Snedeker leads by three strokes

  • Safeway Open
- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, San Francisco

Oct 7, 2018-

Brandt Snedeker may not think much of Phil Mickelson’s talent-judging skills, but he’s convinced ‘Lefty’ can keep his job on the PGA tour for a few more years.

Mickelson told Snedeker heading into the 2018 Safeway Open that he had low expectations for the season-opening tournament because he was hitting the ball so poorly — and then went out and blasted a first-round 65. The 48-year-old Mickelson followed that up with a stellar 69 on Friday. He is sitting just three strokes back of Snedeker who leads at the halfway point with a 13-under 131 after carding a second-round 65.

“I texted him. I gave him a hard time because he told me he’s playing terrible and then he goes out and shoots six birdies in a row,” Snedeker said. “I said, ‘Really, you are a great judge of talent.’” Mickelson was tied for second at 10 under with fellow Americans Michael Thompson (65) and Ryan Moore, who shot his second straight 67 in Napa, California.

Snedeker drained eight birdies including three in a row starting at the par-four fourth hole. He finished 2017-18 with added confidence after shooting a 59 in August en route to capturing the Wyndham Championship for his ninth title on the US Tour. Most of the game’s biggest names are taking time off after the rigors of the FedEx Cup playoffs and won’t return until January.

First round leader Sepp Straka of Australia shot an even-par 72 and was tied for fifth with Im Sung-Jae (69) and Kevin Tway (67). England’s Danny Willett, Scotland’s Russell Knox and American’s Scott Piercy and 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner missed the cut.

Published: 07-10-2018 08:13

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