Valero Texas Open. Bowditch Bowls Along, While Phil Withdraws. March 29 2014

dragon logo darkValero Texas Open LogoSteve Bowditch bowls happily along in the Valero Texas Open, opening up a three shot lead at TPC San Antonio. Poor Phil pulled a muscle and has had to with-draw. Steven Bowditch made a late birdie to extend his margin in Texas. (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

Steve Bowditch / Getty Images

Steve, seeking his first PGA TOUR title, shot a - 4 under par 68 third round to reach -12 under par tournament total at the Valero Texas Open. His score was helped by his good short game, he chipped in on his first two holes, for birdie and then Eagle, which got him off to a great start. He has never slept on a lead before;

''I've won four or five times in between Australia and Web.com. I've got a little experience, but not a great deal, especially at this level. I've never slept on a lead, so we'll see how we go.''

'' The chip on the first hole calmed my nerves a little bit, it was as easy a chip as you're going to have out here.''

Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe are tied in second place at -9 under par, while Pat Perez is next in line at -8 under par. These guys must be wondering if Steve is going to continue with his excellent play.

Matt was surprised with his score today, the best round of the week so far at -7 under par 65;

''Still surprised to be at 7 under today. It's not a score I would have thought was out there with these sort of windy conditions.''

Someone said that watching Andrew prepare to hit the ball is like getting teeth pulled.

Phil Mickleson tweaked a muscle in his back and was forced to withdraw from the tournament, he explained what happened;

" My back's feeling great, my body's feeling great. I felt as good as I have all year. My speed is back, I was hitting the ball hard, driving it great.I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit it hard, It just killed me and it wouldn't subside for ten or twelve seconds. I'm going back to San Diego for a couple of days and have a doctor look at it, but there's really not much you can do for a pulled muscle. I hope I'll be OK to play the Shell in Houston, but I just don't know.''

Phil's caddie Jim Bones Mackay thinks it will not stop Phil from playing in the Shell Houston Open next week;

''It's definitely not his back, it's his right side. The thing he had been talking about is how good his back had been feeling here. He'll definitely play Houston, if he can.''

" As you might imagine, he's trying to get ready for Augusta, he's hitting a lot of drivers, hitting them harder. He hit one off the first tee, his 10th hole today and just felt a little pain in his side. It continued on for a few minutes and he just decided that he didn't want to take anything to chance relative to what's going on the next couple weeks."

"In a perfect world, he'd love to play Houston. He loves the tournament, loves the city and it's great preparation for Augusta. Obviously, he's going to make the right decision relative to what his body's telling him."