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Lefty finishes strong, holds 2-shot lead

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) Phil Mickelson birdied four of his last five holes Friday in the Desert Classic to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend in his first event of the year.

A day after matching his career-low score with 12-under 60 at La Quinta Country Club, the 48-year-old Mickelson had a 68 on PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under.

"I struck the ball every bit as well, I just didn't putt anywhere close to as well as I did yesterday," said Mickelson, the tournament winner in 2002 and 2004.

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