Phil Mickelson is sitting alone atop the Travelers Championship after a second round 63 at TPC River Highlands while playing in a featured group with Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.
“I made some strides in the sense that I didn’t try to go toe-to-toe with two of the longest guys in the game, Bryson and Rory,” Mickelson said. “I ended up hitting some 3-woods on some of those holes because it fit my game better, and fortunately I made a couple of birdies.”
Phil takes the lead. Bryson wows with driver. Rory and DJ contending on the weekend.
This is Mickelson second start in three weeks after playing at Colonial and skipping last week at the RBC Heritage.
“I came out of Colonial and actually I felt like I was pretty close,” Mickelson said. “I was able to get a little work done last week and had a really good session, again, with Andrew earlier in the week and we kind of keyed in on something that made it — just kind of calm me down and felt like I could strike it a little bit better. So I started to hit some much better shots, my misses have been better. It’s only two rounds, but it’s been very positive.”
Mickelson is playing in his first event since turning 50 and is the first 50-year old to hold the lead at the halfway point of an event since Fred Couples at the 2012 Masters according to espn.com.
McIlroy followed up his opening round 63 with a 68.
“I didn’t quite have it like I had yesterday, “Mcilroy said. “But I felt like the course was a little trickier this afternoon than we had it yesterday morning. The wind was swirling a little bit. Greens were getting a little firmer.”
Justin Thomas was one of the betting favorites going into the week at TPC River Highlands, but he struggled through the first two rounds and missed the cut.
Collin Morikowa had never missed a cut as a PGA TOUR professional, but his streak of 22 straight cuts made came to an end at the Travelers Championship. Morikowa’s run was the longest streak since Tiger Woods began his PGA Tour career with 25 consecutive cuts made.
“It was bound to happen at some point,” Morikowa said. “Who knows when that was going to be. But now I guess we’re going to stop talking about it and I can go and just go on to next week. I’m going to learn a lot from this week.”
There have now been seven COVID-19-related withdrawals as Denny McCarthy had a positive test and Bud Cauley who tested negative but decided to pull out after playing alongside McCarthy in the first round both withdrew on Friday.