Of the players who first braved the Day 2 wind gusts in the Friday morning wave at the PGA Championship, Phil Mickelson was only bettered by two players.
Mickelson shot 1-under 71 to get to even par for the championship and linger on the fringe of contention heading into the weekend on Kiawah Island.
The ’05 PGA champion chalked up the difficulty to the course not offering a chance for the field to play under the wind.
“It’s very challenging and the reason I think is a couple of things,” he said. “One, most every hole is a direct crosswind, and two, you’re not able to really play the ball on the ground here. You have to play it through the air, because the greens all repel off. You can’t really roll a shot up. That makes it difficult, because you have to play the ball through the air.”
The path to success – even if relatively speaking – in these conditions, Mickelson said, is to play aggressive golf.
“You’ve got to go through the air and you’ve got to tackle these crosswinds and it’s difficult to play through the air, as we’ll see the guys this afternoon,” he said.
Mickelson is uncertain of where he will finish at the end of the day, but he figures to be within striking distance if the windy conditions persist.
“If I’m within four shots or so heading into the weekend,” he said, “that’s a really good position where I can actually feel my game get better as the week’s gone on.”