Mickelson kicks off the year by flirting with 59 at Desert Classic

Phil Mickelson flirts with 59 races to early lead at Desert Classic			Sam Greenwood  Getty Images

Phil Mickelson flirts with 59 races to early lead at Desert Classic Sam Greenwood Getty Images

One-time PGA Tour victor Adam Hadwin and long-time pro Steve Marino round out the top three at 13 under.

Adam Hadwin and Steve Marino were 13 under, and defending champion Jon Rahm was another stroke back.

The English ace made his first appearance of the year when he teed it up in the 60th edition of the tournament staged at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West, southeast of Los Angeles. This golf course, there's out of bounds close by, it's easy to make big mistakes and I was able to get away with the one or two poor swings.

"Once I got going I felt like I played really well", said Rose.

The 31-year-old shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to remain near the top of the leaderboard at the Desert Classic.

Phil Mickelson has opened the Desert Classic with the second-lowest 36-hole score of his career, and yet he still feels uncomfortable.

Luck has matched matched Mickelson with a tournament-leading 16 birdies, but both players will play the final two round on the tougher PGA West Stadium Course. He added a birdie on the par-4 ninth for a front-nine 30, and birdied the par-4 10th, par-5 11th, par-5 13th and par-4 14th, holing a chip from in front of the 14th green.

"I'm starting to drive the ball a lot longer and straighter than I have in a while and so that sets up nicely for that course", Mickelson said. "I had a decent lie after dropping off the cart path, but I had the ball a little bit below my feet and a slight uphill lie, which the tendency on those shots is to pull it and I just didn't adjust for that very well and I pulled it right in the water". "I putted really good". He won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship a year ago for his 43rd PGA Tour title and first since the 2013 British Open.

"I was giving it all I had and I had a good chance", Mickelson said. "I just have to keep that going the next couple of days".

LPGA: In Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Brooke Henderson played bogey free on her way to a 4-under 67 and a two-shot lead after the second round of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, the winners-only start to the LPGA Tour season.

World number one Justin Rose also improved to move into a tie for 28th at eight under following back-to-back 68s. He's the first No. 1 player to play the tournament since the world ranking began in 1986.

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