Heading into third-round play at the Scottish Open, Phil Mickelson stood in a tie for 13th place but liked his chances.
"I'm in position where, if I get a hot round, I can make up ground," he said. "And I'm playing well enough to do it."
Turns out he had good reason to feel optimistic.
[Updated: 1:20 p.m. PDT: Mickelson charged up the leaderboard with a string of birdies, leaving him at 14 under par after his third-round 66, tied for second with Branden Grace (66), J.B. Hansen (69) and John Parry (66).
Henrik Stenson leads the tournament at 16 under after he shot a 66 on Saturday.
Tied for sixth at 13 under are Raphael Jacquelin (65), Gareth Maybin (64) and Peter Uhlein (70).]
Mickelson remains one of the few marquee names still alive at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness. On Friday, the likes of Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke failed to make the cut.
"Had no idea on these greens," Els said after shooting 142 for two rounds. He now gets extra practice time to defend his British Open title next week.
"I'm glad I'm leaving and I can get onto some other greens," he said.
As for Mickelson, he entered Saturday's play happy to have survived a difficult second round in which his game felt a little off and his putts would not fall.
"I feel like I'm striking it well enough and making enough putts to shoot a really low round," he said. "I want a shot at the Scottish Open title."
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