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Another record for Mickelson

February 13, 2005 15:33 IST
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Another day and another record for Phil Mickelson as the world number four golfer stormed into a seven-stroke lead with a sizzling five-under 67 in the third round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Saturday.

The left-hander has been in devastating form on California's Monterey Peninsula, scorching all three courses used in the $5.3 million event to earn the US Masters champion a 54-hole tournament record total of 20-under 196.

World number one and defending champion Vijay Singh of Fiji struggled to a one-over 73 for the third consecutive day to miss the cut for the first time in more than a year, stretching back to the 2004 Buick Invitational.

Britain's Greg Owen eagled the 18th at the Poppy Hills Golf Club to shoot a 67 and move into second place on 203.

Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal, Tim Clark of South Africa and Andrew Magee, Kevin Sutherland and Paul Goydos were nine strokes adrift of the leader on 205.

Mike Weir, the 2003 US Masters champion, began the day four behind Mickelson but the Canadian left-hander posted a one-over 73 at Spyglass Hill to finish tied with Britain's Darren Clarke, Jeff Sluman and Arron Oberholser on 10-under 206.

"I still want to go out and play a good round tomorrow," said Mickelson, the 1998 Pebble Beach champion. "I'm not taking it lightly, I know there's a 10-under, nine-under out there.

"I want to go out and shoot a solid 69 or 68 and not give these other guys a chance.


"I don't want to do anything stupid that will open the door and let guys back in but I also don't want to go out and play defensive.

"I want to play the way I've been playing, which is taking aggressive swings, firing at some pins and trying to make some birdies. I think because I have a few shots in hand I'll be able to play that style of golf without fear."

Fresh from a five-stroke victory at last week's Phoenix Open which included a course record-equalling 11-under 60, Mickelson carried his blistering form to California.

The 34-year-old American sounded a warning when he opened with a record 10-under 62 at Spyglass Hill before following up with a 67 at Poppy Hills to set a 36-hole tournament record.

Mickelson produced six birdies on Saturday, his only blemish being a bogey on the par-four 10th. In his last six rounds, he has fired 41 birdies and an eagle.

Billy Andrade, playing at Pebble Beach, had the top round of the day with a nine-under 63 rocketing him up the leaderboard to join a group of four players on nine-under 207.

Andrade had a bogey at the first but hit back in brilliant style with eight consecutive birdies from the fifth.


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