Northern Trust Open Third Round Thoughts

A second so-so round from Phil has set up a potentially thrilling finale and one of the more intriguing final groups I’ve seen: Phil Mickelson and rising star Keegan Bradley. It has in some ways, more potential that last week’s Phil Tiger pairing (although that pairing didn’t live up to its potential).

Phil’s round was in some ways amusing, as he got himself stuck in trees, behind bushes and—in one for the ages—a fan’s pants. Phil’s hit spectators before, but this has to be a new one. I recall that when a wayward Mickelson drive broke a spectator’s watch, Phil peeled off a couple of big bills from his wad and handed it over. This guy who nearly lost the family jewels got an autographed glove.

Phil, of course, takes it all in stride:

“This was a great round for me because I did not play well, and I shot 1-under par and I’m atop the leaderboard. Usually when I win, I’ll have two good rounds and I’ll have two rounds that aren’t so great that I’ve got to keep somewhere in it to give myself a chance.”

Phil can’t afford another not so great round. There are a lot of potential winners within two shots. In a group one shot behind are Pat Perez, Jonathan Byrd and Bryce Moulder. Two back are Dustin Johnson, Aaron Baddeley and Bill Haas. A lot of firepower there, and much that makes this final round worth watching.

Last year’s champion Aaron Baddeley and Moulder matched Bradley with 66s of their own. Another round like that and they’ll find themselves with a trophy.

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