Hanson pulls into the lead, Mickelson lurks close behind
Sweden's Peter Hanson emerged as the third-round leader of the Masters at Augusta National on Saturday after a day of high drama and fluctuating fortunes.
The 34-year-old World No. 25 produced golf of supreme quality to card a tournament-best seven-under 65 and stood at nine-under par, one stroke clear of fan favorite Phil Mickelson, who covered the back nine in six-under 30, one shy of the tournament record.
A stroke further back at seven under came South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen after he had a 69 while Bubba Watson of the United States was on six under after a 70.
Matt Kuchar (70) was on five under with four players -- Hunter Mahan of the United States (68), Henrik Stenson of Sweden (70), Lee Westwood of England (72) and Padraig Harrington of Ireland (68) -- all on four under.
Eight players shared the lead at different stages. Tiger Woods fired a par 72 and, at three over, his chances of winning a fourth green jacket are doomed, standing 12 strokes off the pace. Rory McIlroy, one back from the leaders at the start of the day, was stunned by two double-bogey sixes on the front nine as he went out in a jaw-dropping 42 that brought back dark memories of his closing 80 here last year.
He steadied the ship somewhat down the back nine but his total of 77 left him at two over and out of contention.
Hanson, who played with Mickelson in the first two rounds, is one of the quiet men of golf, but after bogeying the first he made all the right sounds as he rattled off eight birdies, including the last two holes, to leap up the leaderboard.
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