How it Happened: Mickelson leads Wells Fargo

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

The conditions on Thursday led to low scores, including the likes of Nick Watney and Rory McIlroy firing 5-under 67s to sit in a seven-way tie for the lead.

Play saw Phil Mickelson take charge Friday, saying softer conditions on the greens enabled aggressive scoring.

McIlroy followed with a 71 earlier today that still has him in the hunt.

Here's how events unfolded during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship – and scroll down for previous coverage as well.

• • •

Update #36 7:56 p.m. EDT

The cut lands on 2 over, with 83 players making it to weekend play. Some notables who didn't make it:

  • Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters champion, 4 over.
  • Bill Haas, 2011 FedEx Cup champion, 5 over
  • Morgan Hoffmann, coming off a strong showing last week, 7 over
  • Padraig Harrington, two-time British Open champ who anchored his putter this week, 11 over

• • •

Update #35 7:14 p.m. EDT

The projected cut line has moved to 2 over, which is good news for late finishers Will Claxton, Hunter Haas and Kevin Sutherland – all on that mark.

• • •

Update #34 7:07 p.m. EDT

Among those finishing their rounds late and making the cut: Patrick Reed and Peter Tomasulo finish at even par through two rounds to make it to the weekend, while Jonathan Byrd and Josh Teater survive at 1 over.

• • •

Update #33 6:39 p.m. EDT

Derek Ernst and Robert Garrigus are, unfortunately, moving the wrong way. Ernst is bogey-par in his last two holes, Garrigus bogey-bogey to fall to T-5 at 6 under and T-10 at 5 under, respectively, for the week.

Will Claxton moves inside the cut line, getting to 1 under with three holes left in his day.

• • •

Update #32 6:17 p.m. EDT

The cut line seems fairly well settled at 1 over. Here are the players still on the course around that mark:

  • Even par: Jonathan Byrd, Patrick Reed, Kevin Sutherland, Peter Tomasulo.
  • 1 over: Bobby Gates, Brandt Jobe, Hunter Haas, Kelly Mitchum.
  • 2 over: Will Claxton, Jeff Gove.
  • 3 over: Donald Comstable, Jim Herman, Justin Hicks, Michael Letzig, Joey McLister

• • •

Update #31 6:06 p.m. EDT

Leader Phil Mickelson says the soft conditions take some of the teeth out of the Quail Hollow Club layout.

"They're slower, so we can be much more aggressive," Mickelson told the Golf Channel. "Plus I've made a concerted effort to leave myself uphill putts, which allows me to take a lot of the break out and hit it aggressively. Not that you can't make them going downhill, because the threat of running it way by isn't that great."

It also affects approach shots and enables players to go at the pin.

"On this course, there's a lot of pins that have repelling, where around the pins if you miss it just a little bit, it will kick the ball away – like the front left pin on 18 that we'll probably see on Sunday. A lot of the pins are like that here. And so when the greens are firm and fast, you have to respect that, and play a lot of times 20-30 feet away. With the greens being softer, we're able to fly it at the hole and stop it.

Mickelson said his best shot came at No. 14, his second shot from the bunker.

"I had to spin that ball and just to the right and past the hole where I wanted to spin it, it actually started going away. And it was hard to get it to come back up that slope a little bit."

• • •

Update #30 5:51 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson gives himself a 12 footer for birdie on the 18th, but it slides by on the high side. He heads to the clubhouse at 9 under with a two-stroke lead after a second-round 67. Playing partner Nick Watney finishes in the T-2 group at 7 under along with Derek Ernst, Scott Gardiner and Robert Garrigus.

Rickie Fowler finishes with a par to make the cut and head into Saturday's third round at even par.

• • •

Update #29 5:37 p.m. EDT

Defending champion Rickie Fowler moves dangerously close to the cut line with a bogey at the 17th. It looks like 1 over will make the cut, so only a disaster would send Fowler home early.

Leader Phil Mickelson converts a sand save for par to remain 9 under and two ahead of Derek Ernst, Scott Gardiner, Robert Garrigus and Nick Watney, with only Gardiner in the clubhouse.

• • •

Update #28 5:21 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson's lead grows to two shots as he pars the 16th – narrowly missing a birdie putt – and Robert Garrigus bogeys the 12th to fall to T-2 with Derek Ernst, Scott Gardiner and Nick Watney. Ernst followed his bogey at the 9th with a par at the 10th, while Watney has carded four straight pars.

