Tom Lehman cooled off just in time to put some suspense back into the Phoenix Open.
Lehman, who shot an 8-under-par 63 in the first round and shared a three-stroke lead with Phil Mickelson going into the second, followed up with a 67 yesterday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
He plateaued after birdies on three of the first five holes, allowing Frank Lickliter to stay within one stroke. Lehman finished with four straight pars, holing out in deep twilight on No. 18, for a two-round total of 12-under 130.
"My main objective on the 18th was just to make sure I finished strong," Lehman said. "Because it was dark, I didn't want to make a mistake. I was very satisfied with a par there."
Lickliter carded a 64, reaching the midpoint at 11-under 131 and feeling confident about his chances of picking up what would be his first PGA Tour title.
"If I keep putting myself in this position, Rocco Mediate keeps telling me I'll win by accident--I'll birdie the last three holes or someone will bogey the last three holes, or something," Lickliter said. "I feel like I keep getting better every year."
Hal Sutton, Robert Allenby and Bradley Hughes were four shots off the pace at 134, with Steve Flesch and Stewart Cink one shot behind them.
Mickelson, who won the Phoenix four years ago, shot 73 and backed into a five-way tie at 136 with Tom Pernice Jr., Kenny Perry, Paul Stankowski and 1993 champion Lee Janzen.
Frost delayed the start of play for 30 minutes, and darkness forced the suspension of play with 21 players still on the course.
That kept the PGA from announcing the cut pending completion of the round this morning.
The cut was projected at 142, with 65 players who finished the round at par or lower.
Mediate (137), the defending champion, 1998 winner Jesper Parnevik (138) and 1997 Phoenix medalist Steve Jones (139) easily qualified to play the weekend.
Lehman's approach shots were uncanny. He had birdie putts of 8, 10 and 10 feet on Nos. 2, 3 and 5, birdied No. 10 from four feet and got his fifth birdie on the 13th hole with an eight-foot putt.
"I definitely feel like I'm in great position," said Lehman, who won $1 million in the Williams World Challenge on Jan. 2 and tied for sixth in Honolulu.
* EUROPEAN PGA: Thomas Bjorn of Denmark made six birdies on the last 10 holes for his second straight 4-under-par 68 and a one-shot lead after two rounds of the $1 million Heineken Classic in Perth, Australia. A shot back was Michael Campbell of New Zealand, who shot a 69.