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Phil Mickelson Is Surging At The PGA Championship Today

A closeup of Phil Mickelson.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 12: Phil Mickelson of the United States walks on the second hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It's been a while since Phil Mickelson gave good reason to talk about him in a good way during the majors. But with what he's doing at the PGA Championship today, it's time to give the man his due.

Through 17 holes at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, Mickelson is absolutely surging. He overcame a plus-two front nine with five birdies on the back nine to put him at minus-three on the day. A birdie on his final hole capped off one of the best days in a major Mickelson has had in years.

Mickelson would benefit from a slip up from Friday leader Branden Grace. Combine that with his minus-two from yesterday's performance and Mickelson is now the solo leader in the PGA Championship.

It's an incredible - and very surprising - turnaround for Mickelson given his recent play. The five-time major winner didn't even qualify for the upcoming U.S. Open and needed a special invitation to get in the field.

Of course, if he wins the 2021 PGA Championship, he won't even need that special invitation.

Phil Mickelson has not claimed victory in the PGA Championship since 2005, when he topped Thomas Bjorn and Steve Elkington by one stroke to claim what was then his second major.

But in the 15 years after that big PGA Championship win, Mickelson had just two top 10 finishes and none since 2014.

Mickelson finished 71st in the last two PGA Championships and was cut from the two prior.

This year feels different though. Mickelson is surging heading into the weekend, and if he plays anywhere close to how he played on Thursday and Friday, his drought end in a big way.