A wild ride for Mickelson and 18 holes away from history
“I’m not really dwelling back on what took place today,” he said.
Sunday should get his attention, starting with the guy who joins him in the final group. Koepka survived what he called the worst putting of his career. Statistically, he was middle of the pack, but he missed a 6-foot par on the final hole for a 70 that cost him a share of the lead.
No matter. At stake for Koepka is a shot at his third Wanamaker Trophy in four years. No one has won the PGA Championship so often so quickly since it switched to stroke play in 1958.
“I’m in the final group,” Koepka said. “That’s what you want.”
Mickelson was at 7-under 209. For all his success in the majors — five victories, runner-up finishes in all four of them — this is only the third time he has held the 54-hole lead.
Koepka, shaking off effects from ligament surgery on his right knee that has limited him to two tournaments in three months before arriving at Kiawah, wasn’t surprised to have another shot at a major. He already has four of them in the last five years.
“It just feels good, feels normal. It’s what you’re supposed to do, what you practice for,” he said. “I’m right where I want to be, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes.”
Louis Oosthuizen started the third round tied with Mickelson and had a long three-putt bogey. The South African never caught up, though he had his chances until missing a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th and a 5-foot par putt on the par-3 17th.
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