Mickelson got off to a rocky start Saturday, but three birdies on the back nine helped salvage an even-par 72 during the third round of the Shell Houston Open. At 6-under 210, he is tied for eighth, nine shots behind Matt Kuchar.
“It doesn’t feel far off,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll have a good round tomorrow or not. But it’s close. It’s a lot closer than it has been.”
Mickelson hasn’t finished better than 14th on the PGA Tour this season, though he tied for second earlier this year at the European Tour event in Abu Dhabi.
This week Mickelson ranks in the top 10 in driving distance and greens hit, an encouraging sign after pulling his right oblique muscle a week ago, but he’s 55th in strokes gained-putting.
“I’m trying to get all the parts put together on the same day,” he said, “and I’ve had trouble doing that.”