Mickelson wedges into lead at Colonial

Tiger Woods, 18, Torrey Pines, U.S. Open, 2008 Year-in-Review
Robert Beck/SI

Tiger Woods: New ... But Is He Improved?
There are five reasons why post-op Tiger won't be his old steely self in 2009. And five reasons why he will.

By Cameron Morfit

1. His Knee

Not Himself: Even Tiger admits his surgically repaired left knee won't be in tiptop shape until 2010. Remember, Casey Martin played with a bad right leg, which takes less abuse, and Ernie Els has never looked the same since rupturing his left ACL in '05. Tiger's human, and it will take a while to trust all that swing torque to something man-made.

His Old Self: Puh-leeze! If Woods can win the grueling U.S. Open on one good leg and one that might snap at any moment, then he certainly can, and will, win a major or two after the injured leg has been repaired. So he won't be 100 percent for a while — he'll still be a lot closer to 100 percent than he was last June.

Lefty hit from the rough to a greenside bunker at No. 3, setting up a 12-foot par saver that led him to pump his fist. There were more bunkers, and more fist pumps after saving par with a 9-foot putt at the 252-yard No. 4 and a 12-footer at No. 5.

"It wasn't anywhere near as tough as it was (Thursday), but my score didn't reflect it," said Mickelson, who opened with a 65. "I probably didn't strike it quite as well as I did (Thursday), but I made up for it with some good putting."

Geoff Ogilvy, ranked No. 7 in the world, had a stretch of five straight birdies - from Nos. 17-3, all less than 12 feet - on way to his 64 after an opening 72.

"They weren't crazy putts," said Ogilvy, whose only bogey came on his 16th hole. "Just the kind of putts guys hole when they shot a 6 under."

Divots: Defending champion Rory Sabbatini (144) missed the cut. ... Gay was born in Fort Worth, but lived their only as a baby. ... There were five top-10 players in the field, the most at Colonial since 2004. Only Mickelson and Ogilvy made the cut. Going home were K.J. Choi (143); Jim Furyk (144), who didn't have a birdie Friday; and Steve Stricker (147), who had consecutive double bogeys. ... Two-time Colonial champion Corey Pavin (1985, 1996) was 6 under before he bogeyed No. 4, his 13th hole, after missing the green. Pavin tossed his club to the bag as soon as he chipped 9 feet past the pin. He ended with another bogey and a 69, after an opening 67.

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