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Golf: Mickelson storms home for six-stroke Phoenix lead

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Phil Mickelson birdied his last four holes en route to a seven-under 64 Saturday to grab a six-stroke 54-hole lead in the US PGA Tour $6.2 million Phoenix Open.

Mickelson, who flirted with a 59 before settling for a first-round 60 and carded a second-round 65 that was marred by a double bogey at 18, had no late lapse on Saturday.

After two birdies on the front nine, he added another at the par-five 13th, then stormed home with birdies at 15, 16, 17 and 18.

His 24-under par total of 189 put him six strokes in front of fellow American Brandt Snedeker, who had six birdies in his six-under 65 for 195.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington climbed up the leaderboard with an eight-under 63 for 197, tied with American Ryan Moore (65).

Harrington's round included seven birdies and an eagle at the par-five 15th, where he bombed his drive 333 yards and his approach left him a nine-footer.

The Irishman, who started the nine shots off the pace, got hot early with birdies at the first three holes and another at the fifth.

"I felt good about my game," Harrington said. "I birdied four of the first five holes. I created a lot of chances after that all the way through.

"I could look at it and say I should have made a few more, but there's a lot of good things in my game. I saw a lot of positive things about it. When you're seeing that you're prepared to be a little more patient."

After nabbing his eagle, Harrington got into the spirit of things at the par-three 16th, drop-kicking a few American footballs into the large and raucous crowd.

Mickelson gave the fans at the par-three an even bigger thrill when his tee shot hit the green and took a little hop before rolling to within three feet to leave him a tap-in for birdie.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130202/golf-mickelson-storms-home-six-stroke-phoenix-lead