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Roundup: Mickelson closes in

Roundup: Mickelson closes in
Late birdies allowed Phil Mickelson to take a two shot lead over Adam Hadwin into the final round of The Desert Classic in Palm Springs.
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Making his tournament debut and playing the Stadium Course, PGA TOUR rookie and World No. 92 Sungjae Im fired a bogey-free, 8-under-par 33-31=64 in the third round of the Desert Classic for a 54-hole tally of 16-under 200, up 21 places to T7, six short of leader Phil Mickelson.

This was the South Korean's 33rd career lap and matched his low, a 6-under version in R2 at last week's Sony. After opening with 71-65, he landed nine (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, gaining 2.230 approaching and 3.458 tee-to-green. The 20-year-old carded eight birdies, for a second lap in a row, and recorded 1.417 putts per GIR and 2.602 SG: Putting. Seven of his conversions were from eight feet and in, with a long of 23'7" at 17, adding a hole-out birdie-2 at six from 31'3" away. Im, last season's Player and Rookie of the Year on the Web with two wins in 25 starts, is chasing his first TOUR title in 10 events, looking to better a T4 at the Safeway. He'll play out of the third-to-last threesome in R4.
Jan 19 - 9:16 PM

Playing the Stadium Course, defending champ and World No. 7 Jon Rahm pieced together a 4-under-par 35-33=68 in the third round of the Desert Classic, dipping two places to T7 on 16-under 200, six in arrears of 54-hole leader and fellow ASU alum Phil Mickelson.

The Spaniard was T4 and two back last year, shot 5-under 67 and won a 2-man playoff over 36-hole leader Andrew Landry. He's chasing his third TOUR title in 58 events, first since here 20 starts ago. The 24-year-old hit 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation, gaining 1.763 strokes off-the-tee but losing 1.593 on approach. He squared two bogeys at holes 5 (second shot into the water) and 15, outpaced by six birdies at 6, 7, 11, 13, 14 (from 22'2") and 16, posting 1.615 putts per GIR and 1.258 SG: Putting. Rahm will play out of the third-to-last threesome in R4.
Jan 19 - 9:02 PM

Playing La Quinta CC, World No. 19 Patrick Cantlay authored a 6-under-par 33-33=66 in the third round of the Desert Classic to reach 17-under 199, up three places to T5, five adrift of 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson.

Beginning off No. 10 tee, the 26-year-old found seven (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, posting 1.571 putts per GIR. He opened with bogey-5 at 10, but then played his final 17 in blemish-free 7-under, circling 11, 12, 14, 18, 1, 2 and 9, the latter getting him into the penultimate threesome on Sunday. The third-year man is looking to add a second TOUR title in 68 events, joining the 2018 Shriners 25 starts ago, where he came from four back with 4-under 67 and won a 3-man playoff.
Jan 19 - 8:52 PM

Playing the Stadium Course, World No. 317 Michael Thompson smoothed a 7-under-par 33-32=65 in the third round of the Desert Classic, climbing six spots to T5 on 17-under 199, five short of 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson.

The 33-year-old is eyeing his second TOUR title in 194 events, joining the 2013 Honda Classic 133 starts ago, where he was a 54-hole co-leader, shot 1-under 69 and won by two over Geoff Ogilvy. Beginning off No. 10 tee, he found 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, gaining 1.019 strokes off-the-tee and 1.191 around-the-green. The Alabama alum rang up nine birdies, including four straight at holes 16 thru 1 (as he made the turn), outflanking a double bogey-6 at 15. He registered 1.429 putts per GIR and 1.951 SG: Putting, converting four scoring tries from between 12 and 27 feet, and holing out for birdie-3 at 14 from 29'4" away. The Georgia resident, who kicked off with 68-66, will play out of the penultimate threesome in R4.
Jan 19 - 8:43 PM

Making his final start on a Major Medical Extension and playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, World No. 709 Steve Marino fashioned a 5-under-par 31-36=67 in the third round of the Desert Classic, dipping one place to solo 4th on 18-under 198, four in arrears of 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson.

