Fowler leads Wells Fargo as Mickelson finishes with quad

Sat May 7, 2016 7:33pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler tamed lightning-fast greens to vault into a one-shot lead after the third round at the Wells Fargo Championship on Saturday.

The American matched the best score of the day, a four-under-par 68 on a Quail Hollow course that turned into a beast as low humidity and a stiff breeze dried out the greens and caused nightmares for the late starters.

World number five Fowler, who recorded his first PGA Tour victory here in 2012, will start the final round at nine-under 207, with fellow American Roberto Castro (71) alone at eight-under after bogeying the last.

Englishman Justin Rose and American James Hahn are two shots behind, while halfway leader Andrew Loupe double-bogeyed the brutal par-four 18th to fall three strokes off the pace.

Phil Mickelson fared even worse at the last. His hopes were literally washed away when he ran up a quadruple bogey after yanking his second shot into the creek.

He shot 76 to plunge eight strokes from the lead, in a tie for 19th with, among others, Australian Adam Scott and 2015 champion Rory McIlroy, whose chances of successfully defending all but disappeared.

Fowler has won once this year, on the European Tour, and had a playoff loss in the U.S. at the Phoenix Open.

"It was nice to drive it well," Fowler said after carrying his tee shot more than 300 yards at the par-four 18th.   Continued...

May 7, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Rickie Fowler (USA) looks over his scorecard during the third round of the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports