Phil Mickelson produced a scintillating back nine to move into contention at the PGA Championship.
Phil Mickelson Aiming To Become Oldest Ever Major Winner
If the 50-year-old were to win at Kiawah Island, he would become the oldest Major winner by two years.
The American, who had accepted an exemption into next month’s US Open a few weeks ago, had been two-over-par for the front nine, after three bogies and a birdie put him at level-par for the tournament.
Mickelson would recover though, with five birdies on his back nine putting him five-under-par for the tournament.
Speaking after his round, Mickelson said: “To make a putt on the last hole and finish a round like that, and then to have that type of support here has been pretty special, but it’s been a lot of fun so far.
“I’ve been playing really well. I was a little shaky on 16, 17 and 18 with the putter and then I was able to make some adjustments and putt well on my back nine (the front), and made a lot of good putts on that side.
“The other thing is my brother is doing a phenomenal job judging the wind, downwind, into the wind, and getting a good picture of how I need to flight it to get 20 yards of help.
“Making that type of adjustment is very difficult to do, and he’s been doing a phenomenal job. We’ve been working very well together as a team, so we’ve been hitting a lot of clubs pin high.”
If Mickelson were to win this week, he would overtake Julius Boros as the oldest Major winner at 48 years, 4 months, 18 days
With the five-under-par total, Mickelson is in already exclusive company. The last golfer aged 50 or older to be inside the top five through 36 holes at the PGA Championship was Hale Irwin in 1999.
Another important factor for Mickelson is that, if he were to win, he would have a five year exemption to the US Open, the only Major he is yet to win.