Waste Management Phoenix Open: Phil Mickelson shoots 64 to extend lead

Last Updated: 03/02/13 10:24am

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Phil Mickelson: Excellent front-running performance in round three

Phil Mickelson: Excellent front-running performance in round three

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Phil Mickelson produced a flying finish to move six shots clear after round three of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The three-time Masters champion played a steady front nine of two-under but, as he's done all week, pressed the accelerator on the back nine and birdied the final four holes to be home in five-under 31.

That burst, capped off with a 15 footer at 18, gave the left-hander a round of 64, a three-round total of 24-under and a six-shot lead over Ryder Cup colleague Brandt Snedeker.

Third round leaderboard

(US unless stated)

-24 P Mickelson
-18 B Snedeker
-16 P Harrington (Ire)
-16 R Moore
-15 T Matteson
-14 B Steele
-14 B Haas

Click here for collated scores

Mickelson, who went to college in Arizona, also produced the biggest roar of the day - a gargantuan one in fact - after he put his tee-shot at the stadium hole 16th to just over a foot from the pin.

That sent the 20,000 crowd into a frenzy and the cheers continued as Mickelson added birdies at 17 and 18.

Snedeker did his best to keep the pressure up but actually lost ground despite a bogey-free six-under 65.

Padraig Harrington produced the low round of the day, an eight-under 63, to climb 17 places from 20th to third.

The Dubliner birdied the first three holes and added further gains at five and eight to be out in 30.

An eagle at 15 put him to within three of Mickelson at that point before the leader accelerated away again to leave Harrington eight back going into the final day.

Ryan Moore is tied with Harrington on 16-under but, unless Snedeker can produce a stunning performance on Sunday, Mickelson looks all set to claim his 41st PGA Tour win.

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