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Mickelson Four Back, But Still The Favourite in Phoenix

Phil Mickelson is four back of leader Tommy Gaines at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after shooting a 65 in his second round putting him at 10-under as the tournament will try to complete the final 36 holes tomorrow in a week that has been marred by frost delays. 

The deficit currently facing Mickelson hasn’t deterred bookmakers from putting him just ahead of Bill Haas at (10-3) and he’s now the favourite to be holding the trophy when it’s all said and done.

Mickelson bogeyed the par-4 2nd hole before going on a sublime seven birdie run in a round that showed why Lefty can easily make a case as the best player in the world.

Mickelson is a veteran and a gruelling 36-hole finish shouldn’t be an issue for a guy who’s seen and experienced just about everything on the golf course.  He’s got his driver back in order after hitting just over half the fairways in round one and, with still half the tournament left to play, there really is no other choice for the betting favourite.

Bill Haas, at (7-2), sits at 12-under which puts him two ahead of Mickelson after his second straight 65 and after a strong start to the season it should be expected that he’ll be in the mix right to the end.

The only thing that could derail Haas’ quest for victory is his inability to hit fairways consistently at the TPC Scottsdale.  He’ll have to do better than the 50% he hit on Saturday and with fatigue becoming a factor in a 36-hole finish missed fairways could be the difference between winning and losing.

Mark Wilson and Rickie Fowler are third with the books at (7-1), but Fowler has a bit of work ahead as he’s tied with Mickelson at 10-under, while Wilson is just a shot off the lead.

Fowler was wallowing in the middle of the pack after round one, but the 2010 Rookie of the Year got himself back in contention with a season low 62 that included a 29 on the back nine.  Could this be the week for Fowler’s first win?  Quite possibly if he can match, or even come close, to the level of play he showed on Saturday.

Wilson won the Sony Open just a few weeks ago, so he’s already got that winning feeling.  Furthermore, he has made just one bogey this week so don’t expect him to shoot himself out of the title hunt.


I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back, and wish them luck, but I am thinking, 'I am going to bury you   - Seve Ballesteros

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