Can Mickelson win US Open on his 43rd birthday

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It is a great story. Phil Mickelson, who has five times been the runner-up in his national championship makes it sixth time lucky. And he does it on Father’s Day, after getting a red-eye jet in, from California a couple of hours before his tee time on Thursday, because he wanted to go to the 7th grade graduation of his daughter Amanda.

Oh, and Mickelson wins his first US Open on his 43rd birthday. Now all he needs to do is write that final chapter.

“It’s going to be great fun playing with Hunter (Mahan) in the final group tomorrow,” he said after a third round 70. I can’t wait to get right back out there. I’m striking the ball really well at the moment. This course is a lot of fun. It’s really hard, but it’s also a lot of fun. I think it’s going to take an under par round to win tomorrow.”

We will see.

A shot behind Mickelson are the two American Ryder Cuppers, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker; together with the South African Masters champion from a couple of years ago, Charl Schwartzel. And then, two shots off the lead are the two Englishmen, Justin Rose and Luke Donald.

Both shot 1-over par 71s, and both were caught out by the 17th and 18th holes; Rose making bogeys at both, and Donald bogeying the par-3 17th and then making a double on the last.

“When my swing gets out of sync at the top,” said Donald, “I go at it too hard and the ball goes right. That’s my miss at the moment. Maybe it had something to do with fatigue, I’m not sure. But I will forget about those two holes tonight, and would dearly love to win this. My round today could have been four or five shots better, because I missed a lot of makeable putts out there.”

Rose too, will be desperate to win his first major championship.

“If you had told me on Thursday morning that I would be two off the lead, going into the final round, I would have taken it like a heart-beat,” he said. “It’s going to be tough tomorrow, but I’m playing well, and I’m comfortable with all parts of my game.”

Meanwhile, the world number one and two players were deeply disappointing shooting 76 and 75 respectively. Tiger’s 76 means he is 9-over-par, 10 shots off the lead; while Rory is a shot better off.

Leaderboard:

-1 Phil Mickelson

Even Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Charl Sxhwartzel

+1 Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Billy Horschel

+2 Jason Day

+3 Ricky Fowler

+4 Michael Kim

+5 Ian Poulter, Gonzalo Fdez-#Castano, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Colsaerts, John Senden

+6 Paul Casey, Lee Westwood

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