• • •

Update #27 5:05 p.m. EDT

Robert Garrigus' birdie at the 11th, his second in a row, moves him even with Phil Mickelson; the co-leaders are 8 under and a stroke ahead of Scott Gardiner and Nick Watney.

But Mickelson quickly moves out in front again, birdieing the par-5 15th after getting near the green in two, wedging to about 2 feet and sinking the putt. He's now 9 under.

• • •

Update #26 4:53 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson drives it within about 50 yards of the green on the short par-4 14th, finding a bunker – he hits a nifty, spin-loaded bunker shot to about 5 feet and sinks the putt to move back to 8 under and reclaim the lead outright.

Derek Ernst and George McNeill bogey the 9th and 11th respectively to drop to 6 under, in a group of six at T-5.

• • •

Update #25 4:42 p.m. EDT

Add Robert Garrigus to the lead at 7 under, as he birdies the par-5 10th. He missed the green left with his second shot and got up-and-down for birdie. The winner of the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic is seeking his second PGA Tour victory, his best finish this season at T-5 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Phil Mickelson cards a par at the par-3 13th to stay among the tournament's six co-leaders.

• • •

Update #24 4:33 p.m. EDT

Make that co-leader Phil Mickelson as he bogeys the par-4 12th, finding the rough, then a greenside bunker and failing to convert the sand save. He drops to 7 under – along with four others:

  • Derek Ernst, who birdies the 7th to move into a share of the lead;
  • Scott Gardiner, in the clubhouse with a 67;
  • George McNeill, who has two straight birdies to move into a share of the lead;
  • Nick Watney, who moves back to 2 under for the day with a birdie on No. 12.

• • •

Update #23 4:14 p.m. EDT

Leader Phil Mickelson settles himself down with more of a textbook par: Fairway, green, two putts on the par-4 11th hole. Further back, George McNeill birdies the 9th to move to T-4 at 6 under.

• • •

Update #22 3:54 p.m. EDT

On the par-5 10th, Phil Mickelson has been all over this hole. He put his drive a little left and his approach to the right of the green. Mickelson took to chip shots, very unlike Phil, to get to the green. He one-putted to save par after leaving his second chip shot 4 feet short. He keeps the lead by one.

• • •

Update #21 3:36 p.m. EDT

And there it is. . . Your solo leader is Phil Mickelson after making a birdie on No. 9 at 8 under. Heading to the 10th tee giving high fives to the crowd, let's see if he can build on his lead.

• • •

Update #20 3:29 p.m. EDT

Sergio Garcia is 3 under through nine holes. Garcia birdied Nos. 1, 6 and 8. He is 3 under for the tournament, too, after shooting an opening even-par 72.

• • •

Update #19 3:06 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson birdies the par-5 7th, which takes him into a tie for the lead with Scott Gardiner.

Robert Garrigus birdies No. 5 to get to 7 under, too, making it a three-way tie at the top.

• • •

Update #18: 2:54 p.m. EDT

Robert Garrigus has joined in on the six-way tie for second at 6 under. Garrigus shot 67 in the first round and has opened his round with two birdies and a bogey.

• • •

Update #17: 2:32 p.m. EDT

After birdies on Nos. 1 and 2, Phil Mickelson has calmed down. He's 2 under through five holes. Mickelson is looking for his second win of the second after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He would become the second multi-winner on tour this year.

• • •

Update #16: 2:03 p.m. EDT

Boo Weekley is at 6 under, one back of the leader, after birdieing Nos. 5 and 6 in the second round. Weekley is looking for his third career PGA Tour win, but his first since 2008 season.

• • •

Update #15: 1:36 p.m. EDT

Leader in the clubhouse is rookie Scott Gardiner at 7 under. Gardiner caught fire on the front nine where he made birdies on Nos. 1 and 6-9. On the back, Gardiner slowed down and made nine pars. He finished with a bogey-free 5-under 67 after firing an opening-round 70.

• • •

Update #14: 1:31 p.m. EDT

2 under through two for Phil Mickelson early in his second round. Mickelson is at 6 under, one-shot back of Scott Gardiner.

• • •

Update #13: 1:14 p.m. EDT

The afternoon wave of players have started to tee off. First-round co-leaders Ryan Moore and Nick Watney are looking to create a buzz this afternoon at Quail Hollow Club. Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and defending champ Rickie Fowler are other players looking to make moves.

