Nowhere in sight, though, is one Tiger Woods, who struggled with his putter again and shot 70, falling 10 shots behind Mickelson.
Not surprisingly, Woods isn't happy about that.
Oddly, neither is Mickelson, who almost sounds like he's rooting for his longtime rival.
"It kind of (stinks)," Mickelson said. "I hope he comes out (Saturday) and plays a great round and makes a move."
It would have to be some kind of move from the world No. 1 if he's going to give Mickelson some competition this weekend.
Mickelson made six birdies and no bogeys on his final 14 holes on Friday. The three players he began the day tied with
- Prayad Marksaeng (70), Jeev Milkha Singh (71) and Retief Goosen (76) - all headed in the other direction, while Mickelson kept chipping it close and generally avoiding trouble.
Through two rounds, Mickelson has needed 42 putts. Padraig Harrington is next on that list, needing 47.
"I knew heading into this week I was playing well, and I'm excited for this weekend," Mickelson said. "But more than that, I can feel my game really coming around for the Masters."
Woods can't say the same. Not yet, anyway.
Now through two rounds of his first stroke-play event since winning the U.S. Open last summer, Woods is a mere 2-for-20 on putts of longer than 10 feet this week. He even had two putts lip out on his way to bogey at the 10th, his first time dropping a shot on a Doral par-5 in 63 attempts, a stretch that began in the second round of the 2005 Ford Championship.
That tournament is best remembered for the epic mano-a-mano duel between Woods and Mickelson in the final round, where Woods erased a two-shot deficit entering the day to win by one.
"What am I? Ten back? That's not a very good spot to be in," Woods said. "Hopefully, tomorrow I can shoot a good round and at least give myself somewhat of a chance going into Sunday."
Woods returned from knee surgery two weeks ago in match play, but this is his first stroke-play event since he won the U.S. Open last June, and it showed. It was the first time in his 19 starts at a WGC event that he has failed to break 70 the first two rounds.
And he has never been this low on the leaderboard at any time, let alone the weekend.