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Sports

August 31, 2013

Mickelson's star power shines brightest

NORTON — Phil Mickelson keeps saying how much he loves playing with Tiger Woods. He shot 63 at the Deutsche Bank Championship to prove it.

In a feature grouping of the top three players in the world ranking, Mickelson turned in the star performance Friday morning with a 28 that allowed him to consider — but only briefly — another shot at 59.

By the end of the day, when he played a risky shot from deep in the trees on his final hole to salvage bogey, he was happy to have a share of the lead. Mickelson was tied with Brian Davis, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole to join him at 8-under 63.

“What Phil did today was pretty impressive,” Woods said after a 68 that only seemed worse considering the company he kept.

Masters champion Adam Scott, rounding out the 1-2-3 pairing, struggled to a 73 and joked later that he rolled out of the wrong side of the bed. “I wish could have gotten in their jet stream,” Scott said.

Mickelson did everything right.

He started his round on the TPC Boston by making birdie putts of 20 feet on No. 10 and 30 feet on No. 11. He ended the front nine with five straight birdies, only the second nine-hole score of 28 on the PGA Tour this year. And even after a bogey from the bunker on No. 1, he hit a 6-iron from 213 yards that settled just more than a foot away for eagle on the next hole. That put him at 8 under for his round with seven holes to play.

“It was a good start,” Mickelson said. “I got off to a great front nine and somewhat stalled on the back. But after shooting 7 under the first nine, it was going to be a good round as long as I didn’t mess it up.”

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