Mickelson in Position Once Again
Not so in 2001.
Mickelson fired a career-best 9-under-par 61 to take the lead into the final round of the Canon Greater Hartford Open.
Check out Phil Mickelson's sizzling round of 61!
At 14-under, Mickelson leads David Berganio, Jr., by 1 shot in Cromwell, Conn. Berganio shot 64 in the third round to move to 13-under-par. Chris DiMarco (66) is in third place at 12-under. Billy Andrade (66) is the next nearest competitor at 11-under.
Prior to 2001, Mickelson won 11 of 12 PGA Tour events in which he held at least a share of the 54-hole lead. However, this season the lefty is 0 for 3.
Mickelson shared the third-round lead at Pebble Beach, shot a final-round 73 and tied for third. He led by three in New Orleans, shot a Sunday 72 and finished second. And at the Colonial, he was tied for the top spot through 54 holes only to shoot 70 and tie for second.
Mickelson has an astounding eight top-3s on the PGA Tour this year, but only one win ' the Buick Invitational. Mickelson trailed by one through three rounds in San Diego, shot 66 on Sunday to force a playoff, and then beat Frank Lickliter on the third extra hole with a double bogey.
The 31-year-old winner of 18 Tour titles started the third round at the TPC at River Highlands just three shots off the lead, held by a record eight players.
Upon making the turn in 3-under 32, Mickelson birdied the par-3 12th and then took sole possession of the lead on the next hole.
Perhaps the most aggressive player on tour, Mickelson flew a 3-wood over a water hazard and onto the green at the par-5 13th. He rolled in the 12-foot eagle putt to move to 11-under.
An eight-foot birdie at the 15th gave him a three-shot advantage, which quickly grew to four following a 20-footer at the 16th.
Mickelsons 60th shot of the day was an L-wedge from 99 yards that spun to within six feet of the hole at the par-4 18th. Shot No. 61 tied the course record.
I felt like heading into the week that Thursday and Friday were going to be the difficult days, said Mickelson. I had a good practice session this morning and felt good. I didnt expect to shoot 9-under, but Im very happy with my round.
Berganio has yet to win on tour, but has had a fairly successful 2001 season. He opened in 64 to lead the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am; though he failed to break 70 over the next three rounds and tied for 20th.
His best showing of the year came in the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic where he tied for 4th.
Berganio earned a spot in Sundays final pairing by making a late run on Saturday. After hitting the green in two at the par-5 13th, he two-putted for birdie. The 32-year-old Californian then birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to get within one of his old college rival.
Yeah, we played a lot of college golf together, but I havent played much with him over the last seven, eight years. Ive just been watching him, said the former Arizona Wildcat of his Arizona State counterpart.
Full-field scores from the Canon Greater Hartford Open
Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8
Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.
Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.
Walking in the par putt at No. 2. pic.twitter.com/zuSGZmVL3z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.
A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.
Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.
Tiger gets it to 9-under.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
He's 4 shots back. pic.twitter.com/cAZtM14SlJ
Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.
McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”
This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.
A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.
McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.
“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”
As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.
“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.