Hanson leads Mickelson by 1 at the Masters

7:18 PM, Apr 7, 2012   |    comments
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Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - Peter Hanson of Sweden fired a spectacular, seven-under 65 on Saturday, but it gave him only a one-stroke cushion over Phil Mickelson after three rounds of the Masters.

Hanson, who birdied four of his last five holes Saturday, finished 54 holes at nine-under 207, but Mickelson, thanks to his third straight birdie at the 18th, charged up the leaderboard on the back nine.

Mickelson, a three-time winner of the green jacket, came home in 30 for a six- under 66, his lowest round at the Masters since a first-round 65 in 1996. He stands at minus-eight.

Mickelson will be in the final pairing with Hanson on Sunday and that's important. The winner of the Masters has come from the final pairing on Sunday 18 times in the last 20 years.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, bogeyed the last for a three-under 69. He is alone in third at seven-under 209. Bubba Watson birdied the 18th for a two-under 70 and is fourth at minus-six.

In a brilliant third round, eight different players held a piece of the lead.

Saturday, as they say, is "Moving Day" and that was true on this Saturday.

Hanson, Mickelson and Oosthuizen certainly moved in the traditional sense - up the leaderboard.

But several players moved down the leaderboard on Saturday.

None was more surprising than Rory McIlroy.

The reigning U.S. Open champion began the third round one off the lead, but shot a five-over 77 and fell to one-over par.

The second-round co-leaders also had a tough go on Saturday.

Fred Couples, who at 52 was celebrating the 20th anniversary of his only green jacket win, and Jason Dufner both had three-over 75s and fell into a tie for 11th at two-under par.

Tiger Woods barely moved at all.

The four-time Masters champion shot an even-par 72 on Saturday and is tied for 38th at plus-three.

"I was so close to putting it together today," Woods said. "I just didn't take care of the opportunities when I had them."

Matt Kuchar was one of the players who led on Saturday, but he settled for a two-under 70. He is fifth at five-under par.

Hunter Mahan (68), Padraig Harrington (68), Henrik Stenson (70) and first- round leader Lee Westwood (72) share sixth at four-under 212.


The Sports Network