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August 25 2012

6:17 PM

Mickelson produces bounce-back round

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- After finishing his second round with three consecutive bogeys and admittedly losing "a little bit of confidence," Phil Mickelson needed a bounce-back round Saturday at The Barclays.

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Mickelson
That's exactly what he got, a 4-under 67 that leaves him at 4 under through 54 holes and perhaps in striking distance depending on how the afternoon leaderboard shakes out.

"It was a good solid round that gave me some momentum," Mickelson said. "I had a chance to get a couple more but for me I drove the ball well and I putted very well and I hit some good iron shots. 

"For me it built some good momentum after a day yesterday where I had lost a little bit of confidence. So I was pleased with the way I hit it."

Mickelson was a bogey-free 3 under in his opening nine holes, then bounced back from his lone bogey of the day with birdies on two of the next three holes on the back nine.

His accuracy off the tee improved Saturday, as he hit nine of 14 fairways. Mickelson said he changed his strategy, opting to hit a fade off the tee. "Maybe something I'll look at more in the future," he said.

Mickelson also changed his putting grip, going with a modified claw. He rolled in two lengthy putts -- from outside 29 feet for birdie at the par-4 fifth and a 33-1/2 footer for birdie at the par-4 12th -- and was happy with the new look.

"I made some putts," Mickelson said, "and that was a nice feeling."

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