Mickelson has played rounds of 66 and 67 to take the two-shot lead in Jacksonville, Florida; The 51-year-old is chasing his third victory in only his fourth start at the PGA Tour Champions
By Ali Stafford
Last updated: 10/09/21 11:45 PM
Phil Mickelson is close to his third PGA Tour Champions title
Phil Mickelson reinforced his hopes of winning a third PGA Tour Champions title by going into the finals of the Constellation Furyk & Friends with two strokes.
The reigning PGA champion, who made only his fourth start in the over-50 circle, followed an opening round 66 with a five-under-65 at the Timuquana Country Club in Florida to move up to 11 under in the 54-hole competition .
Mickelson is twice ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez, Steve Flesch and Matt Gogel, while four-time Major winner Ernie Els starts Sunday three strokes behind with David Toms and Woody Austin.
Mickelson has won the first two PGA Tour Champions events he played
“I had a lot of fun and I got some good shots,” said Mickelson. “Except for that one bad tee shot on 16 that resulted in a bogey, I drove pretty well and that allowed me to play a lot more aggressively on the court.
Mickelson made a two-putt birdie in the par-five third and finished a Pars run with a shot on the tenth, the 51-year-old then jumping error-free with a 3-foot eagle on the 13th.
The six-time major winner followed a long-range birdie on the next by climbing up and down from a greenside bunker to add another on the 15th par 5.
Jimenez jumped to second place by firing the lowest round of the day and birdieing four of his last six holes to close a 65 without a bogey, while Flesch would have hit the Spaniard’s total if he hadn’t made his second round with a bogey.
PGA Tour Champions
October 13, 2021, 6 p.m.
USA Ryder captain Steve Stricker and tournament host Jim Furyk are eighth in the group, which also includes former Masters champion Mike Weir, while Darren Clarke and Bernhard Langer slipped out of the competition with 73s in the second round and fell back to 21st place.
Debuting as a PGA Tour Champion, Padraig Harrington battled his way to a three-over-75 and found himself 63rd in the 81-man event ahead of the final day in Jacksonville.