Phil Mickelson will take a one shot lead into the final day at the PGA Championship, despite a poor back nine at Kiawah Island.
Phil Mickelson Takes One Shot Lead Into Final Round At PGA Championship
Despite a bogey at the 12th and a double bogey at the 13th, Mickelson remains solo leader at Kiawah Island.
The 50-year-old, who is aiming to become the oldest ever Major winner, started his round perfectly, with back-to-back birdies at the second and third putting his lead to two.
Further birdies followed at the sixth and seventh, with Mickelson taking a four shot lead into the back nine.
With a fifth birdie of the day at the 10th, the American sat five shots clear of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.
But, with Koepka making birdies at the 12th and 16th, Mickelson would bogey the 12th and then find water with his tee shot at the 13th, eventually leading to a double bogey.
Koepka however, would three putt the 18th, leaving Mickelson with a one shot lead going up the par-4 last.
Despite pushing his approach shot to the left of the green, he would play a stunning pitch shot, with his par putt finding the bottom of the cup for a one stroke advantage going into the final round.
Mickelson hasn’t claimed victory on the PGA Tour since the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, with his last Major win coming at the 2013 Open Championship.
Speaking to Sky Sports after his round, Mickelson said: “I’m having a lot of fun. I really am enjoying it and I’m playing well and hitting some really good shots. This has been a real fun challenge and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s round.
“I’ve let my mind lapse on a couple of swings and this course is very penalising. I’ve got away with it a couple of times today, but I didn’t on 13.
“I just need to be a little bit sharper on every single shot and tomorrow I think I can shoot a score that will reflect how I’m playing. I’m not disappointed with two-under, but it’s not what it should have been.”
Mickelson’s nearest challenger, Brooks Koepka, is aiming to make it a hattrick of PGA Championships on Sunday, with the American rueing a three putt on the final hole.
The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries over the last 18 months, but three birdies on his back nine put Koepka firmly in contention for his fifth Major title.
Only one shot back of Koepka is South African, Louis Oosthuizen, who is looking for his first ever victory on American soil.
The 38-year-old finished runner-up at the PGA Championship in 2017 and holds an incredible record of finishing runner-up at every Major championship (He did win the 2010 Open Championship).
Having shot a level-par front nine, the South African made back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th, before finding water at the 13th, leading to a bogey.
Producing a three putt bogey at the par-3 17th, Oosthuizen will start two shots back of Mickelson going into the final round.