RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The other left-handed, 50-year-old former Masters champion was on top after a long Saturday at The Country Club of Virginia.
While Phil Mickelson got most of the attention going into the Dominion Energy Charity Classic as he tries to open his senior career with consecutive victories, Mike Weir was a little better on a 36-hole day after rain washed out play Friday. The Canadian shot 68-63 to reach 13 under and take a three-stroke lead over Mickelson into the final round.
“I’m super happy with the way I played today,” Weir said. “My mindset going into today, knowing we had 36, I wanted to get in a nice rhythm for the day because there’s so many holes. If you get in a nice rhythm, you can kind of ride it and I did that. I kind of stumbled a bit on my 18th hole the first round, but maybe that gave me a jump start to just like not be too bothered and just say, `Hey, I’m playing good and let’s just keep the pedal down.’”
Mickelson shot 68-66. He won his PGA Tour Champions debut at Ozarks National in August.
“Having carts makes playing 36 a lot easier,” Mickelson said. “I certainly enjoyed the day and don’t feel all beat up like we normally would. I thought it went OK. I let a lot of shots go and I’m going to go work on it now,, but I’m in a good position heading into tomorrow and hopefully I’ll put together a good round.”
He tried to be aggressive.
“I’m trying, man. I’m trying to attack,” Mickelson said. “I’m trying to hit drivers and get after this course, but it’s hard to do from the rough.”
Weir won the 2003 Masters for the biggest of his eight PGA Tour titles. He was asked if he could remember the last time he slept on a lead.
“It’s been a long time.” Weir said. “It would take me a while to come up with when the last time that was. It’s been a long time, so it feels good.”
Fellow major champion Retief Goosen was third at 8 under with Brandt Jobe. They each shot 68-68.
“The course is great,” Goosen said. “It’s playing obviously a lot longer than last year, much cooler and wet fairways. And the par 3s are playing long, they’ve got the par 3s back today. Yeah, with this north wind, you play all the par 5s into the wind, too, and they’re long, you’ve got to hit two good ones to get there.”
Bernhard Langer, the first-round leader after a 67, was 7 under with Wes Short Jr. (69-68) after a second-round 70.
Ernie Els, the 50-year-old former major champion coming off his second victory of the season last week in North Carolina, shot 72-66 to get to 6 under.
Jim Furyk, another 50-year-old former major champion who won in his first two senior starts, was 5 under after rounds of 71 and 68 alongside Mickelson and defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez.
Jiménez was 1 under, shooting 74-69.
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