Mickelson back in black

2015-04-12 10:12
Phil Mickelson (AFP)

Augusta - Phil Mickelson wore a salmon-colored shirt on Saturday at the Masters to emulate legend Arnold Palmer, but he will be back in black seeking a fourth green jacket in Sunday's final round.

Mickelson fired a five-under par 67 in the third round at Augusta National to charge up the leaderboard, holing a spectacular 40-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th that helped him stay on contention for his sixth major title.

"It was really a fun day," Mickelson said. "My short game has gotten really sharp over the last week or so. It has gotten better and better as the week's gone on. And I'm hitting it all right."

Mickelson stands third on 11-under 205 after 54 holes, five shots back of leader 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, seeking a wire-to-wire victory in his second Masters start, and one behind England's Justin Rose.

"He would just be a great champion," Mickelson said of Spieth. "I'm going to try to stop him, but we'll see how it goes."

Mickelson hoped his fashion statement would inspire a solid round and it did.

"It's not my color, it doesn't look good on me, I don't wear it well," Mickelson said. "But I had a premonition after spending time with Arnold Palmer. He likes to wear this color. I just had a feeling that I needed to make a move, and I had it in the bag and pulled it out."

Now Mickelson hopes to emulate Palmer and Tiger Woods and become a four-time Masters champion. But to do that, the 44-year-old US lefthander will be back in black.

"I've won three times here wearing black shirts, so I'll wear a black shirt tomorrow," Mickelson said. "It also helps me get more aggressive. Studies have shown, like NFL teams, when they wear black, they have more penalties. That's what I need to do tomorrow is play more aggressive."

Mickelson would become the second-oldest winner in Masters history after Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won in 1986.

"I'm not going to try to convince anybody. I'm going to go have fun tomorrow," Mickelson said.

Mickelson has only one top-10 in his past 31 starts but it was a runner-up effort at last year's PGA Championship.

Mickelson won the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters, as well as the 2005 PGA Championship and 2013 British Open. Should he win Sunday, he would match Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino as six-time major champions.

Mickelson went four-under 32 on the front nine, matching Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, and had three birdies in four holes capped by his stunner at 16.

"It's crazy to make that putt," said Mickelson. "I'm just trying to two-putt it. I had perfect speed and it just kind of floated in the side door. I remember in 1991 watching Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson both hit that putt, both made it, and I remember being up in the clubhouse feeling the ground reverberate from the roar. So it's makeable, but it's not an easy one."

Third round scores in the Masters on Saturday at par-72 Augusta National:

200 - Jordan Spieth (USA) 64-66-70

204 - Justin Rose (ENG) 67-70-67

205 - Phil Mickelson (USA) 70-68-67

206 - Charley Hoffman (USA) 67-68-71

210 - Kevin Streelman (USA) 70-70-70, Kevin Na (USA) 74-66-70, Tiger Woods (USA) 73-69-68, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71-71-68, Dustin Johnson (USA) 70-67-73

211 - Paul Casey (ENG) 69-68-74, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 71-70-70

212 - Jonas Blixt (SWE) 72-70-70, Zach Johnson (USA) 72-72-68, Bill Haas (USA) 69-71-72, Jason Day (AUS) 67-74-71, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72-69-71, Ian Poulter (ENG) 73-72-67

213 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-74-71, Ryan Moore (USA) 74-66-73, Hunter Mahan (USA) 75-70-68

214 - Russell Henley (USA) 68-74-72, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 71-70-73, Ernie Els (RSA) 67-72-75, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 72-69-73

215 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 75-70-70, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-69-74, Bubba Watson (USA) 71-71-73, Cameron Tringale (USA) 71-75-69, Rickie Fowler (USA) 73-72-70

216 - Webb Simpson (USA) 69-75-72, Patrick Reed (USA) 70-72-74, Brooks Koepka (USA) 74-71-71, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 73-73-70, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 70-74-72, Lee Westwood (ENG) 73-73-70

217 - Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 74-71-72, Morgan Hoffmann (USA) 73-72-72, Chris Kirk (USA) 72-73-72, Ryan Palmer (USA) 69-74-74, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 74-70-73, John Senden (AUS) 71-74-72

218 - Mark O'Meara (USA) 73-68-77, Matt Kuchar (USA) 72-74-72, Keegan Bradley (USA) 71-72-75, Danny Willett (ENG) 71-71-76

219 - Jimmy Walker (USA) 73-72-74, Steve Stricker (USA) 73-73-73, Jason Dufner (USA) 74-71-74, Erik Compton (USA) 73-72-74

220 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 71-75-74

221 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71-74-76, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 74-71-76

222 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 74-71-77

224 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 75-70-79

225 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 75-70-80

Read more on:    masters  |  phil mickelson  |  golf


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News


There are SIX South Africans competing at this year's Masters. Who will fare best?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.