That closing eagle gave Mickelson a 4-under 67 and lifted him into a tie for sixth at Valhalla, just three shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.
Riding high after a Sunday 62 at Firestone, and playing in the same group as longtime rival Tiger Woods, Mickelson posted back-to-back sub-70 scores – just the fifth time he’s done that in a major since 2000. He went on to win only one of those events - the 2005 PGA.
“It’s fun to be back in it, to have a chance, to feel like my game is there and to not show up at the golf cours ehoping that I find something to work with,” he said. “Right now I feel like when I show up, I know what I’m trying to do. It’s been a good first two rounds so far.”
It hasn’t been a particularly clean tournament so far for Mickelson, who has hit 10 and 12 greens, respectively, over the first two days. His five bogeys, however, have been offset by nine birdies and an eagle.
“I feel like my game is pretty close to where I like it,” he said. “I’m pretty sharp in those areas. I feel like I’m going to have a good round tomorrow.”