Mickelson 1 stroke back after career day at Pebble Beach Pro

Mickelson 1 stroke back after career day at Pebble Beach Pro

Brian Gay and Scott Langley each had a 64 at Monterey for a one-shot lead to par on the three-course rotation Thursday.

A friendly, needling inquisitor also reminded Mickelson that the soft, wet nature of the course made fairways play wider than they typically do at the Monterey Peninsula.

The Portrush star (39) produced some vintage iron play just four months before he returns to the Monterey Peninsula for another US Open tilt.

Defending champion Ted Potter, Jr., who held off Johnson, Day, Mickelson and Chez Reavie to win by three a year ago, shot 82 at Spyglass Hill.

Who had a lousy day? He shot a 2-over 73 at Monterey, which was almost five higher than the scoring average on that track.

Stat of the day: It was a day of numbers for Mickelson, apparently.

Nine players were a single shot back on five under, including South Africa's Branden Grace, who played the Pebble Beach course. All four players return to Pebble along with numerous game's best, including Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Jason Day. "I've always enjoyed this course and had a number of good rounds here".

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Ho Sung update: The people's champ got an early fist bump from Aaron Rodgers, but his 1-over 72 at easy Monterey did not play well.

Potter beat Johnson by three shots. Thankfully we'll get to see his theatrics on Saturday at Pebble, but we might not get to see them on Sunday.

Spieth, who hasn't won since the 2017 Open Championship and hasn't had a top-20 since last year's Open Championship, took advantage of the pleasant conditions and made birdie on two of his final three holes to move up the leaderboard.

"I think that one of the rule changes that came about where you can fix some areas of the green that were caused by other players made a big difference in this tournament for everybody, because around the hole you can smooth out some of the spike marks and indentations".

What to watch on Day 2: Which of the four superstars at or near the top hangs on at Spyglass?

The former world number one triumphed 11 times on the PGA Tour before turning 24 but is coming off the first disappointing year of his career.

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