Mickelson stretches lead

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Apphilmickelson1.jpg' class='caption'> Phil Mickelson shot a 65 as he continued to attack the Tournament Players Club at a record pace in the BellSouth Classic on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Phil Mickelson shot a 65 as he continued to attack the Tournament Players Club at a record pace in the BellSouth Classic. He was 7 under in the second round to set a tournament record for 36 holes at 16-under 128 on Friday. This came a day after matching the course record with a first-round 63. Mickelson said his emphasis was to carry some steam into the Masters next week. He said he isn't thinking about setting a US PGA scoring record. "The course is continually getting more difficult, I think that's unrealistic," Mickelson said. Numbers crunch The US PGA record for most strokes under par through four rounds on a par-72 course is 29 under by Joe Durant in the 2001 Bob Hope Classic. Mickelson is on pace to finish at 32-under 256. The US PGA record low total for 72 holes is 254 by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Texas Open. "I think at the moment Phil is the only one really doing the fireworks," said Jose Maria Olazabal, who shot an 8-under 64 in the second round. "I think he's the one that really maybe has that record in his sight". Chasing the leader Those chasing Mickelson, including Olazabal, seemed to feel that the tournament's defending champ was distancing himself from the field in Tiger-like fashion. Even with an impressive two-day total of 135, Olazabal still trails Mickelson by seven strokes. "It's going to be very difficult for anybody to catch him unless we play some really awesome golf on the weekend," Olazabal said. Matching strokes JJ Henry matched Mickelson's 65 to move into second at 134 on Friday. The total would have led in five of the previous nine years. Instead, Henry is six shots off Mickelson's lead. Gavin Coles of Australia was 3 over through six holes before recovering for a 72. Coles is fourth at 136, followed by Charles Warren, Jonathan Byrd and Shane Bertsch in a three-way tie for fifth. Duffy Waldorf shot a 66 and is 6 under at 138. South African Rory Sabbatini, the tour's leading money winner this season, missed the cut at 1 over. (AP)

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