Phil Mickelson fumbled at the end of his round today, allowing Nick Watney to nip in and tie him for the lead, at the Wells Fargo Championship, Hollow Quail Club. The pair of them are at -8 under par for the tournament.
Nick Watney and Phil Mickelson / Lecka / Getty Images
Phil’s third round was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly, he finished at +1 over par. This was not the direction Phil wanted to be heading in on moving day. The good was the birdies at 5,8.10 and 14, the bad was the bogeys at 3,12 and 16, with the ugly being a double bogey at the par five 15th, a seven, no less. It was some pretty average golf and Phil admitted it was;
“It was some poor play coming down the stretch.After I made that putt on 14, I felt really good. I thought I could get one on 15. I got lucky on the tee shot that didn’t go out-of-bounds, I missed it so bad, but the second shot should not have been a problem.”
Nick had his own troubles, just when it looked like he would grab the lead on his own, and after a long, long wait on the 17th tee, Nick managed a double bogey on the par three, Thanks to a hackers shank off the tee, with a six iron;
” I can’t remember the last time I did that in a tournament, so it was a bit unsettling. The big picture, I’m tied for the lead, and I would have taken that on Thursday morning. It’s a tough hole, and I’m sure guys hit shots they thought were good and it just hooked a little and went in the water and made double. It just so happened that I’m playing really well and it was on TV, so that’s where the embarrassment comes from. But the other thing is you like to put as much distance as you can between you and the other guys, so a bit of anger and definitely some embarrassment. If I have any chance of playing well tomorrow, I’m going to need to get past it and come out ready to go or else I’m going to get run over, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
In third place alone is George Mcneill, at -7 under par, after his third round of 72, just par. He missed a birdie chance on the 18th to join the two leaders. George, like many of us, thought Phil was going to run away with it, he didn’t;
” Phil looked like he was kind of moving ahead of everyone, and then I don’t know what he did on 16, but it looked like either 15 or 16 he had kind of a mess-up. Then Nick, with the shot that he hit on 17, that actually shook me up probably more than it shook him up. Honestly, I didn’t even know until I was standing on 18 green, and then I looked and I’m like, Oh, wow, I’m tied for the lead.”
There are a whole bunch of players on -6 under par, including Lee Westwood, Lee could only manage a par round today. This tournament is wide open now, almost anybody could still win it, someone will come out tomorrow and shoot a low round.