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Mickelson (64) catches fire, vaults into share of lead

Associated Press / September 9, 2012
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The BMW Championship turned into golf’s version of an All-Star game Saturday with Phil Mickelson making 10 birdies to share the lead with Vijay Singh, and a host of other proven players lined up behind them at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.

Mickelson, who shot 64, shrugged when asked about all the stars on the leaderboard, only because he figured his name wasn’t at the top and there was still work to be done.

That was before Singh had his only three-putt of the tournament from about 45 feet on the last hole that made him settle for a 69.

They were at 16-under 200 going into a final round loaded with possibilities.

Rory McIlroy, going for his second straight FedEx Cup playoff win, birdied the 18th to salvage an ordinary day with a 69. He was one shot behind with Lee Westwood, a former world No. 1 who made all five of his birdies on the back nine for a 68.

Dustin Johnson had a 67 and was in the group two shots behind that included Adam Scott (66) and Robert Garrigus (66).

Not to be forgotten is Tiger Woods, who turned his sloppy play around by chipping in from 25 feet on the ninth hole that began a run of four birdies in a five-hole stretch. He had to settle for a 71, and is three shots behind.

Mickelson finished the front nine with four straight birdies, caught Singh with a 10-foot birdie on the 13th, and then overcame a bogey on the 14th with three birdies in his last four holes.

The most impressive was on the 17th, where he hit a soft cut with a 6-iron to a tight pin, gave it a little body English and saw it settle 6 feet away.

‘‘It’s taken me a little while to piece it back together, but I could tell last week that my game was back and I was ready to play at the highest level again,’’ Mickelson said. ‘‘I came out Thursday and forced it a little too much the front nine. But after that, I've been able to settle down and play some good golf.”

LPGA — Paula Creamer moved into position to end a two-year victory drought, shooting a 6-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Jiyai Shin (69) into the final round of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.

The nine-time tour winner chipped in for birdie on the par-4 13th in her bogey-free round on Kingsmill’s River Course. She had a 16-under 197 total, the lowest 54-hole score in the history of the event.

Dewi Claire Schreefel (69) and Danielle Kang (70) are 12 under.

Second-ranked Staci Lewis (68) was 11 under along with Ai Miyazato (67) and Azahara Munoz (69). Lewis and Miyazato each have two victories this season.

European — Graeme Storm (69) blew a five-stroke lead midway through the third round and dropped into a four-way tie for the lead with Pablo Larrazabal (64), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (66), and Scott Jamieson (66) at 12 under in the KLM Open in Hilversum, Netherlands.

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