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May 4 2013

4:52 PM

Mickelson breaks free from Watney

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phil Mickelson simply doesn't like company at the top of the leaderboard at the Wells Fargo Championship.

He held a two-stroke lead a the start of the day and has never relinquished it -- although he's been tied three times, once by his playing partner Scott Gardiner and two more times by Nick Watney.

Mickelson, though, just poured in a 19-footer at the 14th hole and followed it with a mini-fist pump, to get to 11 under and one shot ahead of Watney. George McNeill, who is playing with Watney, is another stroke behind after making a 5-footer at the same hole.

The group at 7 under includes Lee Westwood, who finished fifth at Quail Hollow last year; PGA TOUR rookie Derek Ernst and Duke product Kevin Streelman, who picked up his first win earlier this year.

Rory McIlroy, who won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2010 and lost in a playoff last year, has struggled on the greens Saturday. He's 1 over for the day and  is now five strokes behind Mickelson -- the man he beat with a final-round 62 three years ago.

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