Mickelson mounts late-round rally to grab PGA lead

Phil Mickelson  chips to the 17th green during the second round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course on Friday. (AFP)
Phil Mickelson chips to the 17th green during the second round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course on Friday. (AFP)
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Updated 21 May 2021

Mickelson mounts late-round rally to grab PGA lead

Mickelson mounts  late-round rally to grab PGA lead
  • Mickelson is seeking his second career PGA Championship title and his first major since the 2013 British Open

KIAWAH ISLAND, US: Lefty is on top at the PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson used another late-round rally to climb up the leaderboard after he appeared to be fading in the second round at the Ocean Course on Friday.

Mickelson made three bogeys on his first nine holes to fall back. But the 50-year-old, five-time major champion made five birdies on his last nine holes to move back up the leaderboard at 5-under par with a 69.

And when leader Branden Grace collapsed with a double-bogey, bogey finish to his second round, it was Mickelson alone in front with a two-shot lead.

Mickelson is seeking his second career PGA Championship title and his first major since the 2013 British Open.

Mickelson, trying to become the oldest major winner at age 50, plunked an approach into the water while sharing the lead and made bogey at the par-4 13th to fall back.

The US left-hander, a five-time major winner, would replace American Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship.

Mickelson pitched inside three feet and birdied the par-5 11th, then missed a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th to match the leaders.

But Mickelson found a water hazard with his approach at the par-4 13th and dropped his fourth shot inches from the cup to salvage a tap-in bogey.

Corey Conners, a 29-year-old Canadian chasing his first major title, fired a five-under par 67 on Thursday to grab a two-stroke edge, but the world No. 39 made five bogeys in his first six holes Friday to drop off the pace.

Conners found sand on his approach at the 10th hole, his first of the day, and began with a bogey, then answered with a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-5 11th.

But Conners went over the 12th green and missed a nine-foot par putt, then found greenside rough at the par-4 13th, missed the green at the par-3 14th and botched the 15th as well.

The afternoon wave of competitors, which include two-time PGA winner Brooks Koepka at 3 under, are just starting their second rounds.