Mickelson trails Stenson by 2 after Saturday 66


After a bogey-free trip around Castle Stuart Golf Links, Phil Mickelson is firmly in contention heading into the final round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Mickelson fired a 6-under 66 during the third round on another day of ideal scoring conditions in Scotland. At 14-under 202, the four-time major champion sits in a four-way tie for second, two shots behind 54-hole leader Henrik Stenson.

'To put myself in position to have a chance tomorrow, it's a lot of fun,' Mickelson explained to EuropeanTour.com after a round that included six birdies without a single dropped shot. 'It's why we play, and I'll be looking forward to it.'

Mickelson's round began slowly Saturday, with seven straight pars before a run of four birdies from holes 8-12. The southpaw was one of five players to card a 6-under 66 in the third round, bettered by only Gareth Maybin (64) and Raphael Jacquelin (65).

'It felt good to get the round going after a slow start the first seven holes,' added Mickelson, who is joined at 14 under by Branden Grace, John Parry and J.B. Hansen. 'I feel like the game has been sharp, and I finally got the score out of it these last 11 holes.'

A traditional participant at the Scottish Open, Mickelson is hoping that a successful week at Castle Stuart will lead to a similar result at next week's Open Championship.

'It would be a great step in the right direction in my desire to try to capture a British Open to start with the Scottish Open,' added Mickelson, who tied for 16th in this event a year ago. 'This has been a great opportunity for me to work on my touch ... spending these last three days here, it's gotten pretty good and today was as good as it's been.'