He made his easiest birdie of the six at the par-5 third hole, hitting his second shot just short and right of the green and chipping to three inches away for a tap-in birdie. He later birdied Nos. But he wasn't the same after making bogey at the par-3 seventh, playing his final 11 holes in five over par for an even par 71. Although five of the last 10 events, including the last two, have been decided in a playoff, historically the requirement of extra holes was rare.
"It was a grind", said Fowler, who was one-over for the day after a bogey at the fourth before his first birdie of the day at the eighth - where he was in a fairway bunker. If I'm on the leaderboard, he's the one I'm most fearful of over the final 18 holes because anything is in play.
Ian Poulter is also six under, the world number 57 beginning his round from the 10th with three birdies in four holes and returning a 68. Thomas was grouped with Spieth during the first round.
"There's no question that I play better down the stretch with people here, " Mickelson said.
"Last year was a tough year for me physically, mentally, I had a sickness where I lost a lot of weight, I lost 20 or so pounds", Watson said after his second round of the Phoenix Open.
Haas followed his opening 64 with a 72.
Rickie Fowler survived late miscues to share the lead at the US PGA Tour Phoenix Open golf tournament alongside Bryson DeChambeau on Friday, as two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama withdrew injured.
Fowler, who won the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December, is coming off an uncharacteristic missed cut at Torrey Pines last week, but shrugged it off as a mere blip on the radar.
In the 25-year-old's absence, Arnold Palmer remains the only player to win the Phoenix Open three years in a row from 1961-63.
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