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September 26, 2017

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Jordan Spieth takes lead at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO -- Jordan Spieth showed maturity beyond his 20 years to take a one-shot lead at the Farmers Insurance Open by shooting a 9-under 63 on Friday.

Spieth played his round on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines while second-placed Stewart Cink had a 71 on the South.

Spieth achieved the rare feat of upstaging his playing partner Tiger Woods, who has won eight tournaments at the course, including last year's event and the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods, in his first competition in six weeks, did not make birdie on any of the par 5s for the second straight day, and a three-putt bogey on the par-5 ninth hole on the North gave him a 71.

He was nine shots behind, but at least he was still in the tournament, unlike long-time rival Phil Mickelson, who completed the second round but then withdrew due to back muscle pain.

Mickelson shot a 1-over 73 on the South Course in the second round, leaving him eight strokes behind Spieth. Mickelson said after the round that he feared getting into bad habits by altering his swing to keep his back from hurting.

His management company released a statement late Friday evening that Mickelson had decided to withdraw. He is scheduled to defend his title next week in the Phoenix Open.

It was the first time Spieth has played with Woods in a tournament, and he seemed to relish it.

"Any time you can shoot a lower score than a 66 or 65 and you can really get it deep and be in a zone and not worry about what your score is ... that's special," Spieth said. "That's proving that I can play my best golf when it matters on a PGA Tour venue. Each time you can do that, you get more and more confident that you can do it more often."

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