US PGA Championship: Mickelson five clear after leaders reach the turn

By Sports Desk May 22, 2021

Phil Mickelson reached the turn at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course four shots clear of his nearest US PGA Championship rivals, before sinking a birdie on the 10th.

Mickelson – a PGA championship winner in 2005 – was in sensational form in South Carolina over the first two days and carried the same level of performance into Saturday's play.

He was four under through the first eight holes, though did make his first mistake of the day on the ninth, dropping his drive short and left of the green, but recovered to make par.

That had him on 32 through nine, with Louis Oosthuizen, tied for second on five under, going through in 36.

Tied with Oosthuizen were Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Branden Grace, while Brooks Koepka was at four under when reaching the turn, but nosed himself up to T2 with a 12-foot putt.

But the chasing pack were further behind when Mickelson rolled a birdie putt in on the 10th to move to 10 under.

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    Shane Lowry stormed into contention for the PGA Championship as he equalled the lowest round in men's major history during a sensational third round at Valhalla.

    Lowry carded nine birdies and no bogeys on Saturday to set a new career low and jump to 13 under after being eight strokes off the lead at the halfway stage.

    The Irishman had the opportunity to produce the first '61 round' in a men's major history but missed the hole by mere inches, settling for a record-equalling 62 instead.

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    "I just went out there with the hope of trying to get myself towards double digits," he told Sky Sports.

    "I thought if I could get myself to 10 under today, I could give myself a chance going into tomorrow. I went out and got off to a great start, rolling putts in and felt great and just kept going. I enjoyed it. Myself and Justin Rose, we were great out there and just enjoyed every minute of it.

    "It’s pretty cool to do something like this, but there is a lot more to do tomorrow."                                        

    Rose played a 64 to finish seven under on the round and moves to 12 under for the tournament.

    Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to move to eight under par in the Championship, and reigning champion Brooks Koepka is now on four under after a 74.

    Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa were among the later starters in Kentucky.

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    Scottie Scheffler was left "shocked and shaking" after his arrest in Kentucky, though the world number one delivered a superb second round at the PGA Championship.

    Scheffler was arrested ahead of play starting at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.

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    The start of Friday's second round in Kentucky was delayed due to a traffic incident outside the course, with it subsequently confirmed that one person had died in the incident, which did not involve Scheffler.

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    "I was never angry, just in shock and I was shaking the whole time. It was definitely a new feeling for me.

    "The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down.

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    Scheffler posted a five-under-par 66, moving to nine under for the tournament, and closing within three strokes of leader Xander Schauffele.

    Having carded a historic 62 on Thursday, Schauffele could only manage a 68 in his second round, allowing his rivals to close the gap.

    Collin Morikawa, who followed up his first-round 66 with an excellent 65, is one stroke back on 11 under. Sahith Theegala is third, on 10 under.

    Scheffler is then part of a group that also includes Bryson DeChambeau, Thomas Detry and Mark Hubbard.

    Reigning champion Brooks Koepka is two back from Scheffler on seven under.

    Rory McIlroy, however, endured a disappointing second round, with the Northern Irishman carding 71 to slide seven shots off the lead.

    Tiger Woods, meanwhile, missed the cut after a dismal round of 77.

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