Phil Mickelson in contention after 63


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Phil Mickelson surged up the leaderboard with a 9-under 63 to put himself in second place after the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, while Rory McIlroy was hit with a two-shot penalty for a rules infraction that dropped him into a tie for fourth.

Mickelson, who barely made the cut Friday, had the best round a day later with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total.

McIlroy thought he was alone in second place after finishing his round, but tournament officials then ruled that he had taken a drop incorrectly on the second hole and adjusted his score to a double-bogey 7.

That gave him a 70 for the round.

According to, McIlroy said the infraction came on the second hole when he took a free drop from a spectator crosswalk.

The Northern Irishman, according to the interview, didn't take full relief. When he played his next shot after taking a free drop, his left foot was touching the white line of the crosswalk.

McIlroy said there was no video evidence that his foot was on the line and neither he nor his caddie realized the infraction at the time.

After the round, but before he signed his scorecard, McIlroy and European Tour officials went back to the spot and the seventh-ranked player in the world realized after finding his divot that there was no way he could have played the shot without his foot touching the line of the crosswalk.

"Stuff like this, it's just, it's sort of stupid and there's a lot of stupid rules in golf and this is one of them," McIlroy told the website.

Information from The Associated Press and golf editor Kevin Maguire was used in this report.

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