• • •

Update #12: 12:44 p.m. EDT

Jason Kokrak is 2 under on the day and 6 under for the tournament. Kokrak is one-shot back of leader Scott Gardiner. Kokrak is looking for his first PGA Tour victory. His best finish was a runner-up finish at the 2012 Frys.com Open.

• • •

Update #11: 12:21 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy is the leader in the clubhouse at 6 under after shooting a second-round 1-under 71.

Russell Henley drops two shots, again, after birdieing two holes. Henley, winning of the Sony Open in Hawaii, is a 4 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #10: 11:57 a.m. EDT

Lee Westwood has dropped a shot and is now in a four-way tie for second with Russell Henley, Lucas Glover and Rory McIlroy. Henley, after two bogeys, has back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15. Glover, who's wife is expecting very, very soon, birdied three of seven holes on the front nine, his back nine. And McIlroy tallied his third birdie on the front nine, his back nine, as well. Scott Gardiner is still the leader at 7 under.

• • •

Update #9: 11:49 a.m. EDT

Angel Cabrera or El Pato has a good round going. Playing in his first PGA Tour event since the Masters, Cabrera is 4 under through 16 holes and is 3 under for the tournament. El Pato shot a 1-over 73 in the first round, but has bounced back to move up 54 spots on the leaderboard. He is T-18 and four shots back of Lee Westwood and Scott Gardiner. Two weeks ago, Cabrera won on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica at Cordoba (Argentina) GC in his hometown.

• • •

Update #8: 11:29 a.m. EDT

It's now a tie at the top between rookie Scott Gardiner and Lee Westwood. Both at 7 under, Westwood got their by birdieing No. 5. Both players are tied with a two shot lead over nine players.

• • •

Update #7: 11:13 a.m. EDT

Make that four birdies in a row, on Nos. 6-9, for Scott Gardiner to take the solo lead at the Wells Fargo Championship. Gardiner takes it to 7 under, and he is 5 under on the day through the front nine.

• • •

Update #6: 11:06 a.m. EDT

Scott Gardiner has joined the party at the top of the leaderboard. Gardiner birdied his last three holes. Nos. 6-8 and No. 1, to get to 4 under through eight holes on the day, and 6 under for the tournament. Gardiner joins Lee Westwood at the top.

Rory McIlroy is back to even par on the day after making a birdie at the par-4 4th. He is 5 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #5: 10:51 a.m. EDT

Another change at the top.

Lee Westword birdied No. 3 to get to 6 under for the tournament and take the lead. That's five birdies and one bogey through 12 holes for Westwood on the day.

Daniel Summerhays bogeyed the 18th to drop to 5 under.

• • •

Update #4: 10:29 a.m. EDT

A bogey at the 10th drops Russell Henley to 5 under and out of the lead.

Daniel Summerhays, who was a co-leader after Round 1, birdied the par-3 17th to get to 6 under and take a one-shot lead over eight players.

• • •

Update #3: 10:20 a.m. EDT

Rod Pampling has moved to 5 under, one-shot back of leader Russell Henley. Pampling made birdies on Nos. 10, 15 and 18 to make the turn at 2 under on the day. He added a bogey at No. 11.

Lee Westwood is at 5 under after making a birdie at No. 1.

• • •

Update #2: 10:04 a.m. EDT

Lee Westwood is moving up the leaderboard early. Westwood has moved to 4 under with birdies on Nos. 10, 16 and 17. He also added a bogey at No. 12. Westwood's best finish on tour this year was T-8th at the Masters.

• • •

Update #1: 9:40 a.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy bogeyed his first hole of the day -- the par-5 10th -- and has since run off seven consecutive pars and is at 4 under, two shots off the lead.

That lead is now held by Russell Henley, who has moved to 6 under with birdies at Nos. 1, 3 and 7. Henley won the season-opening Sony Open, his first start as a full-time PGA Tour member.

• • •

Thursday coverage

How it happened: McIlroy in 7-way tie for Wells Fargo lead

Rory McIlroy shot 5-under 67 on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship. The 2010 champion of the event enters the second round in a seven-way tie for the lead. See how it all unfolded at Quail Hollow!

5 Things: Rory McIlroy strong at Wells Fargo again

Rory McIlroy hasn’t played a competitive round since the Masters, but opened with a 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead with six others. Here are 5 Things to Know about the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

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