Phil Mickelson took a share of the lead into the third round of the US PGA Championship on Saturday as he looked to become the oldest major winner in history at Kiawah Island.
A week after needing a special exemption into next month’s US Open, the 50-year-old rolled back the years with a second round of 69 to set a halfway target only matched by former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.
On a high-quality leaderboard two-time winner Brooks Koepka was ominously poised just a shot off the lead, with Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama another stroke adrift alongside Branden Grace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
World number one Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele all missed the halfway cut by a single shot, but Rory McIlroy survived on three over par after a second round of 72.
Tweet of the day
Sorry, I just couldn’t help it. 😁 @BarstoolBanks pic.twitter.com/b7OwAC8UBF
— Sam Harrop (@sam_golf) May 21, 2021
Musician Sam Harrop puts an appropriate soundtrack to footage of an in-sync Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka during Thursday’s first round.
Quote of the day
Spieth told the fans to let the ball “hit your ankles” I am dying hahahaha pic.twitter.com/EDsJZNA2bU
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) May 21, 2021
“Don’t get out of the way guys, let it hit your ankles” – Jordan Spieth warned spectators about his wayward drive on the third, but would have still liked a bit of assistance.
Shot of the day
Brooks Koepka ended up making an eagle from this spot. pic.twitter.com/bKW3RCeGcL
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) May 21, 2021
Round of the day
SOLO LEADER!!! 🚨
This is so much fun!!! 😃@PhilMickelson THRILLED the patrons at the @PGAChampionship with his FLAWLESS finish! 🙌#PhilPhriday 😎👍 pic.twitter.com/dglx1zOPpH
— Callaway Golf (@CallawayGolf) May 21, 2021
Phil Mickelson was two over par with eight holes remaining, but played them in five under for a superb 69.
Statistic of the day
If Phil Mickelson leads at the end of today’s round, he will be the first player to hold the lead after a major championship round in the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 21, 2021
Leading statistician Justin Ray puts Mickelson’s performance into perspective.
Easiest hole The par-five seventh played to an average of 4.6, with Brooks Koepka among those to make an eagle on the downwind hole.
Toughest hole Despite the tee being brought forward by 16 yards, the 17th played the toughest with an average of 3.68.
Weather forecast After relatively tame winds Saturday morning, expect easterly winds to become breezy and turn southeasterly at 10-14mph Saturday afternoon. Breezy conditions are expected to develop Sunday afternoon, with westerly winds turning southwesterly and becoming sustained at 12-16mph along with gusts to 20mph.
Key tee times 3.30pm BST – Rory McIlroy7.20pm BST – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Hideki Matsuyama7.30pm BST – Books Koepka, Branden Grace7.40pm BST – Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen
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