Mickelson channels Palmer to close Masters gap

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson borrowed a color from Arnold Palmer and channeled his swashbuckling spirit to fire a 67 on Saturday and move within five shots of the Masters lead heading into the final round. Three-times Masters winner Mickelson donned a salmon-colored shirt and canned seven birdies, including three successively from the second hole to finish the day on 11-under 205. "It's not my color, it doesn't look good on me," said Mickelson. "But I had a premonition after spending time with Arnold Palmer. "He likes to wear this color, I just had a feeling that I needed to make a move, and I had it in the bag and pulled it out." Mickelson decided to attack the relatively easy pins on the front side and it paid off with a four-under 32 at the turn. "I was looking at the pin placements, and they were much more accessible on the front nine, so I felt like I had to get off to a good start." A long, curling birdie putt at the par-three 16th put him on 12 under par, before he slipped with a three-putt bogey at 17 and just missed a birdie putt at the 18th when he grazed the edge of the cup. "It was a much more difficult back nine," he said. "I ended up making two bogeys that stalled my round, but it was a good round." The 44-year-old American was thrilled to be back in the hunt for a green jacket once again after missing the cut last year for the first time since 1997. "To play late on the weekends in Augusta, perfect weather, the golf course was just stupendous today," he said. "It couldn't have been any better. "They got the greens just perfect so a great shot was received. If it wasn't a perfect shot, it would run through. "It was penalizing mis‑hit shots. We saw a lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys. It was just perfect and a fun day to play." Mickelson is going with another color for Masters Sunday. "I've won three times here wearing black shirts, so I'll wear a black shirt tomorrow." (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)