Olesen, Kisner grab first-round lead at US PGA Championship

Kevin Kisner holds a narrow lead heading into the final round of the US PGA Championship
Kevin Kisner holds a narrow lead heading into the final round of the US PGA Championship
Author

12 August, 2017

The 33-year-old from SC has won twice on the PGA Tour, and has also lost four times in playoffs. Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open two years ago, and then added the British Open last month. He appears finally recovered from some niggling injuries and is coming off a tie for fourth at The Open Championship and joint fifth at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, too.

"I've been upset with how I've played in the majors so far in my career", Kisner said.

It's been a hard time for Mickelson on the golf course since he and longtime caddie, James "Bones" Mackay, split late in June. I haven't hit it this well this whole summer. He said he feels fine and he's not having any problems dealing with his psoriatic arthritis. In the final round before the Presidents Cup selections, he shot 62 while playing with Phil Mickelson, who told USA captain Fred Couples, "Dude, you've got to pick this guy". "I've been hitting it a bit better than that".

It is a tradition on the eve of the US PGA Championship that the reigning champion hosts a dinner for past winners and gives each of them a gift. "This week I'm going to have a good chance". Instead, I missed the 10 out of 10 from that kind of range. I have great practice sessions. "Drove it fine. Just not real focused when I'm out there". Mickelson plans to spend the next week trying to find a way to control his thoughts. He'll work on his game in San Diego next week and then head to Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, N.Y., for the Northern Trust, the first playoff event.

The President's Cup is in September and for perhaps the first time Mickelson might be watching from home.

US captain Steve Stricker, who made the cut at the PGA Championship and has made it to the weekend in his last 26 majors, met with Mickelson last week at Firestone. Mickelson has been on the last 22 USA teams for the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. His placement on the team this year is in jeopardy.

Stricker said the US team, including qualifying players and assistant captains, will have a say in the two captain's choices.

"With the way I've been playing (top 5s in three of his last six starts), how I'm swinging this week and last week going into it, I know I can win this week. If I play them 3 under in the next two days, take that", he said with a dash of southern simplicity. "That's already set. It's more so in between the ears, making sure I make the right decisions and not get ahead of myself". He stood on the seventh tee, a par 5, at 4 over, in danger of missing the weekend.

That was as good as it got all day. He knows what he has to do.

One of the good things of the day was that some of the things that I worked on with Vijay (Divecha) sir worked out, like attitude on the golf course. I'd like to see the course keep playing the way it is. "But it's been drying out and my tee balls are getting some roll and I'm hitting a lot less irons into the greens than I expected".


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