Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm both played solid round twos at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mickelson one-under par (-4) and Rahm two-under (-3) on the day. However, neither Sun Devil Alumni made any moves to put them close to a packed leaderboard led by Byeong Hun An and Brendan Steele at nine-under.
Mickelson started his round on fire making consecutive birdies at Nos. 17, 18, 1, and another on No. 3 to spark his round. He started in the morning wave on No. 10 at 3-under and bogeyed the 14th hole before finding his rhythm.
He then went on to bogey the 4th, 8th and 9th holes to finish the day at four-under, six shots back of the lead.
Mickelson is making his 28th consecutive appearance at TPC Scottsdale for this event. He has won it three times, but has never come back from six shots back of the lead to do it. He is looking to become the first four-time champion.
Rahm teed off in the marquee threesome for the second day in a row; with Jordan Spieth and Ricky Fowler, right off the bat at 7:30 a.m. He didn’t skip a beat birdieing the 4th and 6th holes, shooting the front-nine -2.
On the back-nine Rahm birdied twice (the 13th and 17th) and bogeyed twice (the 10th and 14th,) finishing his day at two-under and seven shots off the lead.
Nine golfers failed to finish their first rounds on Thursday, including ASU alumni Pat Perez who withdrew before competition began. One-under is the cut and the third round will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
If you’re looking to see an ASU alumni come out on top it’s definitely not too late, we’ve seen Phil pull off comebacks like this throughout his career and Rahm is just starting out, but he’s beyond capable.