Now that many of the LIV golfers are back on the national stage at the Masters, Phil Mickelson is taking the opportunity to stand up for his teammate Brooks Koepka.

Koepka, healthy again for the first time in several years, has vaulted to the lead in the Masters, delivering a second-round score of 67 after firing a 65 in the opening round. Koepka's 12-under total has allowed him to take command of the first major championship of the year.

Mickelson is one of the faces of the LIV tour, as he was the first big name to announce that he would play in the tournaments backed by the Saudi-based organization. He spoke up on behalf of Koepka and his outstanding play in the first 2 rounds of the tournament.

“He's been playing well,” Phil Mickelson said. “He won last week. He's had some momentum. [The] greens were difficult last week. They were fast. Every bit as fast as this, if not faster. He had good touch on the greens. You knew he was going to have a good week.”

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Mickelson is playing well and he is 8 strokes behind Koepka at 4-under par.

While rain interrupted and delayed the afternoon portion of the second round, Koepka was able to complete his round since he started in the morning. When the second delay stopped play shortly after 4 p.m. ET, Koepka had a 3-stroke lead over Jon Rahm and a 4-stroke advantage over amateur Sam Bennett. Rahm finished the front 9 at the time of  the stoppage, while Bennett completed his round.

Tiger Woods was on the cut line at 2-over par through 11 holes, while Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut for the second time in 3 years.