Little-known American Kyle Stanley birdied his final hole to grab a one-shot lead in Friday’s second round at the Farmers Insurance Open where fan favorite Phil Mickelson was the biggest name to miss the cut.
In light breezes and dazzling sunshine at Torrey Pines, the big-hitting Stanley carded a four-under-par 68 on the tricky South Course, one of two layouts hosting the fourth USPGA Tour event of the year.
Fellow American Brandt Snedeker was alone in second after firing a sizzling eight-under 64 on the easier North layout, with South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon (67) and American Martin Flores (67) a further stroke back at 12 under.
However, three-time champion Mickelson ended a disappointing week prematurely as his five-birdie 68 on the North Course was not good enough to help him make the cut.
The American left-hander had faced an uphill task coming into Friday’s second round after opening with a woeful 77 on Thursday.
“I don’t feel like there’s any one area that I feel bad about my game,” Mickelson told reporters after finishing at one-over 145.
Stanley, co-leader with compatriot Spencer Levin overnight, recovered from a double-bogey on his front nine to take control of the tournament with a seven-birdie display.
“I feel like I’ve got a pretty good game plan for this golf course and I just had to focus on executing that,” said Stanley, who covered his back nine in four-under 32.
Keegan Bradley, winner of last year’s PGA Championship, was at seven-under after carding a 68, one stroke better than world No. 9 Dustin Johnson (72).
Vijay Singh was at five-under, after following his opening 64 with a 75, while Ernie Els was at three-under after a 70.