Spieth leads, Mickelson heads home at Colonial

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Jordan Spieth has began taking part in nicely once more nearly in every single place he goes. He has all the time felt comfy near dwelling at Colonial, the place he’s within the lead.

PGA champion Phil Mickelson was headed dwelling to California after he bogeyed two of his final three holes, lacking the reduce on the Charles Schwab Basic by one stroke.

Spieth was bogey-free once more Friday, with a 4-under 66 to take the lead after the second spherical at 11-under 129 at Hogan’s Alley. The Dallas native was one shot forward of Jason Kokrak, who had his second consecutive spherical of 65.

“I am in a great place at a well-recognized place,” Spieth mentioned.

Mickelson, who turns 51 on June 16, grew to become the oldest winner of a golf main on the PGA Championship final weekend. However Lefty completed 2 over at Colonial after his second-round 69, which included three birdies in a four-hole stretch to finish his entrance 9.

However Mickelson’s 7-foot par probability on the par-3 sixteenth rolled over the left edge and did a half-circle across the cup with out stepping into. With the solar shining by way of the clouds, his have-to-make 10-footer on No. 18 slid simply left of the opening.

Mickelson left the course virtually instantly after that, telling a PGA Tour official on his approach out that he loved his time on the event. The 2-time Colonial champion mentioned he hated that he would not be round for the weekend.

Sergio Garcia (69), the first-round co-leader with Spieth whose first PGA Tour win got here at Colonial 20 years in the past, was tied for third at 8 below with Sebastian Munoz and Patton Kizzire, who each shot 65 Friday. Munoz had six birdies on the again 9, together with the ultimate three holes after a double bogey at No. 15.

Kokrak, Garcia and Munoz have been within the morning wave of gamers who all completed earlier than a climate delay of two hours and 26 minutes throughout the afternoon.

A gentle drizzle began about the identical time Spieth, Mickelson and defending champion Daniel Berger teed off at No. 1 to start out their second spherical collectively. Mickelson had a bogey on the opening par-5.

The rain had just about stopped earlier than play was suspended due to lightning close by from a climate system producing heavy storms south of the course. At that time, Mickelson was in a greenside bunker at No. 3, with Spieth 23 ft from the cup on the identical gap.

Mickelson’s first shot when play resumed almost 2 1/2 hours later was a blast to arrange a par-saving 7-foot putt. Spieth rolled in his second consecutive birdie.

“I got here out of the rain delay and I made a pleasant putt on 3, and actually felt like I had an opportunity to birdie virtually each gap on that entrance 9 and even into the again 9,” Spieth mentioned. “However I did not swing it as nicely. I wasn’t actually finishing it and it wasn’t feeling nice. I knew I used to be going to sort of must handle my approach across the golf course just a little bit, and luckily did a very nice job of that.”

Spieth is taking part in in his eleventh event since lacking the reduce on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open on the finish of January. His seven top-10 finishes since then match his whole in 40 occasions the earlier two seasons mixed. He received the Valero Texas Open, his first victory because the 2017 British Open. He received in 2016 at Colonial, the place he has two runner-up finishes and three others within the high 10.

Kokrak nonetheless hits the ball a good distance, and now has a protracted putter when on the greens. The Thirty fifth-ranked participant on the earth, who’s 6-foot-4 and has made the FedEx Cup playoff the previous eight seasons, switched to a putter with a 36-inch shaft this season..

“I used to be a hundred and ninetieth in placing however I used to be a high 5 ball-striker, so I concentrated extra on the putter as of late, and you understand, it has been sizzling,” he mentioned. “However you understand, I nonetheless wish to consider the ball-striking. I have been combating the motive force, so I believe discovering a driver this week that I am comfy with, it is gone a good distance.”

His finest back-to-back rounds this yr, with six birdies and a bogey in every spherical, are on the Colonial course the place he had his finest end final season. He tied for third final June within the Charles Schwab Problem that marked the PGA Tour’s resumption of competitors after a 12-week pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the 36-year-old Kokrak acquired his first profession victory within the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas in October.

The low spherical of the day was a season-best 62 by Charley Hoffman, who overcame an early bogey at No. 3, when his strategy missed the inexperienced after a drive into the tough. He had 4 consecutive birdies, at Nos. 14-17, earlier than a par-saver with a chip to 2 ft at No. 18.

Hoffman, who had a gap 71, was tied for sixth at 7-under 133.

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