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Mickelson had it going, then finished poorly

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - Phil Mickelson, who had a chance to overtake Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the world rankings, will not. He did shoot 70 Saturday, but that left him at 2-under-par 214.

"I'm disappointed in myself,'' Mickelson said, "because I let a good round slide. I putted great [he briefly was 4 under] and then I made those bad swings on 16 [double-bogey 6] and 17 and played them 3 over par.''

On 16, trying to play safe off the tee with a 5-iron, he hooked it so badly the ball hit the road that runs along the right side of the hole and bounced into the big, grassy area that's home to concession stands, the merchandise tent. It was miles out of bounds.

Pants on fire

There was an interesting remark from Henrik Stenson about the weather. "The wind,'' he said, "feels like it's trying to rip your pants off, and that's no good.''

Stenson, of course, is the Swedish pro who stripped down to his underwear before wading into a water hazard to play a shot in the 2009 WGC-CA Championship at Doral. Entering the third round at 2 under, Stenson, his pants on, shot a 5-under 67 to move into a tie for fourth at 7 under.

Casey at the bat

A year after a rib muscle forced him to miss three months of the season, Paul Casey is in contention to become the first Englishman to win the British Open since 1992. His 67 put him within four strokes of Louis Oosthuizen. "Sitting here right now, I'm ecstatic," Casey said. "You know, even right now, occasionally I feel the muscles in the ribs. In no way do they affect my golf. But it's a small reminder that quite often you take for granted a lot of things, and nothing is better than an Open Championship at the home of golf."

Chip shots

John Daly's trousers were the wildest of the week, a red-and-black stripe variation of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet pattern; he had a 74 for even-par 216 after starting with a 66 Thursday . . . Rory McIlroy, who led the fist day with a 63, then shot 80, rallied for a 69, despite a double-bogey 6 on 17 the Road Hole . . . Mark Calcavecchia started the day in second place at 7 under, but he began bogey, bogey, and then took a 9 on the par-5 fifth hole that included two penalty shots. But after a 43 on the front nine, Calcavecchia had a 34 on the back for a 77 and 2-under 214.

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