At 50, Mickelson pursues historic major victory at PGA

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Phil Mickelson, chasing his sixth major title at age 50, shared the lead entering Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson, trying at 50 to become golf's oldest major winner, continues his chase for a victory for the ages in Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship at blustery Kiawah Island.

Five-time major champion Mickelson and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen were set for an afternoon start in the final group over the punishing Ocean Course, the longest layout in major golf history at 7,876 yards.

Mickelson and Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, shared the lead on five-under par 139 after 36 holes of battling the wind-swept coastal course.

"I'm having a lot of fun and to know I'm playing well heading into the weekend, to be in contention, to have a good opportunity, I'm having a blast," Mickelson said. "I'm excited for the weekend."

With a victory, Mickelson would break the major tournament age mark set by American Julius Boros when he won the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.

The US left-hander is the oldest player to hold a share of the 36-hole PGA lead since Sam Snead at 54 in 1966.

Mickelson, ranked 115th, was the first 50-and-over player in the top five of a major after 36 holes since American Fred Couples at the 2012 Masters and the first at a PGA since Hale Irwin in 1999.

Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, has not won a major since the 2013 British Open. His most recent US PGA victory came in 2019 at Pebble Beach, although he won twice last year on the 50-and-over Champions Tour.

One stroke off the pace was four-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

The American is seeking his third PGA title in four years despite playing through pain after undergoing right knee surgery in March.

"Everything I did in rehab was a hell of a lot harder," Koepka said. "It's a major, man. It's going to be tough, especially with the wind blowing. It doesn't matter. Just go out and go play."

Koepka captured the 2017 and 2018 US Open titles and the 2018 and 2019 PGA crowns.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and South Africans Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Branden Grace shared fourth on 141.

Masters champion Matsuyama pursues a rare major double, trying to become the first player to capture the opening half of a calendar Grand Slam since American Jordan Spieth won the 2015 Masters and US Open.

"Hopefully my play will carry over to the weekend," Matusyama said.

A pack three strokes adrift included England's Paul Casey, Canadian Corey Conners, South Korean Im Sung-jae and Americans Gary Woodland and Kevin Streelman.

Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau shared 12th on 143.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, seeking a victory to complete a career Grand Slam, began the round nine strokes off the pace after rounds of 73 and 75. Spieth snapped a four-year win drought last month.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who won the 2012 PGA at Kiawah, began the day eight adrift along with Spain's third-ranked Jon Rahm and England's Justin Rose.

Defending champion Collin Morikawa of the United States was on 145.

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