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Title chasing Fowler salutes Harmon and Mickelson

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler's idea to seek out decorated coach Butch Harmon in December was made specifically to improve his record at the majors and the move has paid instant dividends at the Masters. The American, one of the poster boys of the PGA Tour with a penchant for flamboyant outfits, produced one of the best rounds of the week on Saturday as he fired a five-under-par 67 for a three-under tally of 213.

Golf: Mickelson already a loser at Masters

Phil Mickelson's superb short game has often got him out of trouble and saved par at the Masters, but unfortunately it doesn't always work. Mickelson paid out a $1 bet with a spectator at Augusta National on Tuesday after failing on an up-and-down bid at the sixth hole in a practice round. "He was mouthing off about hard shot, get this up-and-down, no chance, blah, blah, blah and it wasn't that hard a shot and I should have gotten it up-and-down," Mickelson said.

Golf: List of Masters past winners

List of last 20 winners of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Course: (USA) unless otherwise stated) 2013 - Adam Scott (AUS) 2012- Bubba Watson 2011- Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 2010- Phil Mickelson 2009- Angel Cabrera (ARG) 2008- Trevor Immelman (RSA) 2007- Zach Johnson 2006- Phil Mickelson 2005- Tiger Woods 2004- Phil Mickelson 2003- Mike Weir (CAN) 2002- Tiger Woods 2001- Tiger Woods 2000- Vijay Singh (FIJ) 1999- Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP)

Golf: Australia's Bowditch claims Texas Open lead

Australian Steven Bowditch did enough before a double-bogey on his final hole to seize the lead on Friday in the second round of the US PGA Tour's Texas Open. Bowditch fired a five-under-par 67 that included five birdies and an eagle at the par-four 12th hole -- where he holed out with a wedge from 83 yards. His eight-under total of 136 gave him a one-shot lead over American Chad Collins, who carded a 66, and rookie Andrew Loupe who posted a second-round 70 for 137.

Golf: WGC Cadillac Championship scores

Leading scores Saturday after the third round of the $9 million World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship (par 72, USA unless noted): 212 - Patrick Reed 68-75-69 214 - Jason Dufner 69-77-68, Hunter Mahan 69-74-71 215 - Tiger Woods 76-73-66, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 74-71 216 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 70-77-69, Zach Johnson 70-75-71, Dustin Johnson 69-74-73 217 - Jimmy Walker 73-77-67, Richard Sterne (RSA) 74-73-70, Bubba Watson 73-72-72, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 73-71-73, Matt Kuchar 69-74-74

Jones and Watson share lead in Phoenix

(Reuters) - Australian journeyman Matt Jones, bidding for his first PGA Tour title, made the most of his local knowledge to charge into a two-way tie for the lead in Friday's second round of the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale resident Jones, who attended Arizona State University and is a club member at nearby Whisper Rock, played near-flawless golf on the way to a six-under-par 65 on a cool, overcast day at the TPC Scottsdale.

Golf: Mickelson reportedly set for Phoenix title defence

Phil Mickelson's bad back won't keep him out of this week's Phoenix Open, the Golf Channel reported Wednesday. Golf Channel reporter Tim Rosaforte reported on his Twitter feed that Mickelson had texted him to confirm he would tee it up for a title defence. Mickelson's participation had been in doubt since he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last Friday with back pain, despite making the halfway cut.

Mickelson withdraws from San Diego event due to back pain

(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the Farmers Insurance Open after the second round due to muscle pain in his back, the PGA said in a report on its website. San Diego native Mickelson carded a one-over 73 on the South Course at Torrey Pines just outside his hometown to finish on two-under for the tournament, eight adrift of leader Jordan Spieth, but complained of discomfort for the second day in a row. The left-hander's management company confirmed his decision in a statement late on Friday evening, the report said.

Golf: Farmers Insurance Open US PGA Scores

Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the $6.1 million US PGA Farmers Insurance Open (USA unless noted): 64 - Stewart Cink 65 - Gary Woodland 66 - Jason Day (AUS), Tyrone Van Aswegen (RSA), Marc Leishman (AUS), Jim Herman 67 - Pat Perez, D.A. Points, Bae Sang-Moon (KOR) 68 - David Lynn (ENG), Steven Bowditch (AUS), Justin Thomas, Trevor Immelman (RSA) Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), Harrison Frazar, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR)

Excited Mickelson targets unfinished business

(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson is fast approaching his mid-forties when many players begin winding down their careers but the five-time major champion says he still has a lot of unfinished business left at the game's highest level. Significant improvements in his putting and driving helped him enjoy a successful 2013 campaign and he makes his first PGA Tour start of the year at this week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego feeling better about his golf than ever before.
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