Phil Mickelson shoots 63, surges into contention at Abu Dhabi

Phil Mickelson doing Phil Mickelson things on Saturday. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson doing Phil Mickelson things on Saturday. (Getty Images)

More Golf: Leaderboard | Rankings | Schedule | Equipment | FedEx Cup | Masters 2014

The Phil Mickelson Experience was on full display Saturday in Abu Dhabi as the reigning British Open champ put on a show for the fans who came out to see him in the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Lefty barely made his alleged $2 million appearance fee worthwhile by sneaking inside the cut by one shot on Friday but on Saturday, well, Saturday was a different story.

Mickelson had a mind-boggling nine birdies and an eagle. Here's a look at his card:

That birdie at the final hole was the special one. 

He hit it into the sand off the tee then into the "sandy waste" on his second before hitting a brilliant third and nailing a 30-foot putt to get in one shot off the course record (held by Henrik Stenson). Here's a shot of his final putt:

Mickelson was in full Mickelson form afterwards, too, noting that his final hole was sort of a poor choice.

"It was not a smart decision out of the bunker to go for the green, but I don't know, that's just what I do."

The other thing he does is shoot 63s in the third round of big tournaments he plays to get into contention. The 63 tied Danny Willett for the round of the week by two shots over Tommy Fleetwood's 65 from Friday.

Mickelson, now at 10 under, had jumped 41 spots by the time he finished on Saturday with only one golfer, Craig Lee at 12 under, ahead of him by two shots.

With Rory McIlroy lingering just behind him we could be in for a star-studded Sunday finish from the desert.

Mickelson said he really has things rolling now.

"The first day, I felt terrible. I felt terrible off the tee, I felt terrible with my irons and my putter was awful. The second day, half of it started to come around, and today it felt pretty good."

At this point I'd be shocked if he didn't come home with the trophy.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories