Phil Mickelson 18 hole history after securing a one-stroke lead in PGA Championship – fr

Phil Mickelson 18 hole history after securing a one-stroke lead in PGA Championship – fr

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC – Phil Mickelson could have done without the thrill of Saturday in the PGA Championship.
Losing a five-stroke five-hole lead over the back nine. One tee shot in the water, another that ended up under a cart tire. It was all part of an extremely entertaining day that ended with Mickelson almost pulling a flop shot that can put a strain on any 50-year-old except him.

It brought Mickelson to the dawn of history that few could have seen coming.

That normal 2-under-70 save gave Mickelson a one-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka and left him 18 holes away from becoming the majors’ oldest 161-year-old champion.

When he completed the 4-foot putt for par on the 18th hole, Mickelson became the oldest player with a 54-hole lead in a major since Tom Watson, 59, at Turnberry in 2009.

This event did not end well for Watson, who lost the British Open in the playoffs to Stewart Cink. For Mickelson, it is the opportunity to become the oldest of the great champions. Julius Boros was 48 when he won the PGA Championship in 1968.

When asked to describe such an occasion, Mickelson was too busy looking at his watch. The sunlight was fading and he wanted to practice. These opportunities do not arise as often as they once did.

“I don’t really dwell on what happened today,” he said.

Sunday should get his attention, starting with the guy who joins him in the final group. Koepka survived what he called the worst putt of his career. Statistically he was in the middle of the field, but he missed a 6-foot par on the last hole for a 70 which cost him a share of the lead.

It doesn’t matter. At stake for Koepka is a chance to win his third Wanamaker Trophy in four years. No one has won the PGA Championship so often so quickly since switching to stroke play in 1958.

“I’m in the final group,” Koepka said. ” This is what you want. “

Mickelson was 7-under 209. Despite all his success in the majors – five wins, second in all four of them – this is only the third time he’s held the lead of the 54 holes.

Koepka, shaking off the effects of ligament surgery on his right knee that limited him to two tournaments in the three months before arriving at Kiawah, was not surprised to have another blow to a middle finger. He already has four in the past five years.

“It feels good, it seems normal. It’s what you’re supposed to do, what you train for, ”he said. “I’m exactly where I want to be, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes. “

Louis Oosthuizen started the third round tied with Mickelson and had a three-putt long bogey. The South African never caught up, although he had his chances until he missed a 4-foot bird putt on the 16th par 5 and a 5-foot putt on the 17th par 3.

He ended up with a 72 and was two strokes behind.

“Probably the worst I’ve played in a while,” Oosthuizen said. “I was fighting just to stay in it and in the end there I started judging the greens wrong and it all fell apart. All in all, two late before Sunday, I have a lot of positives to take away. this. “

At least they have a chance.

Mickelson got away quickly with four birdies in seven holes, and he even managed to avoid losing his focus. A distraction came from the fourth fairway, when Mickelson saw a drone in the air to the left of the green and said to a CBS observer, “Can you send the radio to the TV guys to get the drone out of my flight?” shoot? He saved par from a back bunker.

He came out in 32 – Mickelson played the first nine on Friday in 31 – and had five shots aside when he left the 10th green. Five holes later, the lead was gone.

Mickelson missed a 7-foot bird attempt at No. 11. He fired his tee shot in a bunker at No. 12 and had to replay the fairway, leading to his first bogey of the round.

And then he drove into the water on the 13th with his 2-wood, had to hit his third tee off because of where he thought he was crossing the danger line, and missed a 12ft for take the double bogey. In front of him, Koepka landed three birdies.

Mickelson, without even a top 20 in the past 10 months, is going after his first major since the 2013 British Open, and the final hour made it clear that it might not be easy.

But it will be noisy. The gallery is the largest by a large one since the pandemic – the PGA of America said there would be 10,000 people, a number that seemed much larger – and Mickelson was the object of their hoarse cries.

Kevin Streelman bogeyed the 18th for a 70 and was only fourth with 4-under 212, followed by Branden Grace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa, each with a 72.

Jordan Spieth tied the low round of the day with a 68, still seven shots behind and probably too far to face a dozen players ahead of him.

Spieth would go back to his rental house to turn on the television, a rarity for him.

But it’s Phil. It’s theater.

“I don’t watch golf, but I promise I will turn it on to watch it today,” Spieth said. “It’s pretty amazing. I have no way of understanding, do I? But I also don’t think it’s necessarily that special because he hasn’t won a world golf championship in the past two years?

“The guy has four good rounds on any golf course in him, and no one would bet against that.

Mickelson had three good ones at Kiawah Island.

One more for the story.


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