HOUSTON (AP) — Jason Day was back in contention on the eve of the Masters after two eventful days alongside Phil Mickelson.

Winless in 2 1/2 years and fighting lingering back and neck problems, Day shot a 2-under 68 on Friday in the Houston Open to pull within two strokes of second-round leader Sam Burns at difficult Memorial Park.

The Australian watched the 50-year-old Mickelson hit into the water twice en route to an 8 on the par-3 ninth, then hole out from 193 yards for eagle on the par-4 18th. Lefty missed the cut, following an opening 76 with a 73.

“He kind of left himself in some pretty tough positions and you’re just struggling the whole day,” Day said. “It’s one of those courses where you’ve just got to be patient and try to get your birdies when you can.”

Day had three birdies and a bogey.

“It’s…

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