GULLANE, Scotland – If Phil Mickelson comes up short again at the Open Championship it may be the three bogeys he posted over his final six holes that denied him the claret jug.
Still, Lefty’s third-round 72 left him tied for ninth and five strokes behind front-runner Lee Westwood in his quest to win his first Open Championship.
“It was a good round,” Mickelson said. “Anything around par today was a good round. I think that I'll have to play a good round tomorrow, but I think it's right there.”
Before 2011 Mickelson’s record at golf’s oldest championship was very much un-Phil-like, but following his runner-up showing at Royal St. George’s he’s acquired an affinity for links golf which was only fueled by his victory at last week’s Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.
Mickelson rallied in the third round following a poor ballstriking day on Friday that added up to a 3-over 74 thanks to a late session with swing coach Butch Harmon at Muirfield.
“I didn't strike it great yesterday, so I wanted to have a little practice session before I played today,” Mickelson said. “It went well, I thought. I hit it pretty good today.”