CHARLOTTE, North Carolina - A surprised Australian Scott Gardiner fired a bogey-free 67 on Friday to be joint second — one shot ahead of countryman Rod Pampling — at the halfway mark of the US PGA Wells Fargo Championship.
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson shot a five-under-par 67 to seize a two-stroke lead with a nine-under two-round total of 135.
Gardiner shared second place on 137 with Americans Nick Watney and George McNeill with world No.2 Rory McIlroy among five others sharing fifth place, three strokes off the pace. McIlroy, one of seven co-leaders after day one, was level with Pampling, England's Lee Westwood and Americans Jason Kokrak and Derek Ernst.
Gardiner, of Aboriginal heritage, put himself in the final pairing with a sizzling start, opening with a birdie and then adding four in a row to conclude the front nine, the last a seven-foot birdie putt before missing a 16-foot birdie bid at the 10th.