HE’S STILL GOT A MICK KNACK
PHIL MICKELSON turned back the clock yesterday by posting the first sub-70 of the third round to shoot up the leaderboard.
The American, 50, shot a three-under-par 69 to move back to level despite finding the water with a seven-iron approach at the par five 15th.
‘Lefty’ – a three-time Masters champion – salvaged par and produced another of his trademark escape acts at the final hole to par from a bunker.
He said: “I didn’t play well enough on the first two days to give myself a legitimate opportunity but it felt good to shoot a number. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve scored well.
“You want that opportunity to do what Jack Nicklaus did in 1986 and shoot a 65 to win it in the final round. That might not be enough but it wasn’t the easiest and it felt good to shoot a number.
“It was disappointing going in the water but I will take a par there. Unfortunately I didn’t quite make those 30 or 40 footers to make the round really low.
“I love seeing Augusta like this because you can score low but you also need to respect it.”
As his final putt dropped, he had rocketed up 25 places into a share of 22nd.
English duo Ian Poulter and Paul Casey were unable to make similar inroads. Poulter shot 72 to remain at three over with Casey bogeying the last, after skewing his second into the green-side bunker, to drop to four over.
Canadian Corey Connors had a day to remember, holing in one at the short sixth – the second ace of the tournament after Tommy Fleetwood made one at the 16th in the first round.