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"I was a little more cautious today because I didn't want to make too many big mistakes," Mickelson said. "I want to work my way into the tournament. (Jack) Nicklaus used to talk about that in majors, that he wanted to try to progress as the week went along, and I didn't want to try to come out and win the tournament on Thursday, because it's just not possible.
"I'm hoping I play better tomorrow and shoot a low score on the North, good enough to get myself in contention for the weekend."
Mickelson had a pair of bogeys from the fairway bunkers, and a three-putt bogey on the 10th. What helped was his exceptional play on the par 5s. He reached three of them with his second shot to set up two-putt birdies.
The other came on the 614-yard ninth.
Mickelson watched his drive sail way to the left, over a green-mesh fence along the fairway. He hit a provisional tee shot, then had a rules official meet him at the fence. Sure enough, his ball landed in a makeshift parking lot outside the Scripps medical clinic. Because the parking lot is considered a temporary immovable obstruction, he was given a free drop, and ultimately made a 12-foot birdie putt.
He sure wasn't thinking birdie as his tee shot cleared the fence.
"Probably unlikely, I would say," Mickelson said, grinning. "I've been over there before, and I had a pretty good idea that the parking lot was a temporary immovable obstruction. So I was able to get relief."
More relief should come Friday on the North Course, which played more than 2 1/2 shots easier.
DIVOTS: Rickie Fowler, who missed the cut in his first two starts, opened with a 67 on the North Course. ... John Daly, whose last victory came at Torrey Pines in 2004, failed to make a birdie on the South Course and shot a 79. ... Tim Herron, who lost his card this year and is trying to Monday qualify or get exemptions, got into his first tournament when John Senden withdrew. He shot 71 on the South.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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