Points and Imada set Torrey pace

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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Little-known American DA Points took advantage of another calm, sunny day at Torrey Pines to charge into a tie for the lead in Friday's second round of the San Diego Open.

Despite playing on the more difficult and longer South Course, Points recorded five birdies and an eagle three at the sixth on the way to a flawless, seven-under-par 65.

The 33-year-old covered his homeward nine in five under for an 11-under total of 133 to finish level with Japan's Ryuji Imada, who carded a 68 on the South layout.

Australian Michael Sim eagled the par-five 18th on the easier North Course for a best-of-the-week 62 to lie two strokes off the pace with PGA Tour rookie Matt Every (70).

Tournament favorite and three-times champion Phil Mickelson fired a 67 on the North layout to share 10th place at seven under, two shots better than South African Ernie Els, after a 69 on the North.

"I've played this course a lot more than I've played the other one and I feel pretty comfortable out here," he told reporters after totaling only 25 putts.

"The main thing here is obviously just making putts and driving the fairway and those are two things that I've done the last two rounds, especially today I made a lot of putts.

"My iron game isn't quite as sharp as I would love it to be but certainly making putts is always a good way to make up for a little bit of a sloppy iron game."


Imada, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came at the 2008 AT&T Classic, was also pleased to fare well on the brutal 7,698-yard South layout.

"I'm very happy," said the 33-year-old, who has not made a bogey this week. "It did play a little easier today without the wind and the warm weather but 68 on that golf course is a great round.

"My irons have been really good. I've hit a lot of greens and my putts from long range have been really good as far as judging the distances."

Mickelson, playing his first tournament of the year, covered his outward nine in three under before losing a bit of momentum around the turn.

"I missed putts on one, three and four and I thought I had made all of those," the three-times major winner said of his 10th, 12th and 13th holes. "That may have taken a little momentum out.

"Afterwards I didn't have very many birdie putts but I was able to make all the tough par putts and kind of salvage the round."

The cut fell at two-under 142 with 2004 champion John Daly, U.S. Ryder Cup player Chad Campbell and Australians Jason Day and Stuart Appleby among those missing out.

(Editing by John O'Brien)