U.S. Open: Mickelson Surges with 66

Phil Mickelson is in a familiar position after two rounds at the U.S. Open–a step away from the top. The five-time U.S. Open runner up tamed Pebble Beach with a 5-under 66 on Friday, enough to push him to second place and two shots behind new leader Graeme McDowell, who fired a 68 for 143 two-day total.

Mickelson, who struggled with a 75 in the first round, is tied with Ernie Els, Ryo Ishikawa, and Dustin Johnson, who has won the last two PGA events held at Pebble Beach. Mickelson, who is bidding to capture his first U.S. Open title, made five birdies a day after missing all his birdie putts.

Tiger Woods, who won the U.S. Open in record-breaking fashion the last time it was held at Pebble Beach, remained over par after a round of 1-over 72. Woods, who made his first birdie of the tournament on No. 11, is seven shots off the lead going into the weekend, but he remained confident of his chances. “I just need to keep progressing and keep moving my way up the board,” said Woods, who is hoping to end a two-year drought at the majors.