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Phil Mickelson maintains 2-shot lead in Desert Classic


LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) Phil Mickelson made three long birdie putts on the back nine Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Desert Classic.

Making his first start of the year, the 48-year-old Mickelson shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on the Stadium Course at PGA West to get to 22-under 194. He topped the leaderboard for the third straight day after matching his career-low score with an opening 60 at La Quinta Country Club and shooting a 68 on Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course.

The tournament winner in 2002 and 2004, Lefty rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th and added a 15-footer on the par-4 14th. After missing a 9-foot try on the par-5 16th to spoil an up-and-down bid from the deep greenside bunker, he ran in a 25-footer on the island green, par-3 17th called Alcatraz.

Canadian Adam Hadwin was second after a 65 on the Nicklaus layout.

Mickelson is making his first tour start since early October and first competitive appearance since beating Tiger Woods in Las Vegas in November in a made-for-TV event. The Hall of Famer won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship last year for his 43rd PGA Tour title and first since the 2013 British Open.



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Golf

Man charged with murder in death of Iowa State golfer


A man has been charged with first-degree murder after Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead on a golf course in Ames, Iowa, on Monday.

Collin Daniel Richards was charged following an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, Ames police announced Monday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.

Officers were called to Coldwater Golf Course on Monday morning after golfers found an unattended golf bag. The officers located the body of Arozamena “some distance away,” and determined she had been assaulted, but no cause of death has yet been determined.

Arozamena, 22, was the 2018 Big 12 golf champion and Iowa State’s female athlete of the year.

Richards has no known address, according to police.

The Iowa State women’s golf team withdrew from the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Mich., and returned to Ames to be with friends and family and to grieve the loss of Arozamena, according to The Associated Press.



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