LA QUINTA, Calif. — Michael Putnam made nine birdies in an 11-hole stretch Thursday and finished with a 9-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead in the Humana Challenge.
In ideal conditions in the Coachella Valley, Putnam birdied Nos. 7, 9 and 10 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Private Course and ran off six in a row on Nos. 12-17.
"The course is in perfect shape," Putnam said. "Greens are good. ... I made a lot of birdies at the end. Hit a lot of close shots, a lot of 5-, 10-foot putts. I made them all, so I got to be happy about that."
Phil Mickelson had a 71 at La Quinta Country Club in his first event since the Ryder Cup.
"It was the...