Mickelson Surges to Second Round Lead at Travelers Championship
By Dave Shields
Phil Mickelson may have turned 50 last week, but he is playing as he did almost 20 years ago when he won his second straight Canon Greater Hartford Open (the old name of the Traveler’s) in 2002. Friday, Mickelson carded a 7-under 63 to take sole position of first place at 13-under at the 2020 Travelers at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.
After a bogey on the second hole, Mickelson was pretty much perfect with 8 birdies the rest of the way, including 5 on the back nine. He holds a one-shot lead over round one leader Mackenzie Hughes, who went 2-under today, and sponsors exemption Will Gordon, who had the round of the day, an 8-under 62.
“(Travelers tournament director) Nathan Grube and (executive vice president and chief administrative officer) Andy Bessette have had a long history of giving young guys opportunities, and last summer when I was up in Canada there was guys down here my age getting starts, and they were able to take advantage last summer and I was really excited and thankful to have the opportunity this year and looking forward to taking advantage and felt confident,” Gordon told the Middletown Press.
Gordon posted his low round early, and only one player, Mickelson, wound up better than him. The 23-year-old Gordon has never won on the tour and is ranked No. 560 in the world rankings.
There are a slew of players four shots back at 9-under, including Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Brendan Steele, Brendon Todd, and former winner here Marc Leishman.
Kevin Streelman, another former Traveler’s champion, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Na, Sung Kang, Zach Johnson, Viktor Hovland, Patton Kizzire, Abraham Ancer, Troy Merritt, Brian Stuard and Seong-Yul Noh are all at 8-under.
Among other big names, Dustin Johnson is 7-under, Sergio Garcia is 6-under, and former Traveler’s champion Jordan Spieth was 4-under. Spieth made the cut on the line. A few big names did not and were sent packing, including Justin Thomas (2-over), Tony Finau (3-under), Justin Rose (Even), and three-time winner Bubba Watson )3-under).