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Mickelson roars to the front at Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Phil Mickelson birdied half the holes on the course Friday and vaulted into a four-shot lead at the halfway point of the Northern Trust Open in California.

Mickelson shot a 7-under 64 at the Riviera Country Club -- the low round of the tournament so far -- for a 36-hole total of 10-under 132. He has made 14 birdies during the first two rounds.

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Robert Allenby and Jeff Quinney shared second place at 136 with Scott McCarron, Chad Campbell, Scott Verplank, Billy Mayfair and Vaughn Taylor all at 137.

First-round leader K.J. Choi was among those at 138, having shot a 2-over 73 Friday. FedEx Cup points leader J.B. Holmes, who defeated Mickelson in a sudden death playoff in Arizona two weeks ago, made the cut with a 2-under 140.

Six players were unable to finish play before dark and will complete their rounds early Saturday. None had a chance to impact the leaderboard.

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Mickelson is appearing in his fourth consecutive tournament. After falling to Holmes in the playoff, he missed the cut last week at Pebble Beach.

He opened his round Friday with a birdie and also birdied his final two holes.

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