LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Phil Mickelson almost made up for his uncharacteristically quiet performances at major championships this year with one eventful day.
Mickelson's 4-under 67 featured near misses on eagle putts on Nos. 7 and 18 as well as consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12. That's the wild ride with which fans of Mickelson are accustomed to taking.
At 10-under, he will play with Rickie Fowler in the next-to-last group Sunday, three shots behind Rory McIlroy.
"I feel like every time I tee it up this week, I have that 7-, 8-, 9-under par round in me," Mickelson said. "My game feels so close to clicking."
Mickelson failed to make the cut at this year's Masters, tied for 28th at the U.S. Open and tied for 23rd at the British. The back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12 offset two early birdies and had Mickelson down until he rammed home a 23-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th.
"That got me going," he said.
Indeed. Mickelson rolled in two more consecutive birdies, including an approach to 3 feet from 197 yards on the 16th hole, and also birdied No. 18.
"I'm certainly going to feel some pressure (Sunday) because I want to have an opportunity to make up for the entire year in one round," Mickelson said. "Those five majors I've won in the past really aren't much help going into (Sunday's) round."
Caddie crossing: Jason Day should owe his caddie, Colin Swatton, some overtime pay. Day pulled his drive on the par-4 No. 2 left of a water hazard. On the five-minute clock to find the ball, Swatton took off his socks and shoes, crossed the shallow creek and found it.
Day followed suit, hitting his second shot barefoot and with his pants rolled up after also crossing the creek. That recovery shot crossed the hole into the rough, where he chipped onto the green and rolled in his putt for an adventurous and memorable par.
"I was too lazy to actually get my shoes thrown over (the creek)," Day said. "Either hit it in my bare feet or put my shoes on and have to take them off again. I was like, we're going to be way behind so I may as well just hit it with no shoes on. It was a great 4 there, a lucky 4."
Tap-ins: In a pick the hole challenge hosted by Jack Nicklaus, fans voted the location for No. 16 in Sunday's final round to be 25 yards from the front of the green and just six yards from the left edge. Fans logging onto PGA.com could choose from one of four locations. … Hole locations at Nos. 13 and 18 were moved Saturday to higher, drier areas because of the rainfall that has hit Valhalla.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times