Phil Mickelson breathing down Nick Taylor’s neck at Pebble Beach

Canadian leads five-time winner by one as Séamus Power makes cut in California

Phil Mickelson trails Nick Taylor by one at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty

Phil Mickelson trails Nick Taylor by one at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty

 

Nick Taylor maintained the lead after the third round at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday with Phil Mickelson breathing down his neck in search of an historic sixth victory at the storied event on the California coast.

In what is shaping up as a three-man race, Canadian Taylor, at 17-under-par 198, will take a one-shot advantage over American Mickelson into the final round, with resurgent Australia Day three behind.

Victory would be highly significant to all three for their own reasons.

For Mickelson, apart from boasting the Pebble Beach victory record, it would be a rocket-like boost to the 49-year-old whose form since winning last year has been lacklustre at best.

He is not yet exempt for the US Open in June at Winged Foot, where he threw away victory with a final-hole double-bogey 14 years ago, but says his game has been sharp for a while and his mind is finally getting out of the way.

He shot 67 at Pebble Beach on a day when he weaved his old magic around and on the greens, holing a bunker shot and taking just 22 putts.

“It was a nice score on a day when it wasn’t easy,” he told PGA Tour Radio.

“The greens were firm, the wind made it difficult and I ended up making a good score, did a good job of getting the ball in the hole.”

A third place at the Saudi International on the European Tour last week boosted his confidence.

“I knew I was playing well starting the year. The first couple of tournaments I ended up not really controlling my thoughts and visualizing very well.

“These last two weeks I’ve started to see things a lot clear and execute a lot better without any kind of negativity. So I’ve been much more assertive and aggressive and controlling my mind a little bit better.”

Séamus Power was the only Irish representative to make the cut, after he shot a third round of 71 at Monterey Peninsula to leave himself on four under par for the tournament.

Pádraig Harrington’s involvement is over after he shot a third round of 74 at Spyglass Hill to miss the three under par cut mark by five strokes. Graeme McDowell was a shot further back after shooting a 73 at Pebble Beach.

Standing in Mickelson’s way on Sunday will be Taylor, whose career resume of one tour victory does not quite stack up with Mickelson’s 44.

“Tomorrow will be tough,” Taylor said after shooting 69 at Spyglass Hill, one of three courses used for the event.

“If I keep playing like I’ve been playing I think I’ll have a good shot.

“(I need to) stay in my own world and not get distracted by anything else outside of that.”

Former world number one Day has not won in nearly two years.

He was a little disappointed not to be closer to the lead, giving himself only an average grade for his 70 at Spyglass.

“I left myself a few too many times above the hole and you really can’t be aggressive when you do that,” he said.

Collated third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour AT&T Pebble Beach (USA unless stated, par 71):

Monterey Peninsula Country Club

204 Matt Every 70 66 68

205 Peter Malnati 70 69 66

206 Matt Jones (Aus) 68 73 65

208 Matthew NeSmith 68 71 69

209 Matt Kuchar 70 71 68, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 69 70 70, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 70 68

210 Ben Martin 72 68 70, J.B. Holmes 71 72 67, Maverick McNealy 72 72 66, Tyler McCumber 71 70 69

211 Chase Seiffert 66 76 69, Vincent Whaley 71 73 67, Stewart Cink 69 72 70, Seamus Power (Irl) 72 68 71

212 Wes Roach 69 73 70, Henrik Norlander (Swe) 69 73 70, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 71 74 67, Lucas Glover 70 76 66, Alex Cejka (Ger) 69 73 70

213 Nick Watney 73 66 74, Vaughn Taylor 72 71 70, Mark Hubbard 74 72 67, Robert Streb 67 74 72, Bol Hoag 71 75 67

214 Michael Thompson 73 74 67, Chris Kirk 72 72 70, Scott Stallings 73 73 68, Harold Varner III 67 76 71, Andrew Landry 76 69 69, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 73 71 70

215 Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 71 76 68, Scott Brown 77 72 66, Ted Potter, Jr. 72 74 69, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 74 72 69

216 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 73 79 64, Zack Sucher 72 74 70

