(Reuters) – Phil Mickelson was one-over-par through three holes during the third round at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Saturday but still felt inspired to send his brother and caddie a positive message.
“On the fourth tee I said to Tim, ‘This is so much fun,'” Mickelson said.
“I’m having so much fun because I can feel my game turn around. I’m starting to play well again. I’m starting to putt well and starting to drive the ball well … I just think the results are going to start to slowly come back.”
The results came back rather quickly as Mickelson shot a brilliant 66 to move up to tied-sixth at seven-under overall, five strokes behind leader Brendon Todd heading into Sunday’s final round in Memphis.
This is the highest on the leaderboard a player age 50 or over has been after 54 holes of a WGC event since Miguel Angel Jimenez at the 2014 Mexico.
“I’m going to have to shoot something really low, probably 63, 64 to have a realistic chance,” the 50-year-old Mickelson said. “It’s certainly out there, I’ve shot it before, but good test of golf.”
Mickelson has just one top-10 finish in 13 Tour starts this season but TPC Southwind has always offered him low-scoring opportunities.
He has not finished lower than 12th between 2013 and 2018, including two runners-up and a third-place finish.
Having made cuts in his three previous events, Mickelson is hoping to gather further momentum as he prepares for next week’s PGA Championship – the first of three majors set to take place this year.
“I’ve had a little bit more consistency the last few weeks and this has been a good week so far,” he added. “It’s exciting that I’m starting to play well as we head into them (majors).”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)