Two-time defending champ Hideki Matsuyama WDs from Phoenix Open

Grant SmithFeb 04, 2018

Fowler and DeChambeau both carded five-under-par rounds of 66 at TPC Scottsdale for 10-under 132 totals, one stroke clear of compatriots Daniel Berger and Chez Reavie.

Matsuyama was striving to win the Arizona tournament for the third year on the spin, yet the Japanese player withdrew before the second round got underway on Friday.

"I kind of hit a bad putt but it hit the back of the cup and went in", he said.

"Two birdie holes and to play those three-over today is definitely disappointing, but the fact that I did that and I'm still more than right there in a great position is definitely a positive note that I can leave today with", he said after shooting a 68.

Five-time major victor Phil Mickelson birdied his last four holes to card 65 and join Laird and Spain's world number two Jon Rahm (68) three off the pace.

Two years ago, he blew a two-stroke lead on 17 in regulation when he drove through the green and into the water, then handed the playoff to Matsuyama when he hit into the water again. "Griffin, he's not here with us, but we know he's watching from above".

"There's no question that I play better down the stretch with people here", Mickelson said. Other than that, I feel like (it was) a solid day.

American Bill Haas took the lead on the opening day with a round of 7-under.

The fourth-ranked Thomas had his second 68.

Hideki Matsuyama, the two-time defending champion of the event, withdrew before his afternoon round Friday with a left wrist injury.

After starting the season with two missed cuts followed by a tie for 54th, Haas was not getting too carried away by his good start.

American Robert Garrigus hit the shot of the day at the driveable par-four 17th, nearly making a rare albatross. Things also carry over into the drivable par-4 17th.

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