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Mickelson wild but shares lead

LOS ANGELES — One shot clipped an ash tree for Phil Mickelson. Another landed behind a Bottle Brush, blocking his path to the 10th green at Riviera. On another hole, Mickelson had to thread a 9-iron through the limbs of five eucalyptus trees.

So when he walked to the gallery to find his tee shot on the 15th hole and saw a man flat on his back, Mickelson assumed the worst — "It wouldn't be the first time, so I thought for sure I took him out," Mickelson said.

Instead, the spectator was being still because the ball was inside the hem of his shorts.

Despite all of these adventures, Mickelson shot 1-under 70 Saturday to share the lead with PGA champion Keegan Bradley in the Northern Trust Open.

"This was a great round for me because I did not play well, and I shot 1-under par and I'm atop the leaderboard," Mickelson said.

Bradley took only five putts over the last five holes, including a 10-footer for par on the last hole for 66 and his best chance at a win since he captured the PGA Championship in August.

What made the par so meaningful was getting a chance to play with Mickelson, whom he considers a mentor.

"He's a very competitive guy, but he's very helpful at the same time," Bradley said. "But he's going to try to beat me (today), and I'm going to have to try to do the same."

The leaders were at 7-under 206, one shot ahead of Pat Perez (70), Jonathan Byrd (69) and Bryce Molder (66).

LPGA: Ai Miyazato shot 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Yani Tseng after the third round of the LPGA Thailand in Chonburi. Miyazato was at 14-under 202 total. Second-round leader Karrie Webb (71) and Jiyai Shin (68) were two strokes back. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (72) was at 212.

PERRY SETS MARK: Kenny Perry shot 10-under 62 and set the tour's 36-hole scoring record at 18-under 126 in the second round of the ACE Group Classic in Naples. "It's a neat accomplishment," Perry said. "It's just amazing I can make 20 birdies in 36 holes. That's just phenomenal." Tom Lehman was second, four shots back.

wright wins: Australia's Lindsey Wright birdied the par-5 18th for 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory in the New Zealand Women's Open, an event sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf. Lydia Ko, 14, shot 74 to tie for 17th. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse tied for 28th at 1-under 215.

Mickelson wild but shares lead 02/18/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:36pm]

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