Mickelson in the mix
Phil Mickelson is four shots off the halfway lead held by DA Points and Ryuji Imada at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Phil Mickelson left the North course at Torrey Pines four shots off the halfway lead held by DA Points and Ryuji Imada at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Friday.
World number two Mickelson had opened his season with a two-under-par 70 on the 7569 yard South course, while Scott Piercy’s first-round leading 64 had come on the easier 6874 yard North course.
Mickelson had said he was looking to move into contention as he moved across to the North for round two and, while he did card a five-under-par 67 to move to seven under at halfway, American Points and Japan’s Imada did enough on the South to get to 11 under par for the 36-hole lead.
Points was the most impressive, shooting a seven-under 65, while Imada took a 68, with another American, Matt Every, moving into a tie for third on nine under following a 70 on the South.
The relative difficulties of the courses made no difference to Points, who said: “Funnily enough, I’ve played this course a lot more than I’ve played the other one, and I feel pretty comfortable out here.
“The main thing for this course is obviously just making putts and driving the fairway, and those are two things that I’ve done the last two rounds, especially today I made a lot of putts.
“Iron game isn’t quite as sharp as I would love it to be, but certainly making putts is always a good way to make up for a little bit of a sloppy iron game.”
Australian Michael Sim joined Every at nine under thanks to a 10-under 62 on the North, with compatriot Robert Allenby part of a five-man group on eight under. Allenby shot a 69, with Americans John Rollins (66), George McNeill (67), Ben Crane (71) and Chris Tidland (71) alongside him in a tie for fifth.
Mickelson was also part of a five-man group, on seven under with 50-year-old Tom Pernice (71), rookie Rickie Fowler (70), Australian Marc Leishman (69) and South Korea’s Charlie Wi, who shot a 66 on the North course.
Overnight leader Piercy had a bad day on the South course as he dropped to five under with a 75, alongside, among others, Ernie Els of South Africa, who shot a three-under 69 on the North.
Justin Rose of England climbed up the leaderboard with a 69 on the South to take him to four under, while a 70 on the same track moved Martin Laird of Scotland to three under.
Luke Donald stayed at two under following his level 72 on the North, but the same score on the South was not enough to get Greg Owen into the weekend, stranding him on one under par, the wrong side of the cut line.
John Daly was another to go home early, the two-time major winner’s 71 on the North course not enough to dig him out of the mire following an opening 79.
Rory McIlroy flying high after opening round of US Open at Winged Foot
The Northern Irishman is two shots behind leader Justin Thomas, who shot a five-under-par 65 at Winged Foot.
A little more relaxation brings a little more action for Rory McIlroy at US Open
The Northern Irishman shot 67 on the opening day to sit two behind clubhouse leader Justin Thomas.
Prayers answered for Rory McIlroy as US Open hopeful makes speedy start
The Northern Irishman is two shots off the lead after an opening 67 at Winged Foot.
WATCH: Tiger, Rory, Rahm and DJ on what makes Winged Foot so difficult
Golf’s big buns give their thoughts on the tough test that lies ahead at the US Open.
WATCH: Social media star pays tribute to Mickelson with special US Open song
Take a listen to the most heartfelt and emotional song about Phil Mickelson ever created.
All eyes on USGA when the 120th US Open gets under way at Winged Foot
The fact that last year’s championship took place without controversy over the set up of the course was a welcome relief for the organisation.
Tiger Woods ranks Winged Foot as one of the most difficult courses ever
Tiger Woods is under no illusions as to the challenges facing the field when the US Open tees off at Winged Foot on Thursday.
On This Day in 2004: US power couple Phil and Tiger tamed by Europe at Ryder Cup
Woods and Mickelson were ranked second and fourth in the world respectively but Montgomerie and Harrington bested them.