By Dan Loumena
12:27 PM EST, January 18, 2014
Phil Mickelson put himself in contention at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, shooting a nine-under-par 63 to move into second place, two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland.
Mickelson, who had nine birdies and an eagle in the round, is tied with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, who had a 66, at 10-under 206 entering the final round.
Orginally it was Rory McIlroy alone in second place at nine under following the third round, but he was penalized two shots for taking an improper relief on the second hole when his drive landed on a gallery crossing path. He is now tied for fourth place with Pablo Larrazabal of Spain at nine under.
"I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said.
Mickelson barely made the cut after shooting an opening-round 73. His second-round 70 put him two shots ahead of the cut line, though.
"The biggest thing for me is that each day as the tournament has progressed I have felt a lot sharper and sharper," Mickelson said.
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain is among five players tied for eighth at eight under while Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Sweden's Peter Hanson are at seven under.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times