Arizona still feels like home to Phil Mickelson, especially on a day like yesterday, when he had one of the best rounds of his life, and one of the lowest scores in PGA Tour history.
The Arizona State alum, who long lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., before moving to California, tied the course record with an 11-under-par 60 in the second round of the FBR Open in Scottsdale.
Mickelson birdied the final five holes to finish one stroke shy of the PGA Tour record for 18 holes -- 59, held by Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, and David Duval. The Masters champion is the 16th player to shoot a 60.
"It was a wonderful day," Mickelson said. "No complaints here."
Halfway through the 72-hole event, he shares the lead at 9-under 133 with 21-year-old Kevin Na, the youngest player on the PGA Tour. Na shot a second-round 65.
It was the lowest round ever for Mickelson in an official PGA Tour event, bettering a third-round 61 in his 2001 Greater Hartford Open victory. He shot a 59 last Nov. 24 at the PGA Grand Slam. Mickelson tied the FBR Open -- formerly the Phoenix Open -- course record set by Grant Waite in 1996 and matched by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001.
Mickelson, seeking his 24th Tour victory and first of 2005, had nine birdies and an eagle on the 7,216-yard Tournament Players Club course, where he won in 1996.
Wind that had disrupted play Thursday subsided, and the scores dropped accordingly. Bernhard Langer and Michael Allen shot 66s yesterday and shared third place at 6-under 136, three shots behind the leaders. Nine were tied at 5 under. First-round leader Dudley Hart shot a 73 and was at 2-under 140.
Seventy-seven players made the cut at 3-over 145. Among those who didn't was Justin Leonard, winner of last week's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, who shot a 4-over 146.
Mickelson had to finish his first round yesterday morning after play was suspended Thursday by darkness. He began by sinking a birdie putt on the par-4, 332-yard 17th hole, then he had an eagle, knocking it in from the fringe, on the same hole in the second round later in the day.
European -- Colin Montgomerie entered the
"The last two days here, I have been hitting the fairways and then hitting the greens," the 41-year-old Scotsman said. "And I holed nine putts, so we are doing OK."
Montgomerie and Lonard (68) are at 9-under 133, a shot ahead of Australia's Jarrod Lyle and South Africa's Trevor Immelman.
Ernie Els, trying to win the event for the fourth straight year, had a 64 -- the best round of the tournament -- and is three shots back.