CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phil Mickelson, who has six top-10s in nine starts at the Wells Fargo Championship, including a runner-up finish in 2010, positioned himself for the stretch run with a 67 during Friday's second round at Quail Hollow.
Mickelson opened a two-stroke lead with the round of 5 under that matches the low of the tournament. PGA TOUR rookie Scott Gardiner also shot 67 and he is tied with George McNeill and Nick Watney, who played with Mickelson in the first two rounds, for second at 7 under.
McNeill moved up the leaderboard with a 68 on Friday while Watney had a 70.
Rory McIlroy, who won the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship and lost in a playoff last year, heads the group at 6 under that also includes Lee Westwood, Jason Kokrak, Derek Ernst and Rod Pampling, who was the last man in the field after Ben Crane withdrew Wednesday afternoon. Westwood had the best round of the bunch, shooting 68, while Pampling shot 69, Kokrak a 70 and McIlory and Ernst has 71s.
The cut was made a 2 over and included 84 players. Among those making early exits are Martin Laird, who won the Valero Texas Open earlier this year; former Masters champ Bubba Watson and three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.