Mickelson Falters while Brendon Todd Moves Into the Lead with a 61

By Dave Shields

Phil Mickelson's great run at the Traveler’s Championship got derailed Saturday as the 50-year-old shot a 1-over par 71 to fall six shots behind the leader Brendon Todd. Todd torched TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., with a 9-under 61 to finish with at 18-under.

Todd’s playing partner, 2014 Traveler’s Championship winner Kevin Streelman was impressed.

“He putted just perfectly out there,” said Streelman of Todd, reported the PGA Tour. “Every putt inside of 15, 20 feet looks like it's going to go in, and today most of them did go in. He's always been an incredible putter. He's swinging it great, and when he's putting well, he's tough to beat.”

Todd holds a two-shot lead over the world’s sixth-ranked golfer, Dustin Johnson. Johnson was on fire, also carding a 61 to get to 16-under.

Streelman wasn’t too shabby either, with a 7-under par 63 to move to 15-under, thr4ee shots back. He’s been there, done that. In 2014, he was four shots back entering the final round and shot a 64 on Sunday to win.

First-round leader Mackenzie Hughes is hanging around at 14-under, while world No. 11 Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na are within striking distance at 13-under. Mickelson, Seung-Yul Noh, Scott Stallings, Patton Kizzire, and Abraham Ancer are all at 12-under.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot a 69, but that wasn’t nearly good enough as he is tied with a slew of golfers at 10-under. He knows the deficit will be hard to overcome.

“Too far back and too many people,” McIlroy said, when assessing his chances, reported the PGA Tour.

As for Mickelson, his 45th PGA Tour win just may have to wait awhile. It was just not his day.

“We all have days where we’re just a fraction off,” Mickelson said, reported the PGA Tour. “I felt like I had one of those days. But I’m having a lot of fun. This has really been a lot of fun. I haven’t played great this year, the next thing I know, my game is starting to come back, and I can sense it and then I play two great rounds (here).”

But he’s not throwing in the towel.

“I’m going to come out (Sunday) and give it my best to go low,” Mickelson said.

Should be another fun Sunday.

(quotes from PGA.com)

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Dave Shields

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