217 Brandon Hagy 73 68 76, Nelson Lauta Ledesma (Arg) 73 70 74, Michael Gellerman 73 73 71, Dominic Bozzelli 76 71 70

218 Brian Stuard 73 77 68

219 David Lingmerth (Swe) 72 74 73

220 Tyler Duncan 73 73 74

221 J.J. Henry 74 76 71, Ryan Armour 70 74 77

223 Roberto Castro 74 74 75, Bol Van Pelt 75 74 74

225 Hank Lebioda 74 77 74

227 Robert Garrigus 74 77 76, Scott Ger Borba 75 78 74

Spyglass Hill GC

198 Nick Taylor (Can) 63 66 69

201 Jason Day (Aus) 67 64 70

206 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 67 66 73, Scott Piercy 68 66 72

208 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 68 69 71, Cameron Champ 71 66 71

209 Christopher Baker 69 64 76, Harry Higgs 66 69 74, Chez Reavie 67 69 73

210 Alex Noren (Swe) 69 67 74, Beau Hossler 68 72 70, Joseph Bramlett 71 70 69, Jim Herman 67 73 70

211 Joel Dahmen 71 73 67, Adam Schenk 68 69 74, Cameron Tringale 71 69 71, Tom Hoge 69 73 69

212 Rob Oppenheim 68 74 70, Aaron Wise 68 74 70, Keith Mitchell 69 67 76, Cameron Davis (Aus) 71 72 69

213 Richy Werenski 66 72 75

214 Justin Suh 67 70 77, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 74 66 74, Doug Ghim 68 72 74

215 Scott Harrington 68 72 75, Johnson Wagner 70 74 71, Mark Anderson 73 70 72

216 Ricky Barnes 66 72 78, George McNeill 68 71 77, James Hahn 71 70 75, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 67 73 76, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 73 66 77

217 Jonathan Byrd 67 72 78, Brice Garnett 70 70 77, Patrick Martin 73 71 73, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 70 73 74

219 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 70 74 75, Josh Teater 70 72 77

222 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 76 73 73, Bill Haas 71 75 76, Rhein Gibson (Aus) 74 69 79, Rod Pampling (Aus) 73 73 76, D.J. Trahan 71 75 76

223 Isaiah Salinda 74 73 76

225 Hunter Mahan 74 77 74

226 Tim Herron 78 74 74, Sung Kang (Kor) 74 73 79, J.J. Spaun 69 78 79

235 Kevin Stadler 77 76 82, Sam Saunders 77 78 80

Pebble Beach GC

199 Phil Mickelson 68 64 67

204 Kevin Streelman 69 67 68

206 Dustin Johnson 69 65 72, Lanto Griffin 67 68 71

207 Kurt Kitayama 69 69 69, Max Homa 67 69 71, Patrick Cantlay 66 69 72

208 Viktor Hovland (Nor) 70 68 70, Brian Gay 72 68 68

209 Wyndham Clark 68 71 70, Daniel Berger 70 69 70, Sean O’Hair 73 65 71, John Senden (Aus) 71 71 67, Paul Casey (Eng) 71 65 73, Kevin Chappell 68 67 74

210 Kevin Na 75 67 68, Ryan Brehm 73 69 68, Chesson Hadley 71 67 72, Kevin Kisner 72 68 70

211 Brandon Wu 69 66 76, Jason Dufner 73 70 68, Zac Blair 69 69 73

212 Doc Redman 73 67 72, Luke Donald (Eng) 72 71 69, Troy Merritt 69 70 73, Michael Gligic (Can) 72 71 69, Jordan Spieth 70 71 71

213 Arjun Atwal (Ind) 75 67 71, Jim Furyk 74 70 69

214 Charley Hoffman 67 72 75, Smylie Kaufman 75 66 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 74 69 71, Brandt Snedeker 73 67 74

215 Steve Stricker 74 68 73, Peter Uihlein 73 70 72, Branden Grace (Rsa) 73 70 72, Patrick Rodgers 76 68 71, Russell Knox (Sco) 74 65 76

217 Sebastian Cappelen (Den) 72 70 75, Chad Campbell 74 72 71, Ben Taylor (Eng) 73 67 77

218 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 70 75 73, Adam Long 74 66 78

219 D.A. Points 77 70 72

220 Pat Perez 71 75 74, Jimmy Walker 73 68 79

221 Chris Stroud 76 70 75

222 Martin Trainer 73 75 74, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 77 71 74

223 Austin Cook 78 71 74, David Hearn (Can) 75 73 75

Cut to take place at end of Round 3 for scores of no more than 212

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