McIlroy, Mickelson trail Lee in Abu Dhabi


Scores were once again low Saturday at Abu Dhabi Golf Club - especially from a certain Open champion. Here's how things stand heading into the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where a relative unknown holds a slim advantage over two of golf's biggest names:

Leaderboard: Craig Lee (-12), Phil Mickelson (-10), Gaganjheet Bullar (-10), Rory McIlroy (-9), Pablo Larrazabal (-9), Miguel Angel Jimenez (-8), Thongchai Jaidee (-8)

What it means: Lee didn't show signs of a player in search of his first career win, grabbing sole possession of the lead after sharing it through 36 holes. The Scot carded a solid 3-under 69 Saturday and will take a two-shot lead into the final round, though he may be overshadowed by two of the game's greats, who both are now in position to chase him down during Sunday's final round.

Round of the day: Oh, Phil. After barely making it past the 36-hole cut, Mickelson put it all together Saturday, quickly jumping back into contention with a 9-under 63. The five-time major champion was able to go low despite a pair of bogeys in the third round, countering them with an eagle at the par-5 eighth to go along with nine birdies. Just two days removed from a birdie-free round, Mickelson got his birdie average back on track, and as a result surged from the cut line to near the top of the leaderboard in one spectacular round.

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Best of the rest: While his round didn't have the flash of Mickelson's, Bhullar was able to make a significant move in the standings thanks to a bogey-free, 6-under 66 Saturday. He birdied each of his first two holes and kept up the pace from there, turning in 4-under 32 while putting himself in position for a realistic shot at his maiden European Tour win.

Biggest disappointment: Rafael Cabrera-Bello held at least a share of the lead after each of the first two rounds, but things went awry during Saturday's third round. While much of the field was going low, the Spaniard failed to make a single birdie until No. 17 and, despite adding another circle on the home hole, lost ground with a 1-over 73. Cabrera-Bello was derailed by a double bogey on the ninth hole, and now will begin the final round in a tie for sixth, four shots off the pace.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: While Lee is a deserved leader, most of the attention will be paid to the two names below his on the leaderboard. McIlroy has been lurking all week and will have extra motivation going into the final round after being penalized two strokes after completing the third round, while MIckelson seemingly rose from the ashes during a remarkable third round that was "vintage Phil." Tournament organizers are likely delighted at how things are shaping up through 54 holes, with the appetizing prospect of a duel between two multiple major winners in the works.

Quote of the day: "I hit a lot of good shots, and I putted really well to make that many birdies. It was a fun day." - Mickelson