Lefty gets away to sluggush start
Phil Mickelson has made an uncertain start to his third round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Phil Mickelson made an uncertain start to his third round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as he looked to close in on the world number one ranking.
Mickelson bogeyed the par-four first hole before picking up a birdie at the third to lie level par through four, six under for the tournament and one shot behind leaders Bubba Watson, Justin Leonard and Matt Kuchar.
Watson was two under through five, Leonard one under after three and Kuchar three under through eight.
Woods had earlier seen his hopes of hanging on to top spot recede further as he slipped to 11 over par, shooting a 75 to go with his opening 74 and second-round 72 to lie in 78th place.
He picked up five bogeys, including two on the final two holes, and a double bogey at the par-four eighth. A top-four finish for Mickelson, coupled with Woods finishing outside the top 44, would see Mickelson assume top spot and end Woods’ 270-week reign as number one.
“Well, if Phil plays the way he’s supposed to this weekend, then he’ll be number one,” said Woods on www.pgatour.com after his round.
South African Retief Goosen, the leader at the halfway stage, was also going backwards, a triple bogey at the opening hole sending him back to four under overall.
But England’s Oliver Wilson had lifted himself firmly into contention, three straight birdies in the first three holes helping him to four under through nine, six under overall.
Americans Ryan Palmer and Sean O’Hair were also on six under still out on the course, as was South African Ernie Els, who was five under for his round with just one hole to play after six birdies and a bogey.
Another on the rise was Katsumasa Miyamoto, who carded an eight-under 62 to move to five under.
The Japanese hit an eagle at the 17th to go with seven birdies and one bogey to hit the best round of the tournament so far.
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