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At 50, Mickelson pursues historic major victory at PGA


Phil Mickelson, making an attempt at 50 to turn out to be golf’s oldest major winner, continues his chase for a victory for the ages in Saturday’s third spherical of the PGA Championship at blustery Kiawah Island.

Five-time major champion Mickelson and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen had been set for a day begin within the last group over the punishing Ocean Course, the longest structure in major golf historical past at 7,876 yards.

Mickelson and Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, shared the lead on five-under par 139 after 36 holes of battling the wind-swept coastal course.

“I’m having a lot of fun and to know I’m playing well heading into the weekend, to be in contention, to have a good opportunity, I’m having a blast,” Mickelson stated. “I’m excited for the weekend.”

With a victory, Mickelson would break the major match age mark set by American Julius Boros when he gained the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.

The US left-hander is the oldest participant to carry a share of the 36-hole PGA lead since Sam Snead at 54 in 1966.

Mickelson, ranked one hundred and fifteenth, was the primary 50-and-over participant within the high 5 of a major after 36 holes since American Fred Couples at the 2012 Masters and the primary at a PGA since Hale Irwin in 1999.

Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, has not gained a major for the reason that 2013 British Open. His most up-to-date US PGA victory got here in 2019 at Pebble Beach, though he gained twice final yr on the 50-and-over Champions Tour.

One stroke off the tempo was four-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

The American is searching for his third PGA title in 4 years regardless of enjoying by means of ache after present process proper knee surgical procedure in March.

“Everything I did in rehab was a hell of a lot harder,” Koepka stated. “It’s a major, man. It’s going to be tough, especially with the wind blowing. It doesn’t matter. Just go out and go play.”

Koepka captured the 2017 and 2018 US Open titles and the 2018 and 2019 PGA crowns.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and South Africans Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Branden Grace shared fourth on 141.

Masters champion Matsuyama pursues a uncommon major double, making an attempt to turn out to be the primary participant to seize the opening half of a calendar Grand Slam since American Jordan Spieth gained the 2015 Masters and US Open.

“Hopefully my play will carry over to the weekend,” Matusyama stated.

A pack three strokes adrift included England’s Paul Casey, Canadian Corey Conners, South Korean Im Sung-jae and Americans Gary Woodland and Kevin Streelman.

Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau shared twelfth on 143.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, searching for a victory to finish a profession Grand Slam, started the spherical 9 strokes off the tempo after rounds of 73 and 75. Spieth snapped a four-year win drought final month.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who gained the 2012 PGA at Kiawah, started the day eight adrift together with Spain’s third-ranked Jon Rahm and England’s Justin Rose.

Defending champion Collin Morikawa of the United States was on 145.

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