Hanson the surprise 54-hole leader at the Masters


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Introducing Peter Hanson. He will be the other player in Sunday’s final group at the Masters and your 54-hole leader, not that many noticed thanks to an electrifying performance by Phil Mickelson to stay within one stroke of the frontrunner.

Hanson shot 65 on Saturday for a 9-under 207 total and was actually paired with Lefty for Rounds 1 and 2 this week. Again, not that many noticed the subdued Swede.

“It’s going to be tough,” Hanson said of his Sunday pairing. “I’ve never been in a situation like this before.”

Actually, he has. At the 2010 Ryder Cup Mickelson rolled over Hanson in Sunday singles play, 3 and 2. “That was hard,” Hanson recalled.

Probably not as hard as Sunday will be at Augusta National, and Hanson – who played in the group ahead of Mickelson on Saturday – got a glimpse of what the final round may be like when he watched Lefty hit an impossible flop shot from behind the 15th green and faced a similar shot from a nearly identical spot.

“To be honest I didn’t see that high flop shot,” Hanson laughed. “I played a kind of bump and run. He’s got a few more shots around the green than I do so I’ll just have to play my game.”