Tracker: Mickelson leads by six at Phoenix Open

Phil Mickelson pumps his fist during Round 3 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Phil Mickelson pumps his fist during Round 3 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

11:25:38 AM ET. 04/19/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Ben Martin-417-6
T2K.J. Choi-4F-5
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4Richard H. Lee-317-4
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson began the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a four-shot lead, and extended it to six shots by day's end. Mickelson capped his 7-under 64 with four consecutive birdies at Nos. 15-18. Most memorable among those was Mickelson's birdie at the stadium-like par-13 16th, where fans roared when he hit his approach to just outside 3 feet. Mickelson also salvaged birdie off of an errant tee shot at the 18th.

With his 24-under 54-hole total, Mickelson tied the second-lowest 54-hole score in Tour history. His 189 total is one shot behind Steve Stricker's 54-hole 188 total at the 2010 John Deere Classic.

Here's how it happened:

• • •

Update No. 26: 5:55 p.m. EST

In his post-round interview, Phil Mickelson talked about arguably the best shot of the day, his tee shot at the par-3 16th. It was a hard 9-iron, Mickelson said.

"I like to hit something hard there because you feel that adrenaline that the crowd provides."

• • •

Update No. 25: 5:46 p.m. EST

The crowd at No. 18 erupted after Phil Mickelson birdied his final hole for a 7-under 64. Not only was it an impressive recovery from an errant drive, but it got Mickelson to 24 under for 54 holes. That ties the second-lowest 54-hole total in Tour history, after Steve Stricker's 188 54-hole total at the 2010 John Deere Classic.

Mickelson will enter the final round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a six-shot lead on Brandt Snedeker.

• • •

Update No. 24: 5:32 p.m. EST

Phil Mickelson's tee shot at the 18th is wide and left, and landed near the hospitality tent. He only shrugged. There isn't much pressure with a lead this size.

• • •

Update No. 23: 5:30 p.m. EST

Brandt Snedeker came as close to birdie as possible on the 18th, but his putt hung on the lip and he finished at 6-under 65. That puts him at 18-under total. Leader Phil Mickelson is 22 under, and still on the course.

• • •

Update No. 22: 5:18 p.m. EST

Brandt Snedeker got to 18-under par by holing his 8-footer for birdie at the 17th. He remains in this game, but keep in mind he still trails Phil Mickelson by four shots. Among Snedeker's strengths is his ability to hit greens – he was second on Tour in greens in regulation last year. He was eighth on Tour in birdie average.

• • •

Update No. 21: 5:08 p.m. EST

With the birdie at No. 16, Phil Mickelson is at 22 under for the tournament, and has a five-shot lead on Brandt Snedeker.

• • •

Update No. 20: 5:02 p.m. EST

Phil Mickelson put his shot to just outside 3 feet at the 16th green, and the crowd roared. Keegan Bradley got booed after rolling his tee shot just off the back. The crowd at this hole can be rough.

• • •

Update No. 19: 4:59 p.m. EST

Fans chanted "ASU!" and cheering as Phil Mickelson made his way to the 16th tee. The former Sun Devil is a favorite with the TPC Scottsdale crowd, especially those at the rowdy 16th. It helps that Mickelson today has a four-shot lead at 21 under.

• • •

Update No. 18: 4:55 p.m. EST

The final group is on the par-5 15th. Mickelson capitalized on a birdie opportunity he created with a shot out of the bunker that stopped dead at about 7 feet from the hole. Bill Haas left his eagle opportunity short, then missed his birdie putt. Keegan Bradley missed his 20-footer for par, which means he has bogeyed both par 5s on the back nine.

• • •

Update No. 17: 4:40 p.m. EST

With a birdie at the 15th, Brandt Snedeker moved ahead of Padraig Harrington and is in solo second at 17 under. Snedeker already has two top-3 finishes in three 2013 starts.

• • •

Update No. 16: 4:23 p.m. EST

Phil Mickelson leads by four shots again after birdieing the 13th and getting to 20 under for the tournament. That hole was good for Bill Haas, too. Haas made an eagle there, holing out a chip shot from beside the green, and trails by only six shots. Keegan Bradley bogeyed the 13th after finding a water hazard.

• • •

Update No. 15: 4:12 p.m. EST

The closing holes at TPC Scottsdale provide some of the best scoring opportunities on this course. The final group is approaching those now. Meanwhile, more scores trickling in. Hunter Mahan finished with a 4-under 67 and Scott Piercy had a 64 on Saturday. Still, no one has gone as low in Round 3 as Padraig Harrington, who is in with 63. In his post-round interview, Harrington said he saw a lot of positive things in his Saturday play, but he still left a few shots out on the course.

• • •

Update No. 14: 4:06 p.m. EST

Brandt Snedeker just easily holed a 20-footer for birdie at the 13th to get to 16 under. That means he has a share of second place with Padraig Harrington, who already is in the clubhouse.

• • •

Update No. 13: 4:03 p.m. EST

A unfortunate pull for Molder. He missed his birdie putt and finished the third round at 4-under 67 (his third consecutive 67 this week). Harrington, meanwhile, recovered from his chunked approach and made par from about 3 feet. He is in with his 63, and now just has to wait for leader Phil Mickelson to finish to determine what he has to do tomorrow.

• • •

Update No. 12: 3:58 p.m. EST

After booming his drive up the par-4 18th, Harrington caught his 88-yard approach shot fat, and only gets halfway to the green. He can still get up-and-down for one final par, and cap off an 8-under 63.

Bryce Molder might have gotten a little bit overlooked in that group. He spun his approach shot at the 18th to about 4 feet, and can putt that in for 66.

