HUMBLE, Texas – Through two rounds at the Shell Houston Open, everything was going right for Phil Mickelson.
The shots were shaping as planned. The putts were dropping with regularity. A Saturday tee time with two unheralded players appeared to pave the way for Mickelson, a winner here in 2011, to take control of the event.
But things did not go as planned for Mickelson in the third round.
Derailed by a watery double bogey on No. 6, Mickelson stumbled home with bogeys on four of his final five holes to post a 3-over 75. After beginning the day one shot off the lead, Mickelson is now in a tie for 18th, six shots behind Jordan Spieth.
“I didn’t play very well today,” Mickelson said. “Obviously disappointed bogeying the last three holes. I would have been in striking distance. The last three bogeys hurt.”
Mickelson credited his first- and second-round success to his resurgent short game, but not much went well for Lefty in the third round. He found just eight of 18 greens in regulation, but still took 30 putts. After a birdie on the opening hole, he didn’t make another until the par-5 13th hole.
“Wasn’t quite on. I didn’t hit it great, didn’t putt great,” Mickelson said. “I had to fight hard to keep it around even par.”