Harmon gives helping hand to Mickelson at Phoenix Open - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Harmon gives helping hand to Mickelson at Phoenix Open

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Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 6:09 pm | Updated: 6:20 pm, Sat Feb 4, 2012.

Butch Harmon is just a phone call away; at least he is for Phil Mickelson.

With his swing a little loose through the first two rounds of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mickelson made the call to his instructor. Harmon spent a couple of hours with Mickelson Saturday morning.

"I flew Butch in (Saturday) morning because yesterday, the front nine kind of shook me up," Mickelson said. "We had a really good session and I was able to feel much more confident. I hit a lot of good shots especially early on and made some birdies."

The result was a 4-under-par round of 67 to help Mickelson to a 54-hole total of 205. He is eight shots behind leader Spencer Levin going into Sunday's final round at the TPC of Scottsdale.

Mickelson would just as soon fix himself, but that doesn't always happen.

"I want to self-correct, but if I'm not quite finding it I need a little help," Mickelson said. "Butch is the best. Butch can identify things so quickly and get you straightened up right away."

Mickelson is a long ways back of Levin, but he doesn't think he's out of the tournament with all kinds of opportunities to make birdies and eagles at the Scottsdale trek.

"I need to make some birdies and get into position where if I light it up on the back nine I can catch him," Mickelson said. "You never know what might happen. This is a golf course that is very penalizing if you miss it a little bit. You've got fairways that are pitching into the water and if you start missing it a little bit there's a lot of bogeys and doubles and guys can back up."

Mickelson has only made three bogeys this week, but a double bogey on No. 6 during Friday's second round set him back.

On Saturday, back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes got Mickelson to 7-under-par with two par 5's and the drivable 17th hole still to play. Mickelson did birdie the 13th, but that was it as he failed to make up any ground on Levin.

Large crowds continue to follow Mickelson each round as he is easily the most popular player in the field.

Mickelson has moved to San Diego. But everyone here claims him as one of their own. He appreciates it.

"It's awesome being here," Mickelson said. "We don't have a tournament with this size of crowds and to have it be the community that I spent 12 years and went to college, it's a pretty cool feeling for me and I just am really appreciative of the way they have responded."

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