Golf: Magical Mickelson moves two ahead at Pebble Beach, struggling Spieth survives cut

Phil Mickelson plays a shot at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Feb 13, 2016.
Phil Mickelson plays a shot at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Feb 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

PEBBLE BEACH (REUTERS) - Phil Mickelson, aiming to end a PGA Tour title drought of 31 months, relied on his magical short game to move two shots clear after the third round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California on Saturday.

The American left-hander, chasing a record-equalling fifth victory in the pro-am event held on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula, fired a flawless six-under 66 on the Pebble Beach host course, one of three venues being used for this event.

He broke clear of a congested leaderboard with three consecutive birdies on his back nine on the way to a 16-under total of 199, two ahead of Japan's Hiroshi Iwata, who carded a 69 at Spyglass Hill.

Swede Freddie Jacobson, after a 68 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, and South Korean Kang Sung Hoon, who returned a 70 at Pebble Beach, were a further stroke back at 13 under.

World No. 1 Jordan Spieth again struggled with the pace of the greens as he carded a 74 at Pebble Beach for a one-under total, making the cut right on the number.