Phil Mickelson leads heading into final day of Desert Classic

48-year-old ahead by two strokes as he bids for a wire-to-wire victory in California

 Phil Mickelson leads by two strokes heading into the final day in California. Photograph:  Donald Miralle/Getty

Phil Mickelson leads by two strokes heading into the final day in California. Photograph: Donald Miralle/Getty

 

Phil Mickelson recaptured the lead with back-to-back birdies midway through the back nine and went on to a grab a two-stroke advantage over Adam Hadwin in the third round of the Desert Classic in southern California on Saturday.

Mickelson, bidding for a wire-to-wire victory, had trailed the earlier-starting Hadwin until a 35-foot birdie putt at the 13th brought him level with the Canadian.

The five-times major winner moved in front with another birdie at 14 and added his sixth birdie of the day at the 17th to shoot a bogey-free six-under 66 on the PGA West Stadium Course at La Quinta Country Club for a 22-under 194 total.

“I gave myself a lot of good chances,” Mickelson told Golf Channel. “I missed a few short putts that I have been making historically now for a while and I let a few slide.

“But I also made a couple of long ones that were bonuses.”

A 35-footer at the sixth hole marked the start of three consecutive birdies on the front nine for Mickelson, who also made a 36-footer at 17 to maintain the two-stroke advantage he started the day with.

A win would give Mickelson, who shot a 60 in his opening round, the 44th title on the PGA Tour.

Hadwin, playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, put together seven birdies for his bogey-free round of 65 to finish at 20-under 196.

“I was playing one of the easier golf courses so I knew I had to keep the pedal down,” the Canadian told PGA Tour Radio. “Again a kind of slowish start but I kind of caught fire midway.”

He collected three birdies on the front nine, then added four more in six holes after the turn.

He shot 59 at La Quinta in 2017 but has never won a tournament there.

Adam Long, with a sizzling nine-under 63, was a stroke behind Hadwin on 19-under, with fellow American Steve Marino (67) at 18-under.

Australian Curtis Luck, who had been two strokes off Mickelson’s second-round lead, faded with a four-over 76 that left him 12 shots off the lead.

Collated third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour The Desert Classic (USA unless stated):

La Quinta (Par 72):
197 Adam Long (USA) 63 71 63
199 Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67 66 66
200 Dominic Bozzelli (USA) 67 69 64
201 Scott Langley (USA) 70 65 66, Sean O’Hair (USA) 66 67 68
202 Jason Kokrak (USA) 71 65 66, Alex Cejka (Ger) 66 68 68
203 Trey Mullinax (USA) 65 71 67, Vaughn Taylor (USA) 68 66 69, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 72 67 64
204 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 68 70 66, Andrew Landry (USA) 68 67 69, Charles Howell III (USA) 67 69 68
205 Brendan Steele (USA) 69 69 67, Jonathan Byrd (USA) 71 68 66
206 Julian Etulain (Arg) 71 66 69, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 66 70 70, Kevin Kisner (USA) 69 68 69
207 Kramer Hickok (USA) 67 72 68, Hudson Swafford (USA) 71 71 65, Harris English (USA) 70 70 67, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 70 70 67, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 71 68 68, Ollie Schniederjans (USA) 71 68 68, Chad Collins (USA) 69 70 68, Ryan Blaum (USA) 67 73 67, John Huh (USA) 68 72 67, Cameron Tringale (USA) 70 71 66
208 Brandon Hagy (USA) 73 68 67, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 71 70 67, Brandon Harkins (USA) 71 70 67
209 Martin Laird (Sco) 65 75 69, Nicholas Lindheim (USA) 67 72 70
210 Denny McCarthy (USA) 68 70 72
211 Jim Knous (USA) 70 74 67, Richy Werenski (USA) 73 71 67, Martin Trainer (USA) 70 67 74, Alex Prugh (USA) 67 73 71
212 Max Homa (USA) 68 75 69, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 69 72 71, Brian Gay (USA) 71 72 69, Martin Piller (USA) 68 74 70
213 D.A. Points (USA) 69 72 72, Derek Fathauer (USA) 73 72 68
214 Sepp Straka (Aut) 73 67 74, Patton Kizzire (USA) 72 71 71
215 Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 73 73 69
216 J.J. Henry (USA) 73 73 70
217 Seth Reeves (USA) 72 76 69
218 Chris Thompson (USA) 75 71 72
219 Jason Dufner (USA) 79 72 68
227 Grayson Murray (USA) 77 77 73

