Lefty moves up to secondAssociated Press
Published April 4, 2005
DULUTH, Ga. - Tuning up for his Masters defense, Phil Mickelson shot 7-under 65 Sunday to move within a stroke of clubhouse leader Scott McCarron with one round to play in the rain-delayed BellSouth Classic.
McCarron, the 1997 and 2001 winner at the TPC at Sugarloaf, shot his second straight 69 for 6-under 138. Mickelson, No.4 in the world and the tour's leading money winner, had the best round of the tournament as conditions improved with sun, temperatures in the low 60s and wind of 15-20 mph. He holed a 26-yard pitch for eagle on the par-4 13th and had six birdies and a bogey.
Mickelson opened the day tied for 61st after 74 on Saturday in the opening round that was plagued by rain, sleet, snow and 40 mph wind. Rain washed out play Thursday and Friday, forcing PGA Tour officials to shorten the tournament to 54 holes and push the finish to today.
"I knew I needed to do something. I was fortunate to be able to do it and at least have a chance going into (today's round)," said Mickelson, a two-time winner this year.
Jose Maria Olazabal (69) and first-round co-leader Billy Mayfair (69) matched Mickelson at 5 under, and Arron Oberholser (68), Tag Ridings (68), Brian Bateman (68), Joey Snyder (69) and Rich Beem (70) were 4 under.
Olazabal had 40 on the front, including triple bogey on the par-3 eighth when he had a two-shot penalty. He shot 29 on the back, including eagle 2 on No.13 when he chipped in from 15 yards and three straight birdies to end his round.
Mickelson is one of 19 remaining in the field who will play in the Masters, beginning Thursday at Augusta National. Six others withdrew, including Stuart Appleby and Chris DiMarco, without ever hitting a shot.
There were about 30 players on the course when play was suspended by darkness. The cut, which will come after those players complete their rounds this morning, is expected to be at 2 over. Rain has affected eight of 14 tournaments on tour this year.
EUROPEAN PGA: England's Paul Broadhurst won the Portugal Open in Cascais by a stroke for his first tour victory in 10 years. Broadhurst, 39, who had seven birdies and three bogeys in a final-round 67 to finish 13 under, last won in 1995 at the French Open. Overnight leader Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, had five birdies but took seven shots at the par-4 17th and finished second.