The hole Phil Mickelson considered the most important in the second round of his PGA Tour Champions career was not any of the eight he birdied but rather the only one on which he made bogey.
He was 5 under after the front nine Tuesday at Ozarks National when he hit driver at the par-4 10th.
The ball wound up in such heavy rough that Mickelson couldn't find it, forcing him to take a penalty stroke. He still wound up making a long putt to salvage bogey, and that gave him some momentum for the rest of the round.
"I was able to get right back to even par on the back side with a birdie on the next hole, and then I made a couple more coming in," said Mickelson, whose 7-under 64 left him 17 under.
That was good for a four-shot lead over Tim Petrovic and Rod Pampling, who will be his playing partners for the final round.
"I've been putting really well," Mickelson said. "Today I didn't drive it the way I've been driving it. I kind of a hung a few drives, so I'm going to the range and try to work on that now. But when I come out tomorrow I'll try to be a little bit more aggressive with the driver and see if I can make a few more birdies." A few more? He's already made 19 of them in his first 36 holes.