Mickelson, Watney co-lead at Quail Hollow

By Doug FergusonMay 4, 2013, 10:17 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Phil Mickelson's ball was just above the edge of the cart path, slightly below his feet, when he decided to hit a hard fade around the trees toward the green. The shot went out of bounds and cost him the outright lead Saturday in the Wells Fargo Championship, and Mickelson was angry about his decision.

He felt he should have hit driver instead of 3-wood.

In the group ahead of him, new leader Nick Watney hit a semi-shank with a 6-iron on the par-3 17th, the ball flying toward a hospitality tent. He made double bogey, and pulled his cap over his face when the round was over to hide a mixture of anger and embarrassment.

And these were the co-leaders going into the final round at Quail Hollow.

A series of blunders in the last hour of the third round shook up the Wells Fargo Championship, and the only consolation for Mickelson and Watney is that they were atop the leaderboard going into a final round that features a forecast of rain.


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Video: Lefty stumbles down stretch


''Every shot is critical. You just can't throw a bunch of shots away like I did coming down the stretch,'' said Mickelson, who also plunked a spectator on the head with his approach on the 16th and made bogey. ''I'm fortunate to still be on top.''

Mickelson had a 1-over 73, while Watney squandered a solid round with his shank that led to a 71. They were at 8-under 208, one shot ahead of George McNeill, who also dropped two shots over the last four holes for a 72.

''I can't remember the last time I did that in a tournament, so it was a bit unsettling,'' Watney said about his shank. ''The big picture? I'm tied for the lead, and I would have taken that on Thursday morning.''

Even so, what had been shaping up as duel now looks more like a shootout, with a dozen players within three shots of the lead.

One of them was Rory McIlroy, who celebrated his 24th birthday by missing seven putts in the 5-foot range or closer. He had a 73 and didn't lose any ground on the lead.

''I think they may have given me a little bit of a birthday present right there,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm only three back heading into tomorrow, and that's as good as I could ask for.''

John Senden completed his round of 67 some three hours before the leaders finished. Ryan Moore was right behind him with a 68. They were among six players who were tied for fourth, two shots behind. That group included Lee Westwood, who made two birdies and two bogeys in his otherwise boring round of 72.

The starting time for Sunday has been moved up because of rain in the forecast, with the final round starting at 6:45 a.m. Given the forecast, Mickelson treated Saturday like the final round in case Sunday – and perhaps even Monday – is a wash and the tournament is reduced to 54 holes. He made a 7-foot par putt on the 18th to tie Watney.

''It was some poor play coming down the stretch,'' Mickelson said.

McIlroy didn't need to be reminded that it was his birthday. Fans serenaded or shouted to him on just about every hole. If all he wanted was to make some putts, Boy Wonder didn't get his wish. At times, it became a cruel joke.

He stuffed his shot into just inside 3 feet on the third hole and missed the birdie, and that was just the start of it. He missed another putt inside 3 feet that gave him a double bogey on the ninth hole. Add it up and McIlroy missed seven putts from the 5-foot range, along with a 7-foot putt on the eighth.

After all that, he's still in the mix.

''I just couldn't hole anything today,'' McIlroy said. ''I think when you miss a few putts on these greens, you sort of lose confidence in your stroke and then it's just sort of hard to commit fully to what you want to do. If I want to hole some putts tomorrow, I need to do a better job of that.''

Mickelson was sailing right along after a 10-foot birdie putt on the 14th to reach 11 under for the outright lead. And it all changed so quickly. He pulled his tee shot on the par-5 15th well right of the fairway, just above a cart path. This 3-wood went straight instead of fading and went out of bounds.

''I got lucky on the tee shot that that didn't go out of bounds, I missed it so bad,'' Mickelson said. ''But the second shot should not have been a problem. I probably pulled the wrong club. I hit it the second time with the driver to get it to cut. I should have done that the first time.''

In the group ahead of him, Watney faced about a 20-minute wait on the tee at the par-3 17th. When it was his turn to hit, Watney hit a semi-shank toward a hospitality tent that left him nearly 80 yards short on the 207-yard hole. His next shot barely reached the green, and he three-putted for a double bogey.

Asked if he was more embarrassed or angry, Watney said, ''A bit of both.''

''It's a tough hole, and I'm sure guys hit shots they thought were good and it just hooked a little and went in the water and [I] made double,'' he said. ''It just so happened that I'm playing really well and it was on TV, so that's where the embarrassment comes from. But the other thing is you like to put as much distance as you can between you and the other guys, so a bit of anger and definitely some embarrassment.''

He tugged his cap over his face on the 18th green and shouted, not willing to share exactly what he said.

''If I have any chance of playing well tomorrow, I'm going to need to get past it and come out ready to go or else I'm going to get run over,'' Watney said. ''I'm looking forward to tomorrow.''

McNeill was not immune. He sliced his tee shot on the 15th into the middle of a large tree, leaving him no choice but to punch out sideways on a par 5 that he couldn't reach in two, anyway. He wound up reaching this green in four shots, missing a par putt from about 10 feet to drop a shot.

McNeill at least wound up in the final group. And he's not quite sure how he got there.

''Phil looked like he was kind of moving ahead of everyone, and then I don't know what he did on 16, but it looked like either 15 or 16 he had kind of a mess-up,'' McNeill said. ''Then Nick, with the shot that he hit on 17, that actually shook me up probably more than it shook him up. ... Honestly, I didn't even know until I was standing on 18 green, and then I looked and I'm like, 'Oh, wow, I'm tied for the lead.'''

Not for long. He made bogey and fell one shot behind, still in the mix, along with so many others.


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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take an four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up once to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made XX birdies and just XX bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentianian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.  

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 8-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman, and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year. 

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th. 

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.

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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."