Phil Mickelson tees off during the third round of the Desert Classic.Phil Mickelson tees off during the third round of the Desert Classic.

Phil Mickelson tees off through the third spherical of the Desert Traditional.

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The story of this match is apparent: Phil Mickelson led from the beginning and he’ll be within the driver’s seat come Sunday as he seeks his 44th profession PGA Tour victory.

Right here’s all the pieces you missed from the third spherical of the Desert Traditional in La Quinta, Calif.


1. Mickelson eyes No. 44

Mickelson, taking part in the PGA West Stadium Course on Saturday, began gradual and let Adam Hadwin (65) soar into the lead, however Mickelson made three straight birdies on 6, 7 and eight to make the flip in three-under 33. Birdies on 13 and 14 gave Mickelson the solo lead at 21 underneath, and he added his ultimate birdie on 17, rolling in a 36-footer on the treacherous par-3.

One in every of Mickelson’s finest photographs of the day got here from the deep greenside bunker on 16, though he couldn’t money in with the birdie putt.

Mickelson, after a bogey-free six-under 66, leads Hadwin by two and Adam Lengthy, who shot 63, by three. Steve Marino, who’s making his 222nd begin on Tour, is 4 again at 18 underneath and nonetheless on the lookout for his first profession Tour victory.


2. Can Rahm chase down Phil?

After opening with a pair of 66s, Jon Rahm shot 68 on the PGA West Stadium Course and sits at 16 underneath, six again of Mickelson. Rahm gained this match final 12 months when it was referred to as the CareerBuilder Problem.

Rahm has all the time favored the month of January on the PGA Tour schedule. His two Tour victories have been on the Farmers (Jan. 2017) and final 12 months’s CareerBuilder (Jan. 2018).

3. Give the newbie some love

Beginner Charlie Reiter, a freshman on the USC males’s golf crew, shot a nine-under 63 on the Stadium Course on Saturday. It’s the bottom Stadium Course spherical within the historical past of the occasion and the second-lowest newbie rating in Tour historical past (these information return to 1983).

He completed eight underneath total and missed the lower, however he left his mark on the match earlier than he bowed out.

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