Shell Houston Open: Phil Mickelson Shoots 3rd Round 67, Feels He Could Go Low On Sunday

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With 26 players within five shots of the lead at the Shell Houston Open, the leader board is incredibly crowded after three rounds with one round of golf left to play. One of those golfers that managed to get themselves into striking distance prior to the final round was Phil Mickelson.

“Lefty” was one of several golfers to card a 67 in the third round, moving him 33 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 21st place at six under par. He’s now just five shots behind co-leaders Stewart Cink and Bill Haas. This is Mickelson’s last warm-up event before The Masters and he is more concerned with rounding his game into form than where he sits in the final standings. Even still, any athlete tries to win whenever they suit up, and Mickelson is no exception.

His third round started out well with a birdie on the first hole. The rest of his front nine was relatively uneventful as he carded another birdie and a bogey before making the turn. The back nine is where Mickelson really stepped on the gas, however. He managed to record five birdies and just a single bogey on the back nine, including a birdie on the closing hole to get to six under par for the tournament.

“I feel like it’s getting better each day and that’s what I was hoping for,” Mickelson said. “I feel like I’ll have a low one tomorrow.  I’m not sure how far back I’ll be, but I feel like I’ve got a low round in me tomorrow.”

If Mickelson has an even lower round waiting for tomorrow, it could spell trouble for the rest of the field. He has flirted with a 59 already this year. He was five under par on his round Saturday. Going low for “Lefty” could mean shooting somewhere in the neighborhood of eight or nine under, which would put him in prime position to contend for the title. Even if he doesn’t pull out a victory, a solid final round will be just what he needs to get ready for The Masters.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.