On Saturday, Phil Mickelson played a masterful third round at the Shell Houston Open. His 9-under day vaulted him 20 spots up the leaderboard, placing him in a surprise tie for first with Scott Verplank.
Mickelson's first two rounds in Houston were relatively mixed affairs, but on Saturday, he birdied half his holes without committing a single bogey. Mickelson is on the hunt for his first PGA Tour win since his victory at the 2010 Masters nearly a year ago, and the 39th of his career overall.
Almost as impressive was the day had by Scott Verplank, who shot 7-under in his third round. Verplank responded from a bogey on the ninth hole with an eagle on the 10th. Verplank, age 46, is nearly four years removed from his most recent PGA Tour win.
Chris Kirk, who held sole possession of the tournament lead entering Saturday's play, cooled a bit to slip a couple of spots down the leaderboard. Anthony Kim, the defending champion of the Shell Houston Open, also shot 3-under; he sits in a tie for fifth place. Here is how the top of the leaderboard looks entering Round 4's play:
T1. Phil Mickelson (-13)
T1. Scott Verplank
T3. Aaron Baddeley (-12)
T3. Chris Kirk
T5. David Hearn (-11)
T5. Anthony Kim
7. Steve Stricker (-10)
8. Four tied (-9)