Mickelson has fans rocking at Phoenix Open

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 02, 2013
Phil Mickelson drew the loudest roars from the biggest crowd in golf history at the Phoenix Open on Saturday. Mickelson nearly aced the par-3 16th, hitting a 9-iron to a foot to set up a birdie on the rowdy stadium hole packed with nearly 20,000 screaming fans. Estimated at 179,022, the third-round crowd broke the record of 173,210 set last year, also on a Saturday at fan-friendly TPC Scottsdale. The event has drawn 467,030 for the week and is in position to break the mark of 538,356 set in 2008. Mickelson birdied the final four holes and five of the last six for a 7-under 64 and a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker. The 42-year-old has led after each round, scoring 60-65. He fell a stroke short of the tour record for the first 54 holes, and matched the tournament mark set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001. Making his 24th appearance in the event that he won in 1996 and 2005, Mickelson is trying to complete his third career start-to-finish victory and first since the 2006 BellSouth Classic - a 13-stroke blowout the week before the second of his three Masters victories. He also is in position to match the tournament record of three victories set by Arnold Palmer and matched by Gene Littler and Calcavecchia. Mickelson won the last of his 40 U.S. PGA Tour titles 51 weeks ago at Pebble Beach. The left-hander played the first 12 holes in 2 under, making a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first and a 25-footer on the par-4 fifth. He got up and down from greenside bunkers for birdies on the par-5 13th and 15th holes, followed with the tap-in on 16, then chipped to 2 feet on the 337-yard 17th. A day after making a double-bogey 6 on the 18th when he hit a 3-wood drive into the water on the left, Mickelson blasted driver over the water and into the grandstand. He got a free drop, hit to 15 feet and holed the putt to another round of loud cheers. Snedeker had a 65 to reach 18 under. Padraig Harrington and Ryan Moore were tied for third at 16 under. Harrington, making his first appearance in the event, shot a 63, and Moore had a 65. Harrington is winless on the tour since sweeping the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship in 2008, and hasn't won anywhere since the Asian Tour's 2010 Johor Open. On the 16th, the 41-year-old Irishman kicked footballs - official Super Bowl models provided by Wilson, also his equipment manufacturer - into the crowd. He kicked the first ball field-goal style, and then punted the rest as he made his way to the green. Drawing ''Ole! Ole!'' chants from the crowd, Harrington ran his 15-foot birdie putt 4 feet past and made the comebacker for par.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker