 million.
 
'Pretty disappointing, Singh said. I had a lot of chances, especially about the last three or four weeks, and I didnt take it. It wasnt because I wasnt playing well. I just was making the mistakes that I wasnt supposed to going into the last days. So, I had to work on that a little.
 
Having missed the winners-only Mercedes Championships for the first time in four years, Singh is playing in his first competitive tournament since mid-December, when he blew a four-stroke lead over the final nine holes to Tiger Woods in the unofficial Williams World Challenge.
 
He, too, started his second round on the back nine at the TPC at Scottsdale, and found little resistance from the course early.
 
Singh offset a bogey at the 11th with six birdies to make the turn in 5-under 31. He grabbed his seventh birdie of the day at the third, but parred his final six holes.
 
News, Notes and Numbers
 
*Mike Sposa aced the rowdy par-3 16th. He holed a 7-iron from 162 yards. Sposa shot 66 to finish the day at 5-under.
 
*John Daly was 7-under on the day through 14 holes, but played his final four holes in 1-over to shoot 65 and finish at minus 9.
 
*Overnight leader Steve Flesch shot 1-over 72 and is now six off the pace at minus 6.
 
Full-field scores from the Phoenix Open