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Golf roundup

Mickelson surges; Sorenstam revived

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Associated Press / February 16, 2008

Phil Mickelson seems determined to add Los Angeles to his collection of West Coast trophies.

A year after losing at Riviera in a playoff, Mickelson played spectacularly yesterday in the Northern Trust Open, finishing with a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 7-under-par 64 and a four-shot lead.

Even after starting with a 68, Mickelson felt he was close to putting his game together. It started with a 3-iron to 12 feet on the par-5 first for a simple birdie, and built momentum with a 60-foot birdie on the fifth and never slowed.

When he finished his best score ever at Riviera, he was 10-under 132 and in firm command going into the weekend.

"This is a tournament that has eluded me," Mickelson said of the only city in the West Coast Swing where he hasn't won. "The West Coast means a lot to me."

Robert Allenby, who won at Riviera in 2001 in the cold and rain, did OK in warm sunshine with a 66 that put him at 136 with Jeff Quinney (67).

Mickelson and the top dozen players atop the leaderboard got one big break with the draw by playing early Thursday and in the afternoon yesterday, essentially avoiding the strongest of the wind that gusted along the eucalyptus trees lining the fairways.

LPGA - Annika Sorenstam, down to No. 4 in the world after years in the top spot, birdied five of the final seven holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the second-round lead in the Tour's season-opening SBS Open at Kahuku, Hawaii.

"Today, I'm in control of my game. I feel I'm the boss out there," said Sorenstam, coming off an injury-shortened season where she failed to win for the first time since her rookie season in 1994. "I'm hitting where I want to hit it and that's been a while."

Sorenstam pumped her fist, flashed a smile, and waved to the roaring gallery after sinking an uphill 11-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to match 23-year-old Erica Blasberg (68) at 7-under 137.

They were a stroke ahead of Japanese rookie Momoko Ueda (67), Jane Park (68), Laura Diaz (68), and Cristie Kerr (69).

The 54-hole tournament will end today to accommodate television audiences in South Korea, where it will be Sunday and aired live by title sponsor SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System).

Sorenstam overcame a double bogey on the 180-yard fourth hole and surged up the leaderboard with six birdies in the final 10 holes. "I'm very pleased with the strong finish," she said.

Defending champion Paula Creamer shot a 73 and was at 1 under.

European - Chile's Felipe Aguilar shot an 8-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Indonesia Open at Jakarta.

Aguilar, a two-time winner last year on the developmental PGA European Challenge Tour, had a 13-under 127 total. Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke had a hole-in-one on the 142-yard fourth hole. He was 5 under after a 67.

Champions - Loren Roberts, Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Kite, and Bruce Fleisher shot 7-under 65s to share the first-round lead in The ACE Group Classic at Naples, Fla.

Peter Jacobsen was a stroke back at 66 along with Joe Ozaki and Bruce Lietzke. Wayne Levi, Eduardo Romero, Scott Simpson, Tom Purtzer, and Gary Koch shot 67s, and defending champion Bobby Wadkins had a 69.

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