Phil Mickelson never tires of expressing his affection for Scottish links courses -- but he won't be taking away any fond memories of the 18th hole at Royal Aberdeen this week.
The chances of the American retaining his Scottish Open title looked doubtful Saturday after he bogeyed 18 for the third straight day. That completed a 1-under 70 and left him a long way off the pace in the warmup for the British Open, which he also won last year for a memorable links double.
"I need a really low round tomorrow. I'll be off early enough to make some noise," said Mickelson, who trails Justin Rose and Marc Warren by eight shots.
Royal Aberdeen has been the ideal test for the field, with winds swirling in different directions off the North Sea. The low drives into the wind and bump-and-runs into undulating greens will be shots players are sure to be replicating at Royal Liverpool next week.
"Each day my game has gotten a little bit better," Mickelson said. "And that's a good sign."
Rose shot a 66 and Warren a 67 for 10-under 203 totals, a stroke clear of Kristoffer Broberg (68). Rose has kept up his strong form despite hay fever and sinus pains.
"I'm on a nice little run. To keep it going would be fantastic," said Rose, who won the Quickens Loans National three weeks ago at Congressional.
LPGA: Inbee Park shot a 4-under 68 and held the Women's British Open lead in Southport, England. She went from a one-shot deficit to a one-shot lead when Ahn Sun-Ju was penalized two strokes after her round for building a stance in a greenside bunker on 18.
Park, at 4-under 212 at Royal Birkdale, held a one-shot lead over Ahn, Suzann Pettersen (68) and Shanshan Feng (69).
Ahn was summoned to the rules trailer, where officials determined she used her left foot to build her stance in a pot bunker. She was assessed two shots for violating Rule 13-3. Her par turned into a double bogey. Her 69 became a 71.
"It's disappointing, but it's my mistake," Ahn said through an interpreter. "What I was trying to do was fix a stance. But it was determined I used my feet to try to make an even lie."
PGA: Brian Harman had two eagles in a 6-under 65 that gave him a one-shot lead at the John Deere Classic with a 17-under 196 total in Silvis, Illinois. Three-time winner Steve Stricker (64) was in second, a shot better than Scott Brown (61) at TPC Deere Run. Harman's eagles came from 30 feet on the par-5 second and from 47 feet on the par-5 17th. Tim Clark, Jerry Kelly, William McGirt and 2012 champion Zach Johnson are three back.
Champions: Gene Sauers shot a 3-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead at the U.S. Senior Open in Edmond, Oklahoma. He had a 33 on the back nine to take control at Oak Tree National. He was at 7-under 206. Colin Montgomerie (74), Bernhard Langer (71) and Scott Dunlap (72) shared second.