Mickelson looks to Firestone for Valhalla finish

Sat Aug 9, 2014 10:46pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOUISVILLE Kentucky (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson has endured a disappointing season by his usual lofty standards but hopes to feed off memories of Firestone last week as he heads into Sunday's final round of the PGA Championship.

Six days ago in Ohio, the American closed with a sizzling eight-under-par 62 to tie for 15th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, a display that gave him timely momentum for the year's final major.

Though he has played well only in spurts over the first three rounds here at Valhalla Golf Club, Mickelson has given himself a chance of winning a sixth major title as he trails tournament leader Rory McIlroy by three shots after 54 holes.

"Last week at Firestone that eight-under-par round is where I got off to a good start," the left-hander told reporters after reeling off four birdies in his last five holes for a four-under-par 67 and a 10-under total of 203.

"I just kept the momentum going throughout the round. I need to do that again tomorrow. That's the bottom line.

"The great thing about it is that I put myself in a position now where if I do do that and play the way I feel I can and shoot the number I believe I can, I'm in a position to win the golf tournament and that's what feels good."

Mickelson, a 42-times winner on the PGA Tour, has not recorded a top-10 this season in 17 starts and accepts he faces a daunting challenge in trying to overhaul the in-form McIlroy in the final round at Valhalla.


Phil Mickelson of the U.S. watches his drive off the 18th tee during the third round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder