SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – After the opening round of the Phoenix Open, Rickie Fowler complained about a missed putt that would have given him the outright lead and the household bragging rights
After an impressive series of birds that rounded off his second round, Fowler gets his chance to to rule over Justin Thomas, his roommate this week.
Fowler closed with four straight birds for a sixth Friday under 65, a drain of 8 feet in the last hole to take a one-shot lead over Thomas in the weekend.
"Playing with your friends, those are the people you want to lose the least," said Fowler, who was 13-under 129 after opening with a 64. "So already bragging right now – we have a long way to go, there is a lot of golf – that will be fun, I really do not want him for me. "
Branden Grace has the 193-yard seventh hole after changing clubs on advice from his caddy and was two shots back with Trey Mullinax. Each shot on a 64.
Matt Kuchar and Cameron Smith were on 10 bottom after a second consecutive day of pristine weather and of course conditions.
Phil Mickelson shot 75 and finished at one over, missing the fifth cut in 30 career starts at the Phoenix Open. He is a triple champion, most recently in 2013.
Twice second runner-up at TPC Scottsdale, Fowler misread the last hole on Thursday and could have taken the absolute lead.
By means of 14 holes on Friday, Thomas, who reached a 66 lap and 12, appeared again to brag the household.
Fowler made a 4-footer for birdie at the park 3 12, and then two-putted for birdie at No. 15. He made a 10-footer at No. 16, two-putted for birdie on the ridden par-4 17th and smoked a 344-yard drive on the closing hole.
Fowler dropped his approach shot at 18 just behind the hole and sunk the 8-footer, a roar over TPC Scottsdale.
"I did a really good job by looking for the holes," he said. "It's just right to stay disciplined, make good shots, make good swings and also make good putts."
Thomas dropped a birdie putt almost through the hole on the para- 13, but he immediately gave it back on the difficult 14th when he hit his approach shot and missed a 9-footer.
Thomas reached the par-5 15th in two and two putted for birdie to come back to 12 below, finishing with four straight pars and temporarily taking the lead. Fowler passed him, but the friends are Saturday in the last group with Grace.
"No matter what we shot, it would be a good time, but it is a bit more fun knowing that we are both sleeping and playing in the last link," Thomas said.
While playing his first Phoenix Open, Grace opened with a 67 on Thursday and reached five under with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifth. The South African switched from a 7-iron to an 8 on the par-3 seventh at the urging of his new caddy, Craig Connelly, and then celebrated the tee when another huge Phoenix Open crowd roared for his third career-in one – his first on the PGA Tour.
"I felt really good about the shot, hit a good shot and the guys behind the hole really started jumping up before the ball actually went inside," Grace said. "When people start jumping up, you know it's there or around it, of course, what a nice place to have one."
Grace, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines last week, also grabbed in for eagle on the par-5 13th and took out three straight birdies, giving a double lead was reached bogey on the difficult par-4 11th