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Jonathan Wall

Tiger vs. Phil, Round 2: Mickelson still holds the edge

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For nine holes on Friday it seemed like Tiger Woods had finally figured it out. After opening with a three-under 69 on Thursday, Woods went out in four-under 32 to get to seven-under on the day.

But that's where things started to go south for Woods, as he bogeyed three of his first six holes on the back nine, before finishing with birdies on 16 and 18 to salvage the round. Even though it wasn't the finish Woods was looking for, he remained optimistic about the weekend.

"If you take into account how I lost it, yeah, in the middle part of the round, certainly," Woods said. "It could have easily I could have shot even par. But I got it back to 3-under par which is respectable considering my start."

A lot of that optimism had to do with the 25 putts he had during the round, a sign that Woods was grinding his way around the North Course at Torrey Pines.

If there's one reason to believe he can be a player on the weekend it comes from a very ominous stat: In three of Tiger's six wins at Torrey, Woods has gone into the weekend at six-under or worse, meaning he's very much contention at five shots back.

While Phil Mickelson's round wasn't as eventful as Woods', he and Tiger shared a common trait on Friday: neither could hit a fairway to save their life. Mickelson only hit 14-percent of his fairways, but managed to hit 78 percent of his greens in regulation.

It was a typical ho-hum round for Mickelson, as he made four birdies and one bogey to get to 8-under to move within three of Bill Haas.

Mickelson also seemed to have a little more pep in his step on Friday, after looking extremely lethargic in his opening event in Abu Dhabi. It probably had something to do with his wife Amy, walking 18 holes with him for the first time since the 2009 Masters.

With both Tiger and Phil in contention, the weekend is shaping up to be a good one at the Farmers Insurance Open. Past success at Torrey suggests both should be at or the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.

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