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The Tour Report
  • Mickelson sharper mentally, shoots 67

  • (Greenwood/Getty Images) (Greenwood/Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A day after struggling to shoot even par, Phil Mickelson looked much sharper en route to a bogey-free 67 Friday at TPC Scottsdale.

The defending champion is 4 under heading into the weekend and eight shots off the lead but looked less rusty after a sore back forced him to withdraw halfway through last week's tournament outside San Diego.

"I didn't make too many sloppy swings," said Mickelson, who hit twice as many fairways (10) as he did on Thursday and missed only four greens in regulation. "My distance control was back on.

"I don't know if I'm too far back or not, but on this golf course you can really make some fireworks happen."

He did just that a year ago, narrowly missing a 59 -- albeit in the first round.

Asked if he thought a 63 or 64 was possible, Mickelson said, "Absolutely.

"It's my opportunity, because I'm going to be one of the earlier groups, and that means the greens are going to be pristine.  They are really rolling well."