Golf roundup: Mickelson shoots 67 for 2-shot lead at Wells Fargo
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Phil Mickelson has figured out the secret to the greens at Quail Hollow. Or maybe he's just had a lot of good bounces for two days.
Mickelson opened with a pair of 15-foot birdie putts, dropped in a 40-foot putt at the turn and made back-to-back birdies late in his round Friday. He finished with a 5-under-par 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Quail Hollow, renowned for pristine conditions, had everything go wrong this spring and wound up with putting surfaces that are mostly choppy with brown patches where the grass has died. Two greens were entirely replaced by sod last week. Despite that, Mickelson has taken only 50 putts in two rounds.
Nick Watney had a 70 and was at 7-under 137, along with George McNeill (68) and Scott Gardiner, the 37-year-old tour rookie who had missed eight straight cuts coming into the Quail Hollow. Gardiner, the first Aboriginal Australian to become a pro golfer, ran off four straight birdies at the turn and had a 67.
Rory McIlroy struggled with the speed of the greens but rallied on the front nine with three birdies for a 71.
In Williamsburg, Va., Thai teen Ariya Jutanugarn followed her opening 7-under 64 with an even-par 71 in windy conditions to hold on to the lead in the Kingsmill Championship.
The 17-year-old Jutanugarn bounced back from three early bogeys with three birdies to finish at 7-under, a shot ahead of Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford on the windswept River Course.
Lewis and Stanford had their second consecutive 68s, the best rounds of the day.
Sandra Gal, 2007 winner Suzann Pettersen and two-time winner Cristie Kerr were two shots back.
In the Woodlands, Texas, Mike Goodes shot a 3-under 69 in wind that gusted to 30 mph to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Insperity Championship.
Only seven players in the 81-man field broke par on a cold and blustery day. A gust blew down a scoreboard at The Woodlands Country Club.
Gene Sauers had the lead at 4-under going into the par-4 17th but hit a 9-iron into the water for a double bogey and finished at 70. Brian Henninger, Mark Brooks, Hal Sutton, Michael Allen and Mark Bucek were two strokes back.
European PGA Tour
In Tianjin, China, the youngest player to compete on the tour missed the cut in the China Open, and Finland's Mikko Ilonen tied the course record with a 9-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead.
Twelve-year-old Ye Wocheng missed the cut at 14-over after a pair of 79s.
In Jakarta, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead in the Indonesian Masters.
Thonghchai had seven birdies to finish 10-under overall at Royale Jakarta.
Scott Barr of Australia trails with a 68, a stroke ahead of countryman Wade Ormsby (68).