New Orleans Playing in his first tournament since winning at Augusta, Phil Mickelson moved into position to make it two in a row Sunday at the HP Classic.
"I wasn't sure how it would go after taking time off to do some different things," the left-hander said.
He performed well Sunday, shooting a 69 in the third round to move into a tie for second with Charles Howell III, two strokes behind leader Joe Ogilvie, who was at 17-under 199.
Being two shots behind means Mickelson, Howell and Ogilvie all will have to play exceptional rounds today, Mickelson said.
"Guys behind us will be making charges before we even get on the course," Mickelson said. "I'll have to play a very good round, and, trailing by two, I won't have the luxury of being able to make mistakes."
Ogilvie shot a 66 Sunday.
"My putter kept me in it pretty much all day," he said.
The final round was pushed back to today because of rain delays.
Mickelson began the day in a six-way tie for third at 12-under and moved to 14-under on the front nine before a bogey on No. 9.
He offset that miscue with birdies on Nos. 11, 14 and 15 to move within a stroke of Ogilvie. But Mickelson went in the sand on 18, then missed a short putt for a bogey that dropped him two off the lead and left him at 15-under 201.
Ogilvie, looking for his first PGA Tour victory, had six birdies and no bogeys. He had his best finish last week in the Shell Houston Open, finishing tied for 19th, but has made eight of 11 cuts this season.
Second-round leader Danny Ellis shot an 10-over 82 to fall way off the pace after rounds of 63 and 66. He was at 5-under.
Howell shot a 1-under 71 Sunday after rounds of 66 and 64.