Mickelson returns to the top of leaderboard

By Doug Ferguson

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 16 2012 6:50 p.m. MST

Bubba Watson watches his tee shot to the third hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Four days after a big win at Pebble Beach, Phil Mickelson keeps right on rolling.

Mickelson chipped in from 35 feet on the 18th hole at Riviera on Thursday for a 5-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Northern Trust Open.

J.B. Holmes, in his fourth tournament since returning from brain surgery, mixed birdies and bogeys along his back nine and shot 67. He was with Hunter Mahan, who birdied four straight toward the end of his round.

All played in the afternoon as the wind died slightly.

Jonathan Byrd had the best score of the morning, when it was chilly and blustery. He had a 68.

Mickelson closed with a 64 to rally from six shots behind at Pebble Beach.

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