PGA Tour: Phil Mickelson surges to Travelers Championship lead

At the Travelers Championship, Phil Mickelson is trying to win on the PGA Tour for the 45th time. Can he hold off the talented field?

Phil Mickelson celebrated his 50th birthday earlier this month. Now, he hopes to celebrate another PGA Tour win after he surged to the top of the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship on Friday.

Mickelson, who has won 44 times on the PGA Tour and is a future Hall of Famer, has not had the greatest season of his career in 2020. He has only one top 10 finish this season, which came at one of his favorite spots on tour, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. There, Mickelson tied for third.

Prior to this week, Mickelson had made just four cuts in 10 starts. In his only other start since the PGA Tour resumed, he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.

Friday did not start all that well for Lefty. He parred the first hole, they bogeyed number two, falling to 1-over par in the process.

Two more pars followed before Mickelson made his first birdie of the day, this one coming on the par-3 fifth hole. After a par on six, he birdied the seventh hole to get under par for the first time on his Friday round.

Mickelson would par number eight, then would birdie the ninth hole, giving him a 2-under par 33 on the front nine. Not his greatest nine holes, but a nice recovery for the veteran after a bad start.

On the back nine, Mickelson got started with a birdie on the 10th hole. He parred the next two holes before he got hot. He would birdie the 13th, 14th and 15th holes to move to 6-under par on the day and 12-under par, and tied for the lead, in the tournament.

Mickelson took the lead on his final hole of the day

Already at 12-under par for the tournament, he blistered a 314-yard drive. He stuck his short iron shot about three feet from the hole, then rolled the putt in to take the 36-hole lead.

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The leaderboard will have Mickelson, a tour veteran and multiple-time major champion, paired with relative unknown Will Gordon, who shot an 8-under par 62 on Friday or Mackenzie Hughes, who shot a 60 on Thursday. No matter which player is paired with Mickelson, the pair couldn’t be more different, yet they will be playing together in the final pairing on Saturday.

In a field with many of the world’s top players participating, Mickelson is trying to prove that he still has something left in the tank. A win at the Travelers would show just that.

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