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REARDON: Saturday U.S. Open Blog

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116961205 REARDON: Saturday U.S. Open Blog

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Shoot Your Age

Phil Mickelson turned 41 earlier in the Championship. On Saturday’s third round back nine he failed to best his age. Mickelson had bogey, double bogey, double bogey starting at 14 and posted a six over 42 on the incoming nine.

For the first three days of the Championship, Mickelson found only 20 of 42 fairways, missed 21 greens and added his worst putting round (34) on Saturday, including two three putts. Mickelson goes into Sunday at +7 for the Championship.

Unlucky 13

116971334 REARDON: Saturday U.S. Open Blog

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

On Friday at the 17th, Rory McIlroy became the first player in U.S. Open history to get to 13 under par. He promptly double bogeyed 18, his first hole over par. On Saturday he birdied the 9th hole to become the “second” player to get to 13 under par. He promptly bogeyed the 10th, his first bogey of the week. At eleven he made it three visits to “Thirteen Land” and made it stick with pars at 12 and 13. He finished 14 under for the Championship.

Practice is Overrated

116968876 REARDON: Saturday U.S. Open Blog

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia decided to play his third round of the U.S. Open without hitting golf balls to warm-up. Garcia, who is looking at the end of a run of appearances in consecutive majors dating back to 1999, with no current exemption into the Open Championship, shot one under 70, four under for the Championship. Paraguay’s Carlos Franco, who won four times on the PGA Tour between 1999 and 2004, was noted for rarely hitting balls to warm-up. Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez is infamous for his disdain for the range. Maybe it’s a Hispanic thing.

So Much for That Idea

The rumor was that the USGA gave a the field a user-friendly setup for round 3 at Congressional, hoping to see some good scores and a tighter leaderboard going into Sunday’s final round. The course played considerably easier with thirteen holes playing easier than they did the day before. The course itself played one stroke lower for the field.

Tighter leaderboard? Rory McIlroy cruised to an “easy” 68 and expanded his lead by two shots to eight under par.

Dan Reardon has covered 75 major championships, five Ryder Cups, dozens of PGA, LPGA and Senior PGA Tour events. Visit CBS Local St. Louis for additional golf coverage.