Date: February 02, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Aussies tough it out in Arizona

A double-bogey on the 18th hole cut Phil Mickelson&aposs lead at the Phoenix Open to four shots through two rounds in Arizona as the Australian contingent struggled to make an impact. Mickelson, though, only just missed out on a 59 in the first round on Thursday and was in line to set the PGA Tour&aposs 36-hole record in his second round before disaster struck for the 42-year-old. Lining up on the 18th tee, Mickelson was eight under for the day before landing his drive in the water to finish with a double bogey, an effort that leaves the door somewhat ajar for his competitors as he missed the 36-hole record by one stroke. That effort appeared out of character for Mickelson in this tournament after he blitzed the opening round and produced six birdies and an eagle on the second day before his poor finale saw him post a five-under 65 to be at 17 under heading into the weekend. Mickelson is still four shots ahead of fellow American Bill Haas who carded a bogey-free six-under 64 on Friday to climb to second on the leaderboard. The 30-year-old produced seven birdies on the back nine to move to 13 under for the tournament. Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker are a shot behind Haas with the former carding the equal-lowest round on Friday. Bradley started on the back nine and finished with four consecutive birdies from the sixth to the ninth hole to complete an eight-under 63, while Snedeker carded a 66. South Korea&aposs Charlie Wi matched Bradley&aposs score to move into a tie for fifth at 11 under overall, alongside Argentina&aposs Angel Cabrera and American Brian Gay. Having started Friday&aposs play on six under, Belgium&aposs Nicolas Colsaerts self-destructed with four bogeys in his round of four over, which saw him miss the cut. Other high-profile players to miss out on the weekend&aposs action were Rickie Fowler, who scored an even par 71 to finish three-under overall, while Martin Kaymer never recovered from his disastrous opening day, bombing out of the tournament on two over. Aaron Baddeley, meanwhile, was the best of the Australians on Friday, although only three Aussies managed to make the cut. Having opened with a solid two-under 69 on Thursday, Baddeley improved on that with a four-under 67 to be six-under for the tournament, still 11 shots adrift of Mickelson. Baddeley is level on the leaderboard at six under with compatriot Greg Chalmers, who finished with a flourish, producing birdies on his last two holes as he completed his second three-under 68 round. The pair are two strokes ahead of Jason Day, who also signed off on a 68 in his second round. But Alistair Presnell, Marc Leishman and Geoff Ogilvy all failed to make the cut.