After long wait, Mickelson enjoys perfect conditions at Bethpage
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - On a muggy, muddy Friday that wrecked so many perfectly good shoes it had to be an Open record, Phil Mickelson was in a chipper mood after playing 29 holes, getting more than halfway through round two before the USGA suspended play because of darkness.
He signed several autographs before getting into a white van to be driven back to the clubhouse.
Players will resume play at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
"We got the good end of the tee times," Mickelson said after making seven birdies, four bogeys, a double bogey and 17 pars to sit at 1-under-par, five off Lucas Glover's lead and in a tie for 12th place. "We had some great conditions to play golf and make birdies."
Mickelson made light of the trying weather conditions, joking about the fact that he didn't even make it to the golf course before play was called Thursday. What did he do all day instead?
"I saw a movie, 'The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,'" he said. "I had already seen 'The Hangover.' Boy was that good. We went to Borders and picked up some books and DVDs and stuff. Oh, I went and worked out, too. Yeah, don't want to leave that one out."
As leisurely as Thursday was, Friday was all business as Mickelson went about trying to fill the most gaping hole in his resume and win his first Open title.
He missed three short putts to end his first round 69 on a sour note, and his second round got off to a sickening start when he blew his tee shot way left on the dogleg-left 2nd hole and made double-bogey 6.
But instead of falling apart, Phil bounced back with birdies on 5, 6 and 8 to get to 2-under overall.
"I thought I played very well," he said. "I struggled a bit on the greens but the last six or seven holes I started to turn it around. I think I'm striking the ball well but I just need to make a few more putts, and if that happens, I think I'll have a good chance on the weekend."
Mickelson's drive on 10 hung on the lip of a fairway bunker for an awkward stance. With his ball about even with his knees, he seemed torn between two clubs and, ever aggressive, finally went for the green only to see his ball end up way short, nestled in a patch of clumpy rough.
He could not get up and down and dropped to 1-under. He made a final par in the semi-darkness on 11, rapping in a testy three-footer with great pace.
"I don't feel tired," Mickelson said. "I want to play more golf because we have great conditions to play. It's not going to get any better. It's not going to get any easier than it is right now for us. We wanted to play as many holes as we could."