Originally created 05/03/04

Mickelson two back heading into final round



NEW ORLEANS -- Playing in his first tournament since winning the Masters, Phil Mickelson moved into position to make it two in a row on Sunday at the HP Classic.

Mickelson shot a 69 in the third round to move into a tie for second with Charles Howell III , two strokes behind leader Joe Ogilvie.

Ogilvie shot a 66 on Sunday for a 17-under 199.

The final round was pushed back to Monday because of rain delays in the first two rounds.

Mickelson began the day in a six-way tie for third at 12-under, and moved to 14-under on the front nine before a bogey on No. 9.

He offset that miscue with birdies on 11, 14 and 15, to move within a stroke of Ogilvie. But a bogey on 18 dropped him two off the lead and left him at 15-under 201.

Ogilvie, looking for his first PGA Tour victory, had six birdies and no bogeys on the round. He had his best finish last week in the Shell Houston Open, finishing tied for 19th, but has made eight of 11 cuts this season.

Second-round leader Danny Ellis shot an 10-over 82 to fall way off the pace after opening rounds of 63 and 66. He was at 5-under.

Howell shot a 1-under 71 in the harsher conditions on Sunday after rounds of 66 and 64.

Justin Rose and Hidemichi Tanaka were a three strokes back at 14-under 202.

A group of six players, including Vijay Singh, former champion K.J Choi and Guy Boros, who shot a third-round 63, were tied with a 13-under 203.

The $5.1 million tournament was delayed during the first and second rounds because of bad weather. Friday, heavy rain prevented any play.

The weather remained threatening Sunday morning, but the course was dry enough to allow play to resume and 77 players finished their round.

Players had described the course at English Turn as defenseless in the first and second rounds when the rain softened it and there was no wind. On Sunday it got tougher as a brisk north wind caused problems and scores rose.

Organizers planned to send golfers off two tees Monday morning to complete the tournament.