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January 31 2013

2:02 PM

Mickelson opens two-stroke lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the second time in 10 holes Phil Mickelson has made four straight birdies to move into a two-stroke lead at 8 under during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Mickelson started on the back nine and birdied his first four holes on putts of 8, 8, 2 and 3 feet. His second string started at No. 16 where he made a 17-footer, much to the delight of the crowd there. Mickelson followed by driving the green at the 17th and two-putting from 34 feet before making a 16-footer at the 18th and a 22-footer at No. 1.

Mickelson had another birdie opportunity at No. 15 but he missed a 7-footer at that par 5. He missed the green at the second hole but made an 11-footer for par there.

So in his first 11 holes, the two-time Waste Management Phoenix Open champion has hit 10 greens in regulation and five fairways. He's one-putted eight times and used just 16 total.

Mickelson, who needs to get to 12 under to shoot the magical 59, has seven holes remaining, including the par-5 third. Such a score wouldn't be unprecedented -- TPC Scottsdale relinquished a 59 to Bo Van Pelt in the pro-am on Wednesday.

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