Woods was still one shot better.
In a balmy start to the Florida swing, Woods again reached the 603-yard 12th hole in two shots and ran off a string of birdies along the back nine of the Blue Monster for an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Mickelson and four others in the Ford Championship at Doral.
“This guy Tiger seems to play well every day, every week,” Mickelson said. “I'm just trying to keep pace. I'm trying to maybe have another shot at dueling out with him on Sunday, and I'm glad that he's playing well. I've got to do my part and stay with him.”
Woods won last year in a scintillating showdown between golf's two biggest personalities, with Woods pulling ahead on a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 17 and Mickelson lipping out a birdie chip on the last hole.
They teed off at the same time Thursday, but on opposite nines.
They were together only on the leaderboard, although both had some catching up to do on a day when 60 players broke 70 and 116 players were at par or better.