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Johnson Edges Mickelson at a Delayed Phoenix Open

Johnson Edges Mickelson at a Delayed Phoenix Open

Dustin Johnson was at 4-under when play was called for the day after playing just 5 holes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open  as the tournament was set back more than four hours due to an unusual case of hard frost in the desert.

The bookmakers appear to expect a continuation of the quality play briefly displayed by the North Carolinian and have put him just ahead of pre-tournament favourite Phil Mickeslon at (4-1).

The books aren’t far off here as Johnson’s hot start only emboldens the case of a player who was in the mix more often than not in 2010 and seeing as he’s got 13 holes to play in his first round it wouldn’t be a surprise if he caught, and even passed, the foursome currently leading the tournament at 6-under.

Meanwhile, Mickelson matched the 4-under of Johnson, but did it thru a full 18 on Thursday and he now sits just a betting hair behind his Ryder Cup teammate at (9-2).  He could have easily challenged for the lead if not for a couple of miscues from the divinely talented left hander.

Mickelson made consecutive bogeys at the 9th and 10th while hitting just 77% of the greens in round one.  However, this could be the sloppiest round Lefty will play this week and that’s a scary proposition for the field.  He’s just two back and his best play should be ahead of him this week.

Bill Haas is a distant third in the bookies’ ledger at (9-1), but he certainly has all the tools to challenge for the lead heading to the weekend after an opening 66 tied him for the lead with Jason Bohn, Tom Gillis and 1996 Open champion Tom Lehman.

Haas, if his early results in 2011 are any indication, may be taking  his game to the next level as he’s put up three straight top-10’s to start the season, including a 9th place finish in San Diego last week.

From the land of long odds.  Jeff Overton is a player that should have won on Tour by now, but he had an agonizing number of top-3 finishes in 2010 where he just couldn’t close the deal.  After 18 holes in Phoenix, he’s two back at 4-under and certainly shouldn’t disappear over the next few days.


I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for - getting paid for doing what you love   - Tiger Woods

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