PGA Stadium West (Par 72):
194 Phil Mickelson (USA) 60 68 66
199 Michael Thompson (USA) 68 66 65
200 Jon Rahm (Spa) 66 66 68, Sungjae Im (Kor) 71 65 64
202 Sam Burns (USA) 68 66 68
203 Daniel Berger (USA) 67 67 69, Peter Malnati (USA) 70 65 68, Zach Johnson (USA) 71 68 64, Harold Varner III (USA) 68 67 68, Adam Svensson (Can) 66 68 69
204 Wyndham Clark (USA) 65 67 72, Justin Rose (Eng) 68 68 68, Lucas Glover (USA) 68 68 68, Cameron Davis (Aus) 67 70 67, Josh Teater (USA) 68 69 67, Chez Reavie (USA) 67 68 69, Robert Streb (USA) 66 70 68
205 Cody Gribble (USA) 70 67 68
206 Brian Stuard (USA) 70 68 68, Andrew Putnam (USA) 70 69 67, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 66 67 73, Curtis Luck (Aus) 64 66 76
207 Scott Piercy (USA) 72 65 70
208 Bud Cauley (USA) 69 68 71, Benjamin Silverman (Can) 68 68 72, Aaron Wise (USA) 68 70 70, Charles Reiter (USA) 75 70 63, Johnson Wagner (USA) 69 67 72
209 Luke List (USA) 71 71 67, Wes Roach (USA) 68 71 70, Scott Stallings (USA) 70 66 73, Ryan Armour (USA) 69 68 72, Chase Wright (USA) 71 67 71
211 Ben Crane (USA) 72 70 69, Beau Hossler (USA) 69 73 69, Sam Saunders (USA) 68 66 77, Bronson Burgoon (USA) 70 71 70
212 Corey Conners (Can) 71 69 72
213 Ryan Palmer (USA) 69 72 72, David Hearn (Can) 69 74 70, Brady Schnell (USA) 69 70 74
214 Whee Kim (Kor) 76 69 69, Russell Henley (USA) 72 70 72, John Chin (USA) 71 66 77
215 Tom Lovelady (USA) 70 69 76, Mike Weir (Can) 71 70 74, Jason Gore (USA) 74 70 71
217 Danny Willett (Eng) 75 68 74
218 Cooper Musselman (USA) 70 74 74
219 Kyle Jones (USA) 77 70 72

Nicklaus Tournament Course (Par 72):
196 Adam Hadwin (Can) 65 66 65
198 Steve Marino (USA) 66 65 67
200 JT Poston (USA) 68 68 64, Talor Gooch (USA) 67 67 66
201 Joey Garber (USA) 68 64 69
202 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 72 62 68
203 Russell Knox (Sco) 73 66 64, Nick Taylor (Can) 70 66 67
204 Sam Ryder (USA) 72 66 66, J.J. Spaun (USA) 69 67 68, Kevin Streelman (USA) 70 66 68
205 Tyler Duncan (USA) 73 66 66
206 Adam Schenk (USA) 66 71 69, Nick Watney (USA) 68 70 68, Roger Sloan (Can) 70 68 68, Nate Lashley (USA) 72 68 66, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (Mex) 67 70 69
207 Anders Albertson (USA) 68 69 70, James Hahn (USA) 70 70 67, Roberto Castro (USA) 71 67 69, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 66 73 68, John Catlin (USA) 69 69 69
208 Hank Lebioda (USA) 70 70 68, Robert Garrigus (USA) 69 69 70, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 73 66 69, Jim Herman (USA) 68 67 73, D.J. Trahan (USA) 73 69 66, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 70 65 73, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 73 68 67
209 Chesson Hadley (USA) 69 69 71, Tom Hoge (USA) 67 69 73
210 Charley Hoffman (USA) 71 70 69, Shawn Stefani (USA) 75 69 66, Peter Uihlein (USA) 71 65 74, Scott Brown (USA) 72 67 71, Matt Jones (Aus) 71 70 69, Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa) 72 69 69
211 Chris Stroud (USA) 69 71 71, Mark Wilson (USA) 72 69 70
212 Hunter Mahan (USA) 76 68 68, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 74 68 70, Roberto Diaz (Mex) 71 68 73, John Senden (Aus) 71 71 70
213 Will MacKenzie (USA) 76 69 68, Stephan Jaeger (Ger) 70 71 72, Bill Haas (USA) 72 73 68, Rod Pampling (Aus) 75 70 68
214 George Cunningham (USA) 75 68 71
216 Brian Harman (USA) 73 73 70
217 Chris Kirk (USA) 78 70 69
218 Seamus Power (Irl) 74 73 71
221 Michael Block (USA) 76 70 75

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