Mickleson winds up Faldo as Dustin Johnson grabs PGA lead
"What's the third thing?"
Poor old Nick Faldo walked straight into that one, and Phil Mickelson was sitting on the life buoy.
If this was a live audition for a punditry gig at CBS Golf, 'Lefty' crushed it.
Fresh off an Even par round of 70, in the US PGA Championship, Mickelson joined CBS presenter Jim Nantz and six-time Major winner Nick Faldo in the commentary booth for an afternoon of analysis and insight. The 50-year-old would have preferred to make headlines for a run at the Wannamaker trophy, but he settled into his major punditry debut nicely.
Mickelson's start was as strong as one of his flop shots as he beamed a grin and left Faldo and Nantz hanging. "Ready for a little fire-side chat with Phil?" Nantz began. "Phil, it's great to have you." Mickelson opened with this:
"Thank you. It's great to be here. There's three things I do well - play golf and talk golf."
Walking blindly into the set-up, classic straight man Faldo asked, "What's the third, then? You said three things."
All he got back from Phil Mickelson was a broad grin and Nantz rescued his colleague by remarking, "We'll leave that to your imagination, dear boy." Answers on a postcard, please...
Phil Mickelson fucks pic.twitter.com/Fj745oiNgR
— Trent (@BarstoolTrent) August 8, 2020
Faldo, later in the afternoon, could not resist mentioning that he had won six Majors, to Mickelson's five, and gave us hope that these two men could be sniping at each other for years to come.
DJ makes his move
Many wondered if Haotong Li really needed to hang around Harding Park over four hours after his round of 65 on Friday. The Chinese golfer had gone low to take a two-shot lead, only to park himself in the practice area and go back forensically over his game.
On Saturday, Haotong faded coming down the stretch and you could not but think he should have went easier on himself the evening before. He carded a third round of 73 to drop back to -5 and open the gate to the chasing pack.
The man that took advantage of that stumble was former world number one Dustin Johnson, who went round in 65 to go one clear on -9. Just behind Johnson were his fellow Americans, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Champ.
Johnson discovered he had lost his yardage book, early in his round, and was fortunate that his brother was present at the course and had a spare one. He also overcame a double bogey on the ninth hole to card an impressive -5 round.
'DJ' has one US Open win to his name and many other close calls in Majors. He told reporters:
"All I can do is go out [on Sunday] and play my game and shoot the best number I can. I'm going to just try and go out and shoot as low as I can tomorrow just like I did today. You know, just take what the golf course gives me and just keep on going because, you know, it doesn't really matter what other guys are doing. All I can control is myself."
The Irish challenge faded on 'moving day' as neither Rory McIlroy or Shane Lowry did much moving. Lowry shot a 69 in a round that included a double bogey 'six' on the fourth, while McIlroy went from the sublime to the haphazard in his Even par round of 70.
US PGA Leaders after Round 3
- Dustin Johnson (-9)
Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Champ (-8)
- Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Collin Morikawa (-7)
- Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day, Daniel Berger, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau (-6)