By petedirenzo
Friday, January 29, 2010

GOLF Magazine's Alan Bastable is here to blog the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open, where Phil Mickelson is making his 2010 season debut. Join in the discussion by leaving a question or comment below.  Leaderboard | Round 1 Photos | Torrey Pines Map | TV Schedule6:00 p.m.  OK, get me out of here. Phil's off the course and Faldo's doing weird air traffic controller impressions. Enjoy the weekend, and please join us for lots more live-blogging action as the season unfolds.

5:51 p.m.  Forget the golf. I could wile away an afternoon watching beauty shots of the San Diego coast. (Even with Kelly Tilghman's sappy scene setting.)  5:47 p.m.  He flies his chip to the back-left corner of the green then bends home a right-to-left swinger from 30 feet. Classy finish. All hail Dave Stockton. 5:41 p.m.  Phil pulls his hybrid second at the par-5 ninth (his 18th hole) into the right rough 40 yards short of the green. If he can get it up and down, he'll jump to 7-under, just four back. Good spot for the weekend.  5:34 p.m.  Crane's in the clubhouse!5:33 p.m.  Lefty chides himself after hitting a wretched chip at the 8th. "Phil, are you kidding me?" he says after running it some 30 feet past the hole. His response? He drains the putt. Standard Phil par. 5:28 p.m.  Cut is still 2-under. 5:25 p.m.  Ben Crane, just three off the lead, prepares for a wedge shot at the 9th on the South Course (his 18th hole). Even money says he finishes his round before dark. 5:20 p.m.  Seriously, you need to see the Farmers blimp. So uninspired.5:18 p.m.  Lefty's birdie try from seven feet at the 7th hits a speed bump (that's poa for you), kicks right and misses the hole by four inches. He makes the five-foot comebacker for his par. He stays at 6-under, five off the pace. Disappointing front nine for Phil -- just one birdie, back at the second.5:12 p.m.  Palmer couldn't identify his ball at the 7th, sending him back to the tee. Chalk him up as doubtful for the weekend.5:09 p.m.  Nice job by the Golf Channel digging up a clip of Faldo scurrying up a tree at a Tour event years ago. Metal spikes aided the climb, Faldo quipped.  5:06 p.m.  Ryan Palmer, a winner already this season, has a helluva predicament at the 7th hole on the North Course. (Palmer is at even-par.) His ball is wedged like a bird's egg between two branches 30 feet up a tree. Question is, can he identity it? Seems there are other balls wedged up there, too. Will keep you posted. Hey, there's SI photographer Robert Beck! Should make for a fun pic.    5:00 p.m.  Finally, the GC shows Fowler -- putting out on 18. Don't get that. Maybe it had something to do with his shockingly bright -- and I do mean BRIGHT -- all-red outfit. The kid could light up a small village. 4:56 p.m.  Peter Kostis notes the duller grooves may help is some situations, because some players have a tendency too much zip on their wedge shots, particularly full swings. Exhibit A: Mickelson.4:52 p.m.  Phil knocked his second at the par-3 6th to seven feet and rolled in his par putt. Superb save.4:50 p.m.  Thanks to reader Artie for turning my attention to Michael Sim, who has nine birdies and just one bogey through 14 holes on the North Course. Sim (...ply the best) has soared to 8-under for the tournament.4:45 p.m.  "That's Phil's bad shot," Faldo says as Lefty flares a 6-iron off the tee at the par-3 6th. Missed the green short and left by some 40 yards. Dreadful. 4:40 p.m.  Oh, and his compatriot Stuart Appleby won't.4:38 p.m.  Not-so-fearless prediction: Allenby will win a major this year. (He at least warrants a mention among the best players never to have done so.)4:34 p.m.  Jim Gary catches up with Scott McCarron, who didn't exactly back down from his comments, but didn't repeat the "c-word" either. "I think [Phil and others] are taking unfair advantage of the rules," he said. "It sure looks bad." McCarron also said that he blames the Tour and Ping for not doing more to close the loophole. (I agree.) "I think this will be changed," McCarron said. "It won't be legal by the end of the year."4:29 p.mLefty rolls home a 5-foot tickler for par at the fifth. He's at 6-under.4:20 p.m.  Hank Haney's next project: Ray Romano. (You know, because his work with Sir Charles was such a smashing success.) I'd rather watch Haney straighten out these clowns:Nj 4:20 p.m.  Jim Gray chats with co-leader D.A. Points (-11), who said he just put a new TaylorMade driver in his bag. "I could not NOT hit it in the fairway," Points gushed. I know the feeling, D.A. Nothing better.    4:13 p.m.  "Hey, Scott McCarron," writes reader Brian, "Scoreboard, buddy. Seriously, how can it be
"cheating" if they are using a club that is specifically legal to play?"I'm with you, Brian, and my guess is McCarron will temper his comments when given a chance (he'll be mobbed by reporters after his round). Phil ain't "cheating." His wedge is legal. The issue some guys have is that it violates the "spirit" of the game. And you know golfers, they take their spirits seriously. BTW, McCarron is 1-under with one hole to play. He'll likely need a bird to play the weekend.