• • •

Update No. 11: 3:52 p.m. EST

The final group is at the par-3 12th. Phil Mickelson is the only player in that group that's holding position, as he still has a three-shot lead. Bill Haas is even today, and has dropped three spots on the leaderboard to a tie for fifth. Keegan Bradley is 1 under today, and also T-5.

• • •

Update No. 10: 3:45 p.m. EST

How loud can the crowd be at No. 16? Fans roared as Brendan Steele nearly holed out, then roared again as Bubba Watson took the tee. The boos reverberated around the makeshift stadium as Watson missed the green. The reigning Masters champ then tossed green Ping visors to the crowd to keep them in good spirits.

Steele, by the way, is at 13 under for the tournament, in a share of fourth, and Watson is T-29 with a 9-under total.

• • •

Update No. 9: 3:37 p.m. EST

Brandt Snedeker is four shots back and in solo third, but hasn't made too much noise in Round 3. That is, until making a massive birdie putt at the 10th. No bogeys yet today for Snedeker, but birdie at the 10th was his third on the day. Snedeker ranked eighth on Tour in birdie average last year.

• • •

Update No. 8: 3:34 p.m. EST

Between Padraig Harrington's punting stunt and Hunter Mahan's run-in with the cactus, this group has become the one to watch. Both escape the loud par-3 16th with pars. Meanwhile, the leaders have made the turn and Phil Mickelson still is three shots ahead of Harrington.

• • •

Update No. 7: 3:17 p.m. EST

Padraig Harrington eagled the par-5 15th to pull within three shots of Phil Mickelson. Harrington, now at 16 under, is approaching the par-3 16th – one of the loudest and most unruly holes on the PGA Tour. Safe to say the crowd there is even more riled up now, after Harrington punted a football off one of the back tee boxes into the stands.

• • •

Update No. 6: 2:55 p.m. EST

Padraig Harrington is holding his position, and holding onto a bogey-free round. The Irishman holed an 8-footer for par at No. 14 to stay in solo second at 14 under.

• • •

Update No. 5: 2:45 p.m. EST

Far from staging a run at Mickelson, Haas and Bradley are dropping shots. Both bogeyed the par-3 seventh as Mickelson parred. That dropped Haas and Bradley to a 13-under total, and left Padraig Harrington in solo second at 14 under. Still, Harrington trails Mickelson by five shots.

• • •

Update No. 4: 2:36 p.m. EST

It was a battle between Hunter Mahan and the jumping cholla at No. 13 after Mahan missed the fairway off the tee. Mahan used a putter left-handed to punch his ball back into the fairway, then his third shot at the par 5 landed in a bunker. He holed his sand shot for a birdie to keep climbing the leaderboard. He's already up 13 spots today. In review, that's driver, putter, fairway wood then sandy hole-out. In other words, some scramble for Mahan.

• • •

Update No. 3: 2:29 p.m. EST

Two near chip-ins at the par-4 sixth from Phil Mickelson and Bill Haas. Both skimmed the hole from just off the green, and the shots were on a similar line. Keegan Bradley, the third player in this final group, holed his 10-footer for a hard par. Haas and Bradley are not gaining much ground on leader Mickelson.

• • •

Update No. 2: 2:17 p.m. EST

Keep an eye on Padraig Harrington, who is 6 under through 11 holes today. No bogeys yet on Harrington's Saturday scorecard. He started the week with a bogey-free 64. Harrington ranked 13th in scoring average on the PGA Tour in 2012. That was his best stat.

• • •

Update No. 1: 2:03 p.m. EST

Welcome to the weekend at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Phil Mickelson still leads comfortably, and with a birdie at the first and another at the fifth, is at 18 under for the tournament. Bill Haas is trying to make a move, but is still five shots back. Haas bogeyed the first hole, but birdied Nos. 3 and 4.

• • •

Round 2 coverage

TRACKER: He didn't make a run at 59 again, but Phil Mickelson turned in another strong round Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Story.

• • •

Round 1 coverage

TRACKER: In a week overshadowed by Vijay Singh's admittance of taking a banned substance, Phil Mickelson took command of the headlines Thursday at TPC Scottsdale. See how it unfolded.

OH, SO CLOSE: Phil Mickelson held his head in horror on the ninth green, his 18th of the day. His 26-foot putt birdie putt for 59 curled around the hole and stayed out. Story.

NO EXCUSES: Vijay Singh has no one to blame but himself. Apparently he agrees. Ostensibly that is why he said Wednesday that he is “angry” for unwittingly having taken a banned substance. In turn, he left himself open to a possible PGA Tour suspension. Story.

SINGH WITHDRAWS: Vijay Singh withdraws from the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a day after saying he used deer-antler spray. Story.

MR. 59: Bo Van Pelt fired a course-record 59 in Wednesday's pro-am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but it won't go down in the record books because it was in the pro-am. Story.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

READY TO GET ROWDY? It's almost here: "The Greatest Show on Grass." Last year a record 173,210 spectators packed TPC Scottsdale on Saturday for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Here are 5 Things to expect this week . . . Story.

'SHOCKED:' Vijay Singh expressed shock and anger when it was disclosed in a Sports Illustrated article that he was taking a banned substance, according to a statement released Wednesday by Singh here at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Story.

WEEKLY PICKS: Half of our panel agrees that there is a man to beat this week: Nick Watney. And after a T-4 and T-13 to start the season, there is little reason to disagree. Our predictions.

DUFNER THE FAVORITE: Jason Dufner, a 12-1 favorite with Las Vegas oddsmakers, has contended in the past two Waste Management Phoenix Opens at TPC at Scottsdale, finishing tied for eighth last year after a runner-up showing in 2011. Story.

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