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PGA Championship 2021: Watch Phil Mickelson pull off some pure sand sorcery to extend his lead

May 22, 2021

There were plenty of questions surrounding Phil Mickelson as he teed off on Saturday with a share of the lead at the 2021 PGA Championship. Could a guy who ranks 193rd in strokes gained off the tee continue to lead the field in that stat? Could a 50-year-old really keep this up? Could someone who wears aviators really win a major?

A less-than-impressive warmup session on the Ocean Course's range only added to the unpredictability of what was about to transpire in Mickelson's third round. Here's how our Alan Shipnuck summed it up:

There's a lot of golf left, but it's certainly been fun so far. Mickelson missed left off the first tee, but recovered for par. He hit a laser on the par-5 second to set up a two-putt birdie. And then, when it looked like he might give one back on the par-4 third after a sloppy tee shot found a sandy area, he did this:

That's some pure sand sorcery right there. Let's have a look from another angle shall we?

As Dottie Pepper noted, Mickelson was still smirking moments later when playing partner Louis Oosthuizen hit his approach. And why not? The dude is balling right now.

The tap-in birdie quickly moved Mickelson to seven under and gave him a three-shot lead as he tries to win his sixth career major and his first since the 2013 Open. It's quite a story shaping up at Kiawah.

Again, though, there's a lot of golf yet so we're not declaring the 50-year-old the winner yet. Heck, we wouldn't feel safe about Phil's chances if he were holding this kind of lead in his prime. But, of course, that's also been why we've enjoyed watching him so much through the years decades. Fun, indeed.