Notes Vijay Phil Uninspired


04 Tour Championship by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- It appears that Vijay Singh will have to be content with nine wins this year.
The world's No. 1 player had another nondescript day at East Lake, shooting an even-par 70 that left him 11 strokes behind co-leaders Tiger Woods and Jay Haas heading into Sunday's final round of the Tour Championship.
Singh came into the season-ending all-star tournament with a shot to become the first player since 1950 to win 10 tournaments in a year. But he's faded too far back to make a serious run.
'You've got to be in contention to be 100 percent into it,' he said, pausing outside the historic clubhouse. 'I'm just not too into it.'
Singh didn't even have his regular caddie. Dave Renwick had a sore hip and was replaced on the bag by Joey Diovisalvi, normally the golfer's trainer.
'[Renwick] is hurting pretty good,' Singh said. 'It's an ongoing thing for him. He'll be all right.'
Singh fell out of contention Friday, struggling with the greens on his way to a 73. He putted better in the third round but had trouble with his other clubs.
'It just didn't happen for me,' he said. 'I couldn't get any momentum. Anytime I tried to get something going, I went backward.'
Singh finished with a couple of scrambling pars. At the 17th, his second shot ricocheted off a temporary spectator box to the right of the green, rolling back into a bunker. He managed to get up-and-down.
Likewise at the par-3 18th, Singh came up just short of the green with his tee shot and had to chip up for another tap-in par.
It wasn't good enough on this brilliantly sunny day, when most of those up ahead shot in the 60s.
Lefty's Lament
Phil Mickelson is ready for a vacation.
The Masters champion is pleased with the way he's finishing the year, shooting a 3-under 67 on Saturday to move into a tie for ninth place. Only one more round to go before the offseason.
'I'm really looking forward to next year,' Lefty said. 'But I do need a break. I didn't really give myself the sort of break after the PGA [Championship] that I needed to. I'm looking forward to being off next week.'
Mickelson and his family are planning a ski trip and a vacation in Mexico. They'll also be together in Hawaii at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a low-pressure event for the four major winners this year.
Mickelson finally broke through with his victory at Augusta, and he was in contention at the other three majors as well.
'I missed the Grand Slam by five shots,' he said. 'I felt I did a lot of things well this year, especially in the hardest of conditions.'
Lefty struggled down the stretch, including a disappointing performance in the Ryder Cup. He would like to end the season on a good note.
'My swing feels good. The problem today was the putter,' Mickelson said after Saturday's round. 'It was really slick out there. But I'm very pleased with a 3 under, even though a left a few shots out there.'
Filling In
Billy Andrade is playing an unexpected role at the Tour Championship.
The golfer, who lives in Atlanta, filled in with a microphone after ABC's Judy Rankin broke her left elbow and bruised her face in a fall Friday at the network compound.
Rankin, an on-course analyst, flew home to Texas and left her spot on the broadcast team to Andrade, whose only playing experience at the season-ending event came in 1991.
Bouncing Back
Mike Weir didn't let a poor finish the previous day keep him down.
The diminutive Canadian came back to shoot a 3-under 67 in Saturday's third round, leaving him four strokes behind co-leaders Tiger Woods and Jay Haas.
'I made some nice putts,' Weir said. 'I could have made a couple more, but that's golf. I'm still in this thing.'
Weir could have been in the lead if not for a bogey-bogey-double bogey finish on Friday. At the par-3 18th, he needed four shots to get down from just behind the green.
'I just wanted to put that behind me,' Weir said. 'It was unfortunate that I finished the way I did, but I didn't feel like it was from really poor play or anything. I felt like I hit one bad shot on 16.'
Weir had only one bogey Saturday, and he closed with three straight pars.
Tiger Woods, who is paired with Jay Haas in the final group Sunday, played a round with Haas' 22-year-old son, Bill, at the Deutsche Bank Championship two months ago. ... Playing in just his second Tour Championship, John Daly is tied for 16th at 2 over. His only other appearance was a third-place showing in 1991, after his stunning victory in the PGA Championship. ... The $6 million purse includes just over $1 million for the winner.
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