Lefty holding on to Saturday’s lucky ball

Phil Mickelson takes his putter from his caddie Jim Mackay on the 15th hole as a patron celebrates in the gallery during Round 3.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson’s caddie, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, was standing outside Augusta National’s clubhouse, sharing the details of his boss’ amazing eagle-eagle-birdie stretch, when Fred Couples pounced on him from behind, put both his arms on Mackay’s shoulders, and excitedly said, “I want that ball!”

Couples more closely resembled a child on Christmas morning than a Champions Tour golfer. Of course, only a corpse couldn’t get excited by Mickelson’s play on Nos. 13-15.

So where did that ball end up? It’s in Mickelson’s bag, headed for an undetermined location. After par at the par-3 16th, Mickelson scribbled something on the ball and put it in his bag. Mickelson used the same ball to hit the 7-iron from 195 yards on No. 13, the pitching wedge from 140 yards on the next hole and the 87-yard pitch that almost went in the hole on the 15th for an unfathomable third eagle in a row.

“He scribbled on (the ball) like he wants to hang onto it,” said Mackay who didn’t see what Mickelson wrote on it.

“He (wrote) ‘Eagle-eagle-birdie ball.’ Five under in three holes is what he said,” an excited Couples said.

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