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Mickelson stays hot, leads Northern Trust

Phil Mickelson, playing in the afternoon after winds die slightly, lines up a putt on the second hole. A 35-foot birdie chip-in on 18 gives him a first-round 66 and one-shot lead.

Associated Press

Phil Mickelson, playing in the afternoon after winds die slightly, lines up a putt on the second hole. A 35-foot birdie chip-in on 18 gives him a first-round 66 and one-shot lead.

LOS ANGELES — Four days after a big win at Pebble Beach, Phil Mickelson continued rolling.

Mickelson chipped in from 35 feet for birdie on the 18th hole at Riviera on Thursday for 5-under 66, taking a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Northern Trust Open.

"It wasn't one I was really trying to make," he said. "It was quick, it was downhill, and I had to play about 4 or 5 feet of break, so it's not one that you're trying to get aggressive with. I was trying to get good speed and try to let it feed with the break, and I got fortunate, obviously, that it went in."

J.B. Holmes, in his fourth tourney since returning from brain surgery, mixed birdies and bogeys along his back nine and shot 67. He was with Hunter Mahan, who birdied four straight toward the end of his round. All played in the afternoon as the wind died slightly in the PGA Tour event.

Jonathan Byrd (68) had the best score of the morning, when it was chilly and blustery.

Dating to the back nine of his second round at Pebble Beach last week, Mickelson has made birdie or eagle on one-third of his holes. His streak of holes without a bogey ended at 49 on the par-3 16th Thursday.

Daly injures elbow as Palm Harbor event nears

NEW DELHI — John Daly said he may have torn ligaments in his right elbow when he played a shot during the first round at the Avantha Masters on the European Tour.

It's unclear how the injury will affect his participation in the Transitions Championship, March 15-18 at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. Daly was scheduled to get a sponsor's exemption to the Transitions, where he has been a fan favorite in the past.

He shot 7-over 79, and planned to return home for X-rays.

LPGA: Ai Miyazato shot 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Thailand in Pattaya. The 2010 champion from Japan opened with birdie and had four more on a warm and humid day.

American Paula Creamer had a hole-in-one on the 146-yard 12th hole, hitting a 7-iron that one-hopped into the cup. She's five back.

Brittany Lincicome of Seminole is in a nine-way tie for ninth at 70.

Karrie Webb, Na Yeon Choi, Se Ri Pak, Amy Yang and Anna Nordqvist were at 68.

"It was a really, really long day for me because of the temperature," said Miyazato, who was playing in her first LPGA event of the year. "I felt really calm this morning, so I could control myself really well.''

Around golf: Annika Soren­stam turned down a chance to be captain for Europe in the 2013 Solheim Cup against the United States because of time constraints. "the Solheim Cup has been an important part of my career, and I hope to one day lead the European team," she said. … Paul Casey will not return for the Match Play championship because of a shoulder injury he sustained while snowboarding. George Coetzee will take his spot in the 64-man field next week in Arizona. Casey hopes to return in March for the Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Mickelson stays hot, leads Northern Trust 02/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:07pm]
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