4:00 p.m.  Imada, the solo leader, is at 11-under through 16. Mickelson is six back. 3:58 p.m.  Kelly Tilghman asks Farmers CEO Bob Woudstra why his company decided to step in at the 11th hour and sponsor the event. Woudstra says lots of nice things but no mention of the fire-sale price his company likely scored.    3:53 p.m.  Great line from Scott Piercy after his blistering 8-under 64 on the North Course yesterday, a round that after seven birdies on the front side had him entertaining thoughts of golf’s Holy Grail. "I shoot 59 every day," Piercy mused. "I just have to keep on going, usually." Me, too. I get my dog at the turn and do it all over again. 3:49 p.m.  Phil misses his eagle try at No. 2 but cleans up his birdie. He's 6-under now, just four back of Imada and Points. 3:45 p.m.  A piece of tumbleweed just blew through the reader comments section. And is that a skull? C'mon, people, give me some chatter! 3:41 p.m.  Dang! Sir Nick said Phil is carrying a 6-degree driver. Six degrees. 3:40 p.m.  "C'mon, honey!" Lefty implores after ripping his drive on the short par-4 second. His ball hops onto the green but trickles back to the front edge. He'll have a looooong putt for eagle. 3:37 p.m.  No truth to the rumors that Tiger was scouting his peers from a glider yesterday, but a local strip joint did ensure that the golfer wasn’t forgotten. Soaring above Torrey Pines was a plane dragging a sign that read: “WE MISS YOU TIGER! DEJA VU SHOWGIRLS.” Can’t believe Golf Channel didn’t broadcast that. Infinitely more interesting than beauty shots of the Farmers blimp. The San Diego Union-Tribune asked Déjà Vu’s manager if Woods had ever been a customer. “Uh,” the manager replied. “I can’t say.” 3:32 p.m.  Ah, right on cue. Phil lips out a 10-foot birdie try at the first. He remains 5-under. 3:30 p.m.  Shocking dearth of Phil thus far in the telecast. C'mon, Golf Channel! Give us our Lefty! 3:29 p.m.  Back to the action ... upstart and local boy Rickie Fowler is at 8-under, two back of Imada and D.A. Points. (Shocked GC hasn't shown him yet.) Fowler made three birdies and no bogeys on the back nine of the South Course. Love to see him in the mix come Sunday, as would CBS.  3:23 p.m.  Do you care about the grooves flap? I suspect not. Sound off below...  3:20 p.m.  At the 2008 U.S. Open, one of the big story lines was Phil’s decision to play Torrey sans driver. (The strategy failed.) This week he’s playing the Pines with a legal yet spirit-of-the-game-desecrating Ping Eye 2 wedge that allows him to sidestep the new grooves mandate. A handful of other players (John Daly included) have gone the same route in recent weeks, but none has Phil’s clout. “As one of our premier players, he should be one of the guys who steps up and says this is wrong," McCarron carped. Added Robert Allenby: “Oh, he's [Phil] using one this week? Well, I have no comment there. I'll be a good boy." Ah, the no-comment comment. You gotta love Allenby. 3:13 p.m. Imada has gotten it to 10-under through 13. He's your solo leader. 3:12 p.m. Not sure who took more crap yesterday: Phil, for using a loophole-friendly Ping Eye 2 wedge ("It's cheating, and I'm appalled,” said Scott McCarron). Or SI’s Alan Shipnuck for live tweeting Phil’s round (“Unfortunately I have to slap your hand and ask that you stop,” — actual excerpt from an e-mail Shipnuck received from the Chinese gov, ahem, a Tour official). Shipnuck has since packed his bags (and PDA), but he vows to continue his illicit tweeting spree at Pebble, where he
’ll provide hole-by-hole updates of Kenny G. If the Tour revokes his credential, Shipnuck is threatening to tweet from a rowboat in Stillwater Cove. The man is incorrigible.
3:07 p.m. Actually, of the 10 players on the leaderboard at 7-under or better only one (Robert Allenby at -7) is playing the North Course. That bodes very well for the famously fast-starting Aussie. 3:03 p.m. Mickelson is 4-under through seven holes, just two shots above the projected cut. The good news for Golf Channel and CBS: Lefty's on the cream puff North Course, so you can expect him to reel off a few birds before day's end and get himself back into contention. Your leaders, Ryuji Imada and the ever-candid Tom Pernice Jr., are at 9-under. Both are on the South track. 3 p.m.   Welcome back to the inaugural week of's 2010 live tournament blog, a.k.a. Phil Watch. What’s that? You’re here for D.A. Points updates? I have the esteemed privilege of bringing you second-round action from the Farmers Insurance Open (yep, I’m kind of a big deal at Hold on to your hats. Away we go…

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