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June 9 2013

6:00 PM

Strong finish excites Mickelson

WATCH: Phil Mickelson nearly holes his approach on the 72nd hole at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

By Don Wade, Special to PGATOUR.COM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Down by two strokes and hitting an approach shot on No. 18, Phil Mickelson knew he had to go for it. He did and when his ball landed near the hole on the green and a roar went up from the crowd, Mickelson’s hands went to his head. With his view partially obstructed, he thought maybe, just maybe, it went in.

“I knew it was right at the stick,” he said.

Mickelson settled for a birdie, a 3-under 67 for the day and a 10-under tie for second place with Scott Stallings, two strokes behind Harris English, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic Sunday at TPC Southwind.

For Mickelson, though, there was much good in the day and week as he heads toward the U.S. Open at Merion.

“It was an encouraging week,” said Mickelson, who has 41 career victories. “I got better each day. It was fun to get into contention and feel the nerves a little bit.”

After shooting a 71 in the first round, Mickelson shot 67 in Round 2 and 65 in the third round. 

“My iron play was very good this week,” he said. “I’ve got to get the 3-wood in play a little more. My short game was pretty good after the first day.”

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