Bradley Tied for 3rd in Ariz.
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Phil Mickelson made a mess of his final hole in the second round of the Phoenix Open, costing him another shot at history.
A day after his putt for a 59 curled 180 degrees and stay out, Lefty missed a chance to break the PGA Tour’s 36-hole scoring record yesterday when he finished with a double bogey.
“You always remember kind of the last hole, the last putt,” Mickelson said. “But I think it’s very possible that’s going to help me because it’s got me refocused, that I cannot ease up on a single shot. I’ve got to be really focused. These guys are going to make a lot of birdies and I’ve got to get after it and cannot make those kinds of mistakes.”
Mickelson followed his opening 60 with a 65 to reach 17-under 125, a stroke off the tour record for the first two rounds of a tournament set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic and matched by David Toms at Colonial in 2011.
His drive on No. 18 bounced into the left-side water hazard and, after a penalty drop, he still had a chance to get up down for par and the record.
But he didn’t get enough on his approach shot, with the ball landing on the green and rolling off the front edge. His chip got away from him a bit, running 7 feet past, and his bogey putt slid by to the left, leaving him with a share of the Phoenix Open 36-hole record set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001.
The double bogey left him four strokes ahead of Bill Haas and five in front of Woodstock, Vt., native Keegan Bradley and Brandt Snedeker. Haas shot a 64, Bradley 63, and Snedeker 66.
Mickelson will play alongside Haas and Bradley in the third round.
Mickelson, the winner at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005, parred the first six holes and played the next 11 in 8 under before the lapse on 18.
The 42-year-old former Arizona State star made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth — the hole where he missed the putt for a 59 on Thursday — and overpowered the par-5 15th for an eagle, hitting to 4 feet after a 358-yard drive.
Bradley also eagled the 15th, hitting a 350-yard drive and a 7-iron approach to 8 feet.
“I just smashed a driver down there,” Bradley said. “I had been hitting 3-wood and I’m driving the ball so well that I just decided to rip driver down there.”
He birdied the 16th, hitting to 5 feet.
“It reminds me of when I go to Fenway Park,” Bradley said. “There’s always like a murmur. ... It’s really cool. I dig it. I wish there was more holes like that out here.”
He birdied Nos. 5-8 on his back nine, holing putts of 10 15, 20 and 8 feet.
“It was such a relief to shoot a good number,” Bradley said. “I’ve been playing so well this whole year and haven’t made many putts. Today, the putts started to go in.”
Red Sox Add First Baseman
Boston — The Boston Red Sox signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract, an official with knowledge of the deal said.
If he makes the Boston roster out of spring training, Overbay would share duties with Mike Napoli.
Overbay is a career .270 hitter with 133 homers and 581 RBIs in a 12-year career with the Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Pirates.
Yanks Add Hafner
New York — Travis Hafner and the New York Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn up to $4 million more in bonuses based on plate appearances.
Limited by injuries the past five seasons, the 35-year-old gives the Yankees a designated hitter with power potential from the left side of the plate. He essentially takes over the role filled last season by Raul Ibanez, who signed a $2.75 million, one-year deal with Seattle in December.
Hafner played in only 66 games for Cleveland last year because of knee and back problems and hit .228 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in 263 at-bats. The Indians declined a $13 million option, electing to pay him a $2.75 million buyout.
U.S. Takes Davis Cup Lead
Jacksonville, Fla. — John Isner and Sam Querrey each won their matches yesterday to give the United States a 2-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup.
Isner earned a straight-set win over Brazil’s Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Isner’s win came two hours after Querrey earned a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Thomaz Bellucci.
The United States is one win away from advancing. Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s No. 1 ranked doubles team, will take on Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares today, followed by tomorrow’s reverse singles.
Taking 2-0 leads in other first-round series were: Serbia (over Belgium), France (over Israel), Kazakhstan (over Austria) and Argentina (over Germany). Tied 1-1 were Switzerland-Czech Republic and Croatia-Italy. The other series is Canada vs. Spain.
Placed on Leave
New York — NBA players put union chief Billy Hunter on an indefinite leave yesterday, two weeks after a report they commissioned questioned Hunter’s leadership and criticized him for bad decisions and questionable business practices.
The union is forming an interim executive committee and an advisory committee, the group’s president, Derek Fisher, said in a statement released yesterday. An outside attorney is also being hired as players begin moving forward, likely without the man who has guided them since 1996.
Hunter’s attorney responded that the actions weren’t allowable under NBPA rules, setting up the possibility of a Hunter fight to keep to his job.
Fisher pushed for the outside review of Hunter and the union. That examination by a New York law firm found no illegal use of funds but cited Hunter for a number of poor choices and recommended players discuss whether he should remain in charge during their All-Star weekend meetings.
“Because of the unusual circumstances at the union, a result of mismanagement extensively documented by the Paul, Weiss report, the committees have decided to take immediate actions that allow them to assess the situation fully and build a stronger, more effective organization that better represents their membership,” the statement released through Fisher’s publicist said.
Released Jan. 17 after an eight-month review, the report found that Hunter was aware his $3 million per year contract was never properly approved. It also criticized his hiring of family members and friends, and said there were other conflicts of interests he should have avoided.