Byron Nelson Round 2: Dufner leads while Mickelson stuggles again



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Posted on May 18, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Saturday, May 19 at 9:03 AM

IRVING - Jason Dufner took advantage of a couple of chip ins to take the second-round lead of the HP Byron Nelson Golf Championship.

Dufner chipped in at the par-4 15th and the par-4 18th to go 7-under par and take a 1-shot lead.

"Two out of the last four holes chipping in, I was definitely stealing a couple of shots there against the field," Dufner said after his round. "That was a great way to end there on 18. Maybe that will be the difference later in the week."

The 35-year-old Dufner has one PGA win under his belt, after winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this year. He finished in the top 30 in earnings last year.

Friday, Dufner said he was just trying to stay patient.

"Some things started happening there in the last five holes, so it was a great way to finish," he said.

Dufner leads a tight field heading into Saturday's third round. With the cut at 2-over par, the entire field will start Saturday morning separated by only nine shots.

"That's bunched up pretty good, and that's what you see on this golf course - especially when the winds pick up a little bit," Dufner said.

Phil Mickelson finished with a double bogey on the final hole to drop from 3-under to 1-under par.

"I've been hitting it really well heading into this week," Mickelson said, after shooting a 1-under-par 69. "I don't know what happened today. It just was fractionally off."

The wind was a huge factor for the afternoon rounds, but Mickelson didn't think it was that big of a deal.

"I would not say it's a tricky wind, because it's not a swirling wind," Mickelson said. "It's just a consistent, steady wind. That's much easier to play with, when you know what it's going to do."

Defending champion Keegan Bradley starts play on Saturday just two shots off the lead. Last week's Players Championship winner, Matt Kuchar, is just one shot back.