The 38-year-old is eyeing his first TOUR title in 222 events. He's been a runner-up five times, most recently a P2 at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. The Virginia alum, who needs a solo 2nd to meet the terms of his MME, hit eight (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation, recording 1.600 putts per GIR. Beginning off No. 10 tee, he overshadowed a lone bogey-5 at 16 with four birdies at 10, 1, 2 and 5, adding a hole-out eagle-3 at 7. The Oklahoma native will play out of the penultimate threesome in R4.
Jan 19 - 8:30 PM

Making his tournament debut and playing La Quinta CC, PGA TOUR rookie and World No. 417 Adam Long fired a career-tying-low, 9-under-par 31-32=63 in the third round of the Desert Classic to post 19-under 197, up eight places to solo 3rd, three adrift of 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson, who he'll be grouped with in the final threesome in R4.

It's a small sample size (15 total rounds), but the Duke alum has posted two 63s this week, bettering a previous-best 66 in R1 at the season-opening Safeway. He's chasing his first TOUR title in his sixth career event, fifth as a member, with his best finish thus far a T63 at the aforementioned Safeway. On 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, the 31-year-old camouflaged one bogey with six birdies and two eagle-3s, posting a tidy 1.429 putts per GIR and tying the low round of the day. He's also made 113 starts on the Web.com Tour where his best is runner-up two times, including once last season in 27 events.
Jan 19 - 8:06 PM

Playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, World No. 70 Adam Hadwin fired a bogey-free, 7-under-par 33-32=65 in the third round of the Desert Classic for a 54-hole tally of 20-under 196, up one spot to solo 2nd, two shy of leader Phil Mickelson, who was also the 18- and 36-hole pace-setter.

The Canadian is chasing his second TOUR title in 127 events, joining the 2017 Valspar 49 starts ago, where he was the 54-hole leader, shot even-par 71 and won by one over Patrick Cantlay. After opening with 65-66, he began in a two-way T3, three back. On 12 (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, the Louisville alum rang up seven birdies, including birdie-4s at each of the four par 5s, and posted 1.563 putts per GIR. He'll be grouped with Mickelson and PGA TOUR rookie Adam Long in the final 3-ball in R4. The Phoenix resident, who was T68 (last) thru 54 holes at last week's Sony, has posted three consecutive top-6 finishes here, including a solo 2nd in 2017 (as 54-hole leader), highlighted by a tournament-record-tying 59 in R3.
Jan 19 - 7:44 PM

Playing the Stadium Course and with first- and second-round leader Phil Mickelson, World No. 52 Aaron Wise backed up after a 2-under-par 36-34=70 in the third round of the Desert Classic, falling 15 places on the day, and at 8-under 68-70-70=208, missed the cut by one shot.

A total of 73 pros from a field of 155 pros and 1 amateur made the scheduled 54-hole cut on 9-under 207. Wise, a pre-tourney 25/1 outright, was highest up the bookmaker's food chain to hit the exits and misses his first cut at the Desert Classic in three visits. On just three (of 14) fairways and 11 greens in regulation, he lost 0.614 strokes tee-to-green, offsetting three bogeys, including two bogey-6s, with five birdies. For the short week, the 2018 ROY mustered 14 birdies versus four bogeys and one double, and ranked 148th in Driving Accuracy (19/42) and 91st in GIR (37/54). Other notables without a Sunday tee time are: 209- Luke List .. 210- Peter Uihlein; Charley Hoffman .. 211- Beau Hossler .. 212- Joaquin Niemann; Charl Schwartzel; Corey Conners .. 213- Ryan Palmer .. 214- Patton Kizzire .. 216- Brian Harman .. 217- Danny Willett.
Jan 19 - 7:19 PM
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