Mickelson shoots 64 at Wells Fargo, leads by 2

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Simply final week, Phil Mickelson complained about his lack of ability to focus correctly as he struggled but once more, lacking the lower on the Valspar Championship.

It was Joel Dahmen who received Mickelson’s full consideration Thursday on the Wells Fargo Championship, when Dahmen talked about him in a few good-natured social media posts, saying he was attending to “verify off a bucket listing merchandise” by taking part in with Mickelson for the primary time. Later, Dahmen, who received his first PGA Tour occasion earlier this 12 months, tweeted that he was excited to see “how my recreation stacks up towards the very best of the Champions Tour.”

Mickelson responded along with his greatest spherical of the 12 months, taking pictures 7-under-par 64 at Quail Hole to take a two-shot lead by way of 18 holes.

Mickelson, 50, has received twice on the over-50 circuit however has not posted a PGA Tour end higher than his twenty first on the Masters final month since a tie for second final August on the WGC-FedEx Invitational. Throughout that point, he is missed seven cuts in 16 tournaments and dropped to a hundred and fifteenth on the planet.

“It is simply focus; I am simply current on every shot,” Mickelson mentioned after hitting 14 greens in regulation and taking simply 25 putts. He had eight birdies and a bogey on the par-71 course.

Mickelson added: “The course holds my consideration. I have been performing some psychological workouts and so forth simply to attempt to get my focus to elongate over 5 hours and so forth. That is been an actual wrestle for me the previous few years as a result of bodily this is nothing holding me again from taking part in at a excessive stage. However you can not make errors at this stage. The fellows out listed here are simply so good, and I have been making a whole lot of errors, leap merely not being mentally sharp.”

After making a bogey on his second gap of the day, the par-4 eleventh, Mickelson was practically flawless. He gave himself a number of shut probabilities on the 14th, fifteenth, sixteenth and 18th holes, making all of them to show in 32. He then added birdies on the first, seventh and eighth holes, and received up and down for a par on the ninth to shoot 64 for a two-shot lead over Keegan Bradley and Kyoung-Hoon Lee.

Bradley completed second final week on the Valspar Championship. The 64 is one off his greatest at Quail Hole, shot in 2014.

Gary Woodland, Keith Mitchell, Kyle Stanley, Peter Malnati, Tommy Fleetwood and Luke Listing shot 67 and are three photographs again.

“I poked him a little bit bit and he performed superior immediately,” mentioned Dahmen, who shot 68 and is in a gaggle of gamers tied for tenth, 4 photographs again. “It was unbelievable. We form of ribbed one another down the primary gap after which it was like, okay let’s play some golf now. I am certain there can be a whole lot of ribbing in our future observe rounds. However there was simply a whole lot of good photographs and storytelling.”

Mickelson dropped out of the highest 100 on the planet earlier this 12 months for the primary time since 1993, a run of 1,425 weeks. His earlier scores had been a 67 through the second spherical of the Saudi Worldwide occasion on the European Tour and a 68 through the second spherical of the Honda Traditional.

The final of Mickelson’s 44 PGA Tour victories got here on the 2019 AT&T Pebble Seashore Nationwide Professional-Am.

“The iron play immediately was unbelievable,” Dahmen mentioned. “He hit so many nice photographs it appeared like within 6 toes. And clearly he can pitch it and putt it unbelievably and he made all of his putts immediately. He was form of hitting this dink lower previous my driver all day and that is spectacular.

“If he performs like this, he can play wherever, anytime towards anyone.”

Mickelson has been using a 2-wood in sure circumstances off the tee that’s 11.5 levels. He known as it a mini driver head that acts like a powerful 3-wood. “I really feel like I can get a whole lot of chase out of it and I do not lose any distance,” Mickelson mentioned.

Mickelson mentioned final week he was not sure if he would settle for a particular exemption — if provided — from america Golf Affiliation to play within the U.S. Open subsequent month at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Mickelson has received the PGA Tour occasion performed on the venue thrice and lives within the space.

With out an exemption, he would wish to maneuver into the highest 60 on the planet by one in all two cutoff factors: Might 24 or June 7. A victory right here would get Mickelson into the highest 50. Wanting that, Mickelson mentioned he has signed up for sectional qualifying on June 8, which requires advancing from a 36-hole occasion.

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