Phil Mickelson, after his 2-under 70 on Thursday, finished with a 3-under 69 in the early wave on Friday at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
When he entered the clubhouse, Mickelson was just one off the lead. Just 15 minutes later, however, he was all alone in first. By the time the last group had walked off the course on Friday night, he had retained a share of the lead.
The two rounds were extremely similar, too. On Thursday, Mickelson went 3-over on his first six holes and had to rally back. Friday, he made three bogeys on the final six holes of his front nine. Five birdies on the back fixed that, though, and sent him back up to the top of the leaderboard.
A win for Mickelson would be historic. At 50, he would be the oldest to ever win a major championship — which would be his first major win in eight years.
While that may have seemed like an impossible feat, Mickelson is in position to make that a reality come Sunday.
Oosthuizen nearly had only bogey-free round
Louis Oosthuizen nearly had the lone perfect round of the day on Friday, carding 17 straight pars before a bogey at 18.
That set him up in a tie for the lead halfway through the PGA Championship.
Oosthuizen fired a 4-under 68 in the second round of the major championship, tied for best round of the day.
The South African almost had the only bogey-free round of the tournament, but just missed his par putt on the 18th green.
Oosthuizen has just one PGA Tour win in his career, back at the 2010 British Open. He does have 13 international wins to his name, most recently at the 2018 South African Open.
While he has a major championship title, Oosthuizen has finished in second at every single event — giving him the second-place Grand Slam.
Oosthuizen has finished second at both the Masters — he fell in a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2012 — and at the British Open — he fell to Zach Johnson in 2015 in a playoff. He finished in a tie for second at the U.S. Open in 2015, and at the PGA Championship in 2017.
He has plenty of company within striking distance, however, with Brooks Koepka just a single stroke back and reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama two back headed into the weekend.
Once again, though, Oosthuizen is in position at a major championship.
Koepka, Matsuyama, DeChambeau in the mix
Though Mickelson and Oosthuizen are in the top, there is plenty of company just behind them.
Koepka made eagle on two of the par-5s on the course on Friday and sits just a single shot back of the leaders.
Reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is two shots back, only due to an errant bunker shot on No. 18 that set up a bogey on the final hole. He’s in a tie for fourth with Branden Grace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
There’s a crew bunched together at 2-under, with Corey Conners, Gary Woodland, Kevin Streelman, Sungjae Im and Paul Casey all sitting in a tie for seventh.
Bryson DeChambeau isn’t too far behind, either. He climbed 19 spots on the leaderboard and sits four back from Mickelson and Oosthuizen, though he would’ve been higher had he not bogeyed two of his last five.
Given how tough the Ocean Course has played so far, the tournament is still absolutely up for grabs.
Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas miss cut
Several big names won’t get to see the weekend at the Ocean Course, including three of the top four players in the world.
Dustin Johnson, after an opening round 76 with two double bogeys, struggled again Friday en route to a 2-over 74, which dropped him down to 6-over for the week. While he birdied his opening hole, Johnson made a double on the par-3 14th and then bogeyed the next hole to close out his front nine at 2-over. He did make an eagle on No. 7 on his back nine, but made a bogey on either side of it to wipe it out.
Johnson, who has held the top spot in the World Golf Rankings since his win at The Northern Trust last season, hasn’t finished inside the top-10 since February and missed the cut at the Masters last month, too.
Justin Thomas, the No. 2 ranked player in the world, found himself in a similar situation Friday. After his 75 on Thursday, Thomas went 3-over on the final two holes of his front nine alone. While he nearly made it back to sneak into the weekend on the cut line, his birdie put on No. 18 was just inches from falling. He ended the day with another 75, bringing him to 6-over on the week.
Xander Schauffele, who is No. 4 in the World Golf Rankings, also missed the cut after he went 5-over on Friday thanks to a double and a pair of bogeys on the back side.
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