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Phil Mickelson Enters Final Round of Phoenix Open in First Place

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Phil Mickelson fired a 7-under 64 to match the tournament record of 24-under 189 for the lowest 56-hole score at the Phoenix Open.

Mickelson, who missed setting a U.S. PGA Tour record for three rounds of play by one stroke, tied the tournament mark set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001. He holds a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“I know how good Snedeker is and how hot he can get with a putter,” Mickelson told reporters yesterday. “He can make birdie from just about anywhere. He’s going to make a run tomorrow. I, hopefully, will be able to keep pace.”

Mickelson has been in the lead since he finished the first round. If he wins today, it will be his fourth wire-to-wire victory and first since the 2006 BellSouth Classic.

“To me, the wire-to-wire isn’t that important except for now I’m three rounds and the fourth one is kind of the more important one,” Mickelson said.

Snedeker had a 65 yesterday to finish the first three rounds at 18-under.

“Phil is playing pretty unbelievable,” Snedeker said. “I will have to go at some pins and make some putts early and be more aggressive than I probably normally would be.”

Padraig Harrington and Ryan Moore were tied for third at 16 under.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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