Four shots clear of the rest of the field, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney hope for a match play type final round at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral. Watney's smooth 67 today, combined with Phil's 69 allowed Watney, the Buick Invitational winner, to make up the two shot deficit he had at today's start. Phil's grip and rip philosophy has turned out rather well so far, other than a few Captain Kirks, (Gone where no ball's gone before). Strangely Phil didn't chip in today which ended a streak running back to 1994. Birdies and eagles rendered the Blue Monster relatively defenseless, the leaders finishing at a hefty -16 under par. Mickelson overcame the lack of noticeable rough by bombing and wedging on just about any hole with length. Watney hit fairways and didn't make any huge errors. His putter responded and hence, a tie. Uber-coach, Butch Harmon, joined the NBC booth near the end of the round to point out that both leaders were from his stable. He never hesitated in mentioning that he thought Phil had many more shots in his arsenal than Tiger. At least Butch is consistent. He insists that any thought that pops into his head must dribble out of his mouth. Johnny Miller should have asked him if he thought Tiger would trade his trophy case for Phil's variety of shots.
Outsiders staring at taillights that have a shot if they post of great round then wait in the clubhouse include Jeev Milka Singh and Camilo Villegas at -12, four back, and a flock of five players knotted at -11. Young stalwart Rory McIlroy backed up to -10, six back, with his 72 today. Plenty of time for the young Irishman. It's a tribute to his skill that he's where he is at 19 years old.
What's with all the fuss over Bermuda greens? The announcers make it sound like you have to make a pact with the devil to understand their grain and subtle nuances. Haven't most of these guys played Bermuda many, many times? Is this the Tour's first year with a Florida swing? These guys in the booth have to realize that sometimes just saying nothing is the best move you can make. A little silence in a four hour telecast never killed anyone.