AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Phil Mickelson promises a fight. Everything else points to surrender.
Tiger Woods was so locked into his game Friday in the NEC Invitational that he had no idea he was 8 under through 12 holes. He said he never heard the gallery screaming "59!" as he walked down the fairways and had no idea he tied a course record at Firestone.
"I just knew it was a 61," Woods said.
Everyone must recognize it as something much more than that.
"Phenomenal," Colin Montgomerie said. "I can only see the gap widening, and good luck to him."
By the time Woods was finished, he had rounds of 64-61 to take a 7-stroke lead over Mickelson after two rounds of the $5 million World Golf Championship tournament.
The 61 tied the Firestone record set by Jose Maria Olazabal in the 1990 World Series of Golf. Woods' 36-hole total of 125 broke the PGA Tour record of 126 previously held by six players, from Tommy Bolt in 1954 to David Frost in 1999.
The only surprise was that it came so close after Woods went through an emotionally draining week at Valhalla Golf Club, where he had to birdie the last two holes to get into a playoff and then hold off Bob May to win the PGA Championship.
It was his third straight major, his third straight record score in a major.
The majors are done for the year, but Woods apparently isn't. And Mickelson, while he wasn't about to concede the tournament, was smart enough to recognize one thing.
"It's taking a lot more under par to win the tournaments now," Mickelson said.
The 7-stroke lead is the largest of Woods' career, and the largest on tour since Olazabal led by nine strokes at Firestone in 1990. Only four other players have had a 125 in consecutive rounds, but not the first two.
"He's been playing so well, it's not like we're in shock," said Jim Furyk, who played with Woods on Friday -- or at least walked in the same fairway as Woods.
Justin Leonard had a 67 and was at 133, while Furyk had a 69 and was another stroke back.
The 37-man field is for Presidents Cup and U.S. Ryder Cup team members, plus the top 12 Europeans from the European tour money list. It is a small gathering of elite players, but Woods is in a class by himself.
His approach shots hit their mark as easily as a someone shooting free throw. Drives were long and shaped perfectly down the tree-lined fairways of Firestone. Woods played out the shots in his mind, and executed them to near perfection.
"You have an idea of where you want to put the golf ball," he said. "When you're able to do that, that's when the game looks easy."
And that makes Mickelson's work extra difficult, even though he bristled when asked whether the tournament effectively was over.
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Brian Henninger and a couple of his closest friends, Peter Jacobsen and Scott McCarron, are in the running for the championship at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Henninger matched the course record with a 9-under-par 63 on Friday to take a 1-stroke lead over Jacobsen and Steve Flesch after two rounds of the tournament on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
McCarron is two shots off the lead along with Matthew Goggin and Bob May, who narrowly lost a playoff to Tiger Woods last week at the PGA Championship.
Henninger's bogey-free round included nine birdies, eight of those putts from 8 feet or closer. He had a 10-under 134 total.
He tied the record 63 Notah Begay shot last year en route to his victory on the 7,552-yard Montreux Golf and Country Club, the second-longest course on the PGA Tour behind Castle Pines.
Webb sets mark
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Meg Mallon felt like somebody was spoiling her party, and that somebody was Karrie Webb.
"It was like the two of us were pushing each other on to lap the field," said Mallon, who had a great view of Webb's record-breaking display of golf Friday.
Webb matched the LPGA's 18-hole record with an 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the Oldsmobile Classic. That left her at 17-under 127, breaking the 36-hole LPGA record of 16 under by Michelle McGann last year in the Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tenn.
Mallon, whose course-record of 10 under on the 6,241-yard Walnut Hills Country Club lasted only one day, bogeyed the ninth, her final hole of the day, for 68 and a two-round total of 130.
"One day!" said Mallon, who needed 30 putts, compared with 23 in the first round. "She's spoiled more than a few parties of mine."
"I kind of feel bad for Meg, being at 15-under and not leading," said Webb, who took a 3-stroke lead into Saturday's third round.
Webb already owns the LPGA records for 54 holes (22 under) and 72 holes (26 under). Lisa Walters set the Oldsmobile Classic record with a winning score of 23 under in 1998. That mark is likely to be shattered before the third round is over.
The shootout between Webb and Mallon was to be expected. Between them, they have won three of the LPGA's four majors.
"Obviously, we're both playing ultra-good golf now," said Mallon.
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