Desert Classic: Phil Mickelson is 54-hole leader after shooting 6-under 66

Phil Mickelson (Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson maintains control of the leaderboard after day three at the Desert Classic.

The 43-time PGA Tour champion is one round removed from his second win in less than a year — before the March victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Mickelson hadn’t won on tour since 2013. He teed off at the Stadium Course on Saturday and had a mistake-free round highlighted by six birdies.

Mickelson carded a 6-under 66 to improve his tournament total to 22 under. He holds a two-shot lead over the competition.

Canadian professional Adam Hadwin jumped to second place (20 under) after mirroring his round one score, 7-under 65. Hadwin, who has just one victory on tour, carded seven birdies in his efforts. Americans Adam Long and Steve Marino enter the final round in third and fourth place, respectively. Long shot 9-under 63 to climb eight spots up the leaderboard while Marino dropped one despite a round with four birdies and one eagle.

Jon Rahm, the 2018 Desert Classic champion, fell into a five-way tie for seventh place (16 under).

The Desert Classic features three courses in La Quinta, Calif.: Stadium Course (the host course), Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club. A cut wasn’t enforced until every golfer had a chance to play at each. As they finished Saturday, the mark was 9-under.

Justin Rose, the world No. 1, made it through after his third consecutive round of 4-under 68.

Some notable names not making the cut include Sam Saunders, who carded his worst round of the tournament (5-over 77), and Patton Kizzire — who was fresh off a win at the Sony Open in Hawaii.