Phil Mickelson keeps hold of two-shot lead at Desert Classic

Phil Mickelson fired a bogey-free 66 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Desert Classic.

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The 48-year-old struck six birdies on the Stadium Course at PGA West – one of three courses used in the event – to retain his overnight advantage and stay ahead of nearest challenger Adam Hadwin.

Hadwin posted a blemish-free 65 on the Nicklaus Course, while Adam Long is a further shot back in third after a round-of-the-day 63 at La Quinta Country Club.

“I gave myself a lot of chances,” Mickelson said. “I missed a few short putts that I’ve been making for a while, but I also made a couple of long ones.”

Mickelson opened with five straight pars before chipping in from off the sixth green and following a 10-foot gain at the next with a 20-foot birdie at the par-five eighth to reach the turn in 33.

The 43-time PGA Tour winner drained a 35-footer at the par-three 13th for the first of back-to-back birdies to reclaim top spot, before adding another from 25 feet on his penultimate hole.

Steve Marino holds fourth spot ahead of Patrick Cantlay and Michael Thompson, while defending champion Jon Rahm lies six strokes off the pace in a share of seventh.

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