SAN ANTONIO — Steven Bowditch opened a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Texas Open, while Phil Mickelson withdrew after 10 holes because of a pulled muscle in his right side.
Bowditch, the 30-year-old Australian seeking his first PGA Tour title, shot a 4-under 68 to reach 12 under at TPC San Antonio. Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe were tied for second. Kuchar shot 65, and Loupe had a 70.
Mickelson withdrew after pulling the muscle teeing off on No. 1 — his 10th hole of the round. He hopes to play next week in the Houston Open, the last event before the Masters.
Lefty was 1-over par in the round and 4 over overall when the three-time Masters champion was taken off the course in a cart. His caddie, Jim Mackay, said Mickelson felt a twinge on his tee shot on No. 1.
It’s the second time this year Mickelson has withdrawn in the middle of a tournament. He pulled out at Torrey Pines after making the cut because of a back injury.
On Friday, Mickelson made the cut on the number, following an opening 77 with a 70.
Bowditch, ranked 339th in the world, chipped in at the first two holes, for birdie at No. 1 and an eagle at the par-5 second. He drove to chipping distance at the 338-yard fifth hole and made a 4-foot birdie putt.
He cooled after that when he missed the green at No. 9 and bogeyed, then strung together pars until he drove close to the at the 324-yard downwind 17th. He chipped inside a foot and tapped in for birdie and kept his two-stroke lead when Loupe matched the birdie.
Loupe closed with a bogey.
Kuchar, a six-time winner on the tour, had the best round of the week. He holed out the greenside bunker on No. 1.
Pat Perez was fourth at 8 under after a 69.
Kevin Na, who had a 16 on the ninth hole three years ago, was 7 under after a 69.