SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler overcame some bad shots for a share of the lead Thursday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Phil Mickelson compounded his mistakes and fell back.

After an hour-long frost delay at chilly TPC Scottsdale, Fowler played the first six holes in 5 under. A group behind, Mickelson took the lead at 5 under with a birdie on his eighth hole.

While Fowler finished with a 6-under 65 to tie Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama for the lead in the suspended first round, Mickelson had a 69 after dropping four strokes in a two-hole stretch.

“I made some good putts to start,” Fowler said. “Just kind of got everything going. Made a couple of bad swings. Cost me a little bit, but other than that, nice way to get off to a good start.”

Mickelson bogeyed the par-3 fourth after hitting short and right and failing to reach the green with his second, and unraveled with a triple bogey on the par-4 fifth. He drove out of bounds to the right, hit his second tee shot into the right bunker and three-putted from 50 feet.

“I hit a bad shot at the wrong time,” Mickelson said. “It’s the tightest hole out there. You miss the fairway 5 yards left, you’re in the wash, in the hazard. You miss it right of the bunker, you’re out of bounds. … I’m not going to dwell on the one bad one because there were really a lot of good ones.”

The best one was on the par-5 13th – his fourth hole of the day – when he hit a 252-yard hybrid approach to 21/2 feet to set up an eagle.

Winless in 48 events since the 2013 British Open, the 45-year-old former Arizona State player is working with swing coach Andrew Getson after splitting with Butch Harmon. Lefty tied for third two weeks ago at La Quinta in his season debut and missed the cut last week at Torrey Pines.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Rory McIlroy started the defense of his Dubai Desert Classic title in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a bogey but battled back to post a 4-under 68, leaving him two shots off the lead.

McIlroy bogeyed two of the easiest holes on the course – the par-5 10th, which was his first hole, and the driveable par-4 second – but also had six birdies to put him close behind leader Alex Noren of Sweden.

Ernie Els, the most successful player in the history of the tournament with three titles and eight other top-10 finishes, matched McIlroy’s 68.

LPGA: Lydia Ko played enough golf to catch up to the lead in Ocala, Florida.

She just didn’t play enough to finish the rain-delayed second round of the Coates Golf Championship.

Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf making her 2016 debut, was 4-under par for her round and had a 15-foot birdie putt on her final hole at the par-4 ninth hole at Golden Ocala when the horn sounded to stop play because of thunderstorms in the area.

Ko was 7 under for the tournament, tied with Ha Na Jang.


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