Phil Mickelson in position for wire-to-wire win at Desert Classic

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Phil Mickelson in position for wire-to-wire win at Desert Classic

PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson in position for wire-to-wire win at Desert Classic

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Here’s a recap of the third round of the Desert Classic in La Quinta, Calif.

LEADING: Phil Mickelson may earn a win in his first start of 2019, and it could be very smooth.

The 48-year-old fired a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Saturday at PGA West’s Stadium Course to push to 22 under and keep a two-shot lead.

Mickelson began the tournament on fire with a Thursday 12-under 60 at La Quinta Country Club and has followed up with a pair of solid rounds to give himself a great chance at a wire-to-wire win.

It would be his third victory at this event and 44th PGA Tour title overall.

Mickelson did actually fall out of the lead during the third round thanks to the onslaught of Adam Hadwin. But Lefty birdied Nos. 13, 14 and 17 to regain control.

He began his round with five straight pars before a birdie run at Nos. 6-8 and the aforementioned closing stretch.

All the players in the field rotated amongst La Quinta Country Club and PGA West’s Stadium and Tournament courses over the first three days.

The field was cut to top 70 and ties after Saturday and every player who reached the final round will play Sunday on the Stadium Course.

Will it be the site of another Lefty coronation? It could very well be.

CHASING: Hadwin ended up firing a 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course to rise to solo second at 20 under. It was two years ago that he shot 59 at this event and would eventually finish runner-up. Adam Long posted a 63 for the second time in three rounds, this one coming at La Quinta. He’s in solo third at 19 under. Steve Marino sits fourth at 18 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Deep bunker? No problem for Lefty!

SHORT SHOTS: Patrick Cantlay is 17 under and T-5. … Defending champion Jon Rahm sits T-7 at 16 under. … Zach Johnson fires a 64 at Stadium to rocket 53 spots to T-19. Russell Knox and Dylan Frittelli do the exact same, except at the Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club, respectively. … Curtis Luck goes from second to nearly battling the cut. A double bogey-double bogey-bogey finish at Stadium means a 76 and a drop to T-46 at 10 under. … The cut comes in at 9 under. USC golfer Charles Reiter, playing as an amateur, posts a third-round 63 – a valiant effort, but that only puts him at 8 under. He misses the cut by one. …

UP NEXT: The final round will be aired by Golf Channel from 3-7 p.m. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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