PGA Championship 2021 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Saturday ScheduleMay 22, 2021
There are several familiar names at the top of the 2021 PGA Championship leaderboard through two rounds, but perhaps none more surprising than Phil Mickelson.
Lefty is tied for first place at five under par after a 69 on Friday. This marks the first time since the 2020 Masters that he's started a tournament with consecutive rounds below par.
Louis Oosthuizen is sitting alongside Mickelson atop the leaderboard. They will be in the final pairing Saturday.
A total of 18 players broke par through the first 36 holes at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.
2021 PGA Championship Third-Round Pairings, Tee Times (ET)
7:40 a.m.: Denny McCarthy
7:50 a.m.: Chan Kim, Emiliano Grillo
8 a.m.: Alex Noren, Harris English
8:10 a.m.: Tom Hoge, Henrik Stenson
8:20 a.m.: Harold Varner III, Garrick Higgo
8:30 a.m.: Talor Gooch, Brendan Steele
8:40 a.m.: Ben Cook, Webb Simpson
8:50 a.m.: Patrick Reed, Billy Horschel
9 a.m.: Sam Horsfield, Jason Day
9:10 a.m.: Wyndham Clark, Robert Streb
9:20 a.m.: Brian Gay, Aaron Wise
9:30 a.m.: Danny Willett, Jason Scrivener
9:40 a.m.: Robert Macintyre, Byeong-Hun An
9:50 a.m.: Matt Jones, Dean Burmester
10 a.m.: Lucas Herbert, Jordan Spieth
10:20 a.m.: Russell Henley, Daniel Berger
10:30 a.m.: Adam Hadwin, Rory McIlroy
10:40 a.m.: Jimmy Walker, Stewart Cink
10:50 a.m.: Rickie Fowler, Joel Dahmen
11 a.m.: Steve Stricker, Cameron Davis
11:10 a.m.: Carlos Ortiz, Justin Rose
11:20 a.m.: Rasmus Hojgaard, Jon Rahm
11:30 a.m.: Matt Wallace, Brad Marek
11:40 a.m.: Tyrell Hatton, Scottie Scheffler
11:50 a.m.: Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay
12 p.m.: Collin Morikawa
12:10 p.m.: Lee Westwood, Tom Lewis
12:20 p.m.: Bubba Watson, Will Zalatoris
12:30 p.m.: Daniel von Tonder, Cameron Smith
12:40 p.m.: Viktor Hovland, Keegan Bradley
12:50 p.m.: Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter
1 p.m.: Matt Fitzpatrick, Padraig Harrington
1:10 p.m.: Bryson DeChambeau, Charley Hoffman
1:20 p.m.: Martin Laird, Jason Kokrak
1:30 p.m.: Harry Higgs, Joaquin Niemann
1:50 p.m.: Richy Werenski, Paul Casey
2 p.m.: Kevin Streelman, Sungjae Im
2:10 p.m.: Corey Connors, Gary Woodland
2:20 p.m.: Hideki Matsuyama, Christian Bezuidenhout
2:30 p.m.: Brooks Koepka
2:40 p.m.: Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen
It shouldn't be a total surprise that Mickelson is in contention halfway through this year's PGA Championship.
Even though wind was a story coming into the weekend, the Ocean Course is set up for players who are long off the tee. The course's 7,876 yards is the most in PGA history for a major tournament.
Mickelson's first round saw him average 320.2 yards per drive. He toned that down to 302.6 yards Friday, but his driving accuracy was a stellar 78.6 percent.
Where Mickelson has shined on both days is on the green. He's averaging 1.2 strokes gained with the putter through 36 holes. Lefty overcame a slow start Friday with 38 on his first nine holes by shooting 31, including five birdies, over his final nine holes.
As impressive as these short-game stats are, they go against everything Mickelson has done so far in 2021. The 50-year-old entered this tournament ranked 132nd on Tour in strokes gained putting (-.031) and 197th in putting average (1.81).
After starting last year's Masters four under par through 36 holes, Mickelson bombed Saturday with a 79. He hasn't posted three consecutive rounds of par or better since the Honda Classic in March.
The best story of the weekend would be Mickelson winning his sixth career major title, but his recent track record doesn't support him being able to sustain this level of play for two more days.
Expect High Scores
The Ocean Course has already humbled some of the best golfers in the world. Dustin Johnson (+6), Sergio Garcia (+6), Adam Scott (+6) and Justin Thomas (+6) are among the players who won't be around for the weekend after missing the cut.
After seven players broke 70 in the first round, only three players hit that mark Friday. There were 16 players who finished the second round under par.
Per Kyle Porter of CBS Sports, the back nine was especially problematic for everyone on the course later in the day during the second round:
If that trend continues in the third round, there could be a dramatic shift atop the leaderboard by the end of the day.
The only other time the PGA Championship was held at this course, Rory McIlroy won running away with a score of 13 under par. No other player was within eight shots of him.
With two players currently at five under par through two rounds, it seems likely that the winning score is going to fall somewhere around that range based on how the scoring trends have been going.
All Eyes on Oosthuizen
Even though Corey Connors' 67 on Thursday was the lowest score of the tournament thus far, there's an argument to be made that Oosthuizen's 68 in the second round was the most impressive performance on this course.
While other players were struggling on the back nine, Oosthuizen turned in a one-under-par 35 down the stretch Friday. His only blemish was a bogey on the 18th hole.
Oosthuizen has been in this position at major tournaments before, but it hasn't often led to wins.
Despite being one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour throughout his career, Oosthuizen's only win on this circuit was at the 2010 British Open. He has yet to win an event on American soil.
Oosthuizen has been fantastic in all facets of the game so far this week. His driving accuracy is 64.3 percent. He's getting on the green in regulation on 67 percent of holes and is averaging 1.93 strokes gained with the putter.
One more round of consistency from Oosthuizen could give him the outright lead heading into Sunday's final round.