Wells Fargo Championship 2013: Day 3 Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMay 4, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 04:  Phil Mickelson smiles as he walks down the 4th fairway during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 4, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The cream of the crop has risen to the top on moving day at the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship.

After shooting nine-under through the first two rounds, Phil Mickelson stayed near the top despite his game leveling off from what was a red-hot start to the tournament. He finished with a one-over round of 73 to put him at eight-under for the tournament.

Nick Watney also made an early surge Saturday to get into prime position heading into the final round, having birdied five of his first 11 holes. He finished tied atop the leaderboard with Mickelson at eight-under.

Mickelson and Watney are far from the only contenders who still have a shot at taking Rickie Fowler's crown. In fact, there are 14 golfers within three shots of the lead.

Let's take a look at the leaderboard from Day 3 at Quail Hollow. 

Position Golfer Rd.1 Rd.2 Rd.3 To Par
T1 Phil Mickelson 68 67 73 -8
T1 Nick Watney 67 70 71 -8
3 George McNeill 69 68 72 -7
T4 John Senden 70 73 67 -6
T4 Ryan Moore 67 75 68 -6
T4 Robert Karlsson 69 72 69 -6
T4 Derek Ernst 67 71 72 -6
T4 David Lynn 71 68 71 -6
T4 Lee Westwood 70 68 72 -6
T10 Rory McIlroy 67 71 73 -5

*Brian Harman, Kevin Streelman, D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak also at five-under. 

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Here are the biggest highlights from Saturday's action, as well as the storylines that will simmer heading into the final round.

Watney's Surge

Despite finishing with a double bogey Saturday, Watney had himself a great round and has gotten in great position to steal the victory on Sunday.

The 32-year-old had a brilliant putt on the first hole, dropping in a 28-footer for a birdie. 

That shot got him going for what would be a stellar front-nine.

Watney may not be a household name, but his five PGA Tour victories speak for themselves. If the Fresno State product keeps this up, he may be winning his first tournament since The Barclays in August 2012. 

Mickelson Sticking Around

Lefty's third round play at Quail Hollow didn't quite live up to his standout performances on Thursday and Friday, but he did well to maintain his standing atop the podium. 

After this birdie at 14, Mickelson looked to be closing out moving day with a furious rally that would allow him to claim the outright lead. 

However, the World Golf Hall of Famer went three-over on his next two holes and finished right in the thick of things. If he can get back to what he was able to do in the early rounds, Mickelson won't have any trouble putting away the field.

Rory's Wasted Opportunity

The famously inconsistent Rory McIlroy was just that Saturday in a round that he needed to dominate in order to earn his place among the leaders. 

But despite finishing one-over on Day 3, hitting three bogeys and one double bogey, the Irishman was still able to hole one of his signature eagles at the seventh hole. 

Now at five-under for the tournament, McIlroy has a shot at making a Sunday surge. After giving up so many opportunities on Saturday though, he will probably end up kicking himself for what could have been.

Note: All statistics and video are courtesy of PGATour.com.