Lefty rallies after awful start to PGA Championship
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Don’t count Lefty out of a major, no matter how badly he started the PGA Championship.
Phil Mickelson, the 50-year-old five-time major champion, looked headed for a missed cut after opening with four bogeys in his first six holes Thursday.
But like so many other times in his stellar career, Mickelson called on his impeccable shot-making to climb back up the leaderboard and into contention after one round at the Ocean Course with a 2-under 70 that left three shots off the lead.
“I’m very pleased to be under par, especially after a rough start,” Mickelson said.
Things have been plenty rough for Mickelson lately. He came into Kiawah Island with little momentum — his best finish on the PGA Tour this season was a tie for 21st at the Masters last month — and it showed from the start. He missed the fairway with his opening drive and put the approach in a waste bunker to drop a stroke.
After a birdie on No. 3, Mickelson’s struggles intensified as he missed the green on the next three holes and failed on par putts within 20 feet on each to fall to 3-over.
The comeback, though, started on the par-5 seventh with a 4-foot birdie, then took off after Mickelson made the turn.
He drove into a waste area on the 10th hole before landing his approach inside 5 feet for a birdie. A two-putt birdie from 60 feet on the par-5 11th continued his trend toward the top.
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