It's shaping up to be a dramatic Sunday at the 2021 PGA Championship.
Phil Mickelson, who turns 51 next month, holds the solo lead through three rounds at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, and has the opportunity to enter the history book as the oldest player to win a major championship if he prevails on Sunday.
The five-time major champion, who started the day tied for the lead at -5, carded a two-under 70 in the third round, highlighted by five birdies in his first 10 holes. For the third time in his storied career, Mickelson holds the 54 hole lead of a major championship, and is enjoying every bit of the ride.
"I think that because I feel or believe that I'm playing really well and I have an opportunity to contend for a major championship on Sunday and I'm having so much fun that it's easier to stay in the present and not get ahead of myself," Mickelson said. "I think that's a big part of it. I think certainly my brother has played a big part in kind of keeping me present and in the moment and not letting a couple of bad swings affect me here or there, and so I think we're having so much fun that it's easy to stay present."
Throughout the week, Mickelson has spoken at length about the importance of staying focused and locked in on every shot, which was evident again on Saturday. After a blistering start five birdies in his first 10 holes, Mickelson gave three shots back with a bogey on 12 and a double bogey on 13. With the exception of a few bad swings, Mickelson's focus, and game, have been performing at a high level, and he looks to carry that into tomorrow's final round.
"Even though it slipped a little bit today and I didn't stay as focused and as sharp on a few swings, it's significantly better than it's been for a long time," Mickelson said of his focus. "I'm making a lot of progress, and I'll continue to work on that and hopefully I'll be able to eliminate a couple of those loose swings tomorrow. Because I'm playing a lot better than the score is showing and I think if I can just stay sharp tomorrow, I'll post a score that better reflects how I'm actually playing."
Mickelson will be paired with two-time PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka on Sunday, who sits one shot back at six-under. Final round television coverage runs from 10am - 1pm ET on ESPN, and 1pm - 7pm ET on CBS.
Follow @MickelsonHat and @KPMGGolf on Twitter for updates as Phil looks to claim his second Wanamaker Trophy and sixth career major championship!