Mickelson Misses Second Chance to Set Record at Phoenix Open

Phil Mickelson fired a 6-under 65 to take a four-stroke lead over Bill Haas going into the third round at the Phoenix Open, after missing a chance to break U.S. Tour’s 36-hole scoring record.

Mickelson ended 36 holes at 17-under 125 while Haas had a 7-under 64 to finish 13-under 129 yesterday at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mickelson carded a double bogey on the 18th hole yesterday to finish one stroke off the tour record. The previous day he was on course to become the sixth golfer to complete a round of 59 in an official U.S. PGA Tour event when a 25-foot birdie putt on his final hole caught the lip of the cup and spun out.

“You always remember kind of the last hole, the last putt, but I think it’s very possible that’s going to help me because it’s got me refocused, that I cannot ease up on a single shot,” Mickelson told reporters. “These guys are going to make a lot of birdies and I’ve got to get after it and cannot make those kinds of mistakes.”

The tour record for the first two rounds of a tournament was set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, and matched by David Toms at the Colonial two years later.

“Unfortunately, I made a double on the last hole and didn’t finish the way I wanted to,” Mickelson said.

Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker are 12-under 130, while Charlie Wi, Angel Cabrera and Brian Gay are another stroke back.

Defending champion Kyle Stanley shot a 71 to make the cut by a stroke at 4-under 138.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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