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Spieth Goes 9-Under on North


Jordan Spieth vaulted to the top of the leaderboard in the Farmers Insurance Open thanks to a nine-birdie second round on the North course at Torrey Pines near San Diego. After opening with a 1-under 71 on the tougher South course, Spieth rose to 10-under-par 134, a shot ahead of first-round leader Stewart Cink, who had a 71 on South.

Spieth hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation en route to posting five birdies on the front nine and four more on the back. "I putted a lot better. I was more stable over the ball," said Spieth.

"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," he added. "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."

The 20-year-old Texan, a one-time winner on the PGA Tour, knows things will toughen up when the field moves to the South course for both weekend rounds. "The South course is a different animal than that North course. I want to play it like I did yesterday. It's a U.S. Open-type venue," he said.

Cink will be matched up with Spieth in Saturday's third round and is looking forward to the outing. "I'm looking forward to playing with Jordan. I've never seen him hit a ball, so that will be fun," Cink said. "It's always exciting to see the young guys play. I'm playing really well. I'm really excited about golf right now and the way I'm playing. I'm having some fun out there and seeing a lot of good things."

Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts carded a fine 5-under 67 at South to move into solo third at 136, while another stroke back are Billy Horschel (67 North) and Marc Leishman (71 South).

Five players are tied for sixth at 138 - Morgan Hoffman (66 North), Gary Woodland (73 South), Russell Knox (67 North), Pat Perez (71 North) and Erik Compton (69 South).

Defending champion and seven-time Farmers Insurance Open winner Tiger Woods carded a 71 on North after a 72 on South Thursday. He was impressed with Spieth, his playing partner in the first two rounds. "The kid's got talent," Woods said.

"He hits it a long way, phenomenal putter. He made a boat-load of putts today from the 10- to 20-foot range, and on poa greens, that's not easy to do. He was pouring them in there. He had speed to them, too. That's what you have to do to putt on poa. He putted with a lot of confidence."

As for his so-so play, Woods said his game has been a tad off in the first two rounds. "I wouldn't say it's rusty," the top-ranked player in the world said. "I was just a fraction off, and at this level and on golf courses like this, if you're just a fraction off it doesn't take much, especially as tight as the North course is.

"I had so many balls that landed in the fairway that went in the rough. Now I can't be aggressive, I've got to play conservative into some of these flags. When you should be able to fire at some of these flags, I just couldn't."

Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner in the tournament, has carded rounds of 69 (North) and 73 (South). The San Diego native has been hindered by a sore back in the first two rounds and told reporters later he's uncertain whether he'll continue on.

"I'm a little bit unsure," Mickelson said following his Friday round. "I love this tournament and I want to play here . . . part of me also says that I'm getting into bad habits and if I hit it in this rough here, I've really got an issue because I've got to swing awfully hard to get it out and it jars it, so I'm a little torn right now on the best plan of action."

The 36-hole cut was set at even-par 144, with 83 players moving on to the weekend. There will be another cut to the top-70 players and ties after the third round.

Three players - Rocco Mediate, Mike Weir and Freddie Jacobson - withdrew before the start of the second round.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.