LA JOLLA, United States: Harris English fired a six under par 66 on Friday to grab a two stroke lead at the Farmers Insurance Open, as five time major winner Phil Mickelson joined Tiger Woods on the sidelines.
English had six birdies and no bogeys on the North Course at Torrey Pines, the easier of the two layouts used in the first two rounds of the $6.3 million US PGA Tour event.
The final two rounds will be played on the tougher South Course, but neither Woods nor Mickelson will be there.
Former world number one Woods hobbled off with an aching back after 11 holes of his opening round on Thursday, while Mickelson posted a 72 on the North Course to miss the cut.
English, a two time winner on the US tour, leads the weekend charge with a 10-under total of 134. American Nick Watney fired a 65 to head a group on 136 that also includes Scotland’s Martin Laird, who posted a 68, and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas, who signed for a 69.
Nicholas Thompson, who led the first round with a 64, carded a 73 and was alone in fifth on 137.
Australia’s Jason Day and England’s Ian Poulter headlined a group of 10 players tied for sixth on 138.
The first round was completed Friday morning after fog delays totaling more than two hours on Thursday.
English opened his second round with a birdie at the par-five first of the North Course and after five pars picked up another stroke at the seventh.
The 25 year old also birdied the par five ninth and the 10th then added two more birdies at 14 and 17.