PGA Championship 2021 – Highlights

Published on 03/14/2023 · 6 min readGolf expert Luke H. overviews the tournament's most unforgettable moments, including the champion and the clubs in his bag.
Luke H., Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Luke H.

Phil Mickelson Makes History at the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island!

Fans swarm Phil Mickelson on the 72nd hole to congratulate him on his 6th Major Championship.

It was a historic weekend at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. Not only was the second major champion crowned for 2021, but Phil Mickelson became the oldest player ever to win a major championship. Just shy of his 51st birthday, Phil took home his 2nd Wanamaker Trophy and 6th career major!

More importantly, he just earned exemptions for the next 5 years for all the Major Championships (The Masters, The PGA Championship, The U.S. Open, and The Open Championship). No more need for that special exemption to the U.S. Open at your home course Torrey Pines – Congrats Phil!

Relive the epic moments of this year's tournament and find out what gear was in Mickelson's bag below.

Thursday Round 1 Update

Corey Conners leads the field by two strokes after a sizzling 67 on the first day of the PGA Championship. However, there is quite a crowded leaderboard chasing the Canadian. Fourteen players are within 3 shots: some big names and former Wanamaker Trophy winners, including Keegan Bradley – Viktor Hovland – Brooks Koepka – Collin Morikawa – and 50-year-old Phil Mickelson!

"This golf course takes it out of you. This is the most difficult golf course that I’ve played on Tour."

Luke H.
Golf Expert

Bryson DeChambeau had a wild day, probably the most unorthodox even par round he has experienced. Two birdies on his first three holes, bogeyed the next four holes in a row (a career worst for Bryson) – then finished with 3 birdies on his last 6 holes. He was just about everywhere on Kiawah today. After the round, Bryson was quoted as saying, “This golf course takes it out of you. This is the most difficult golf course that I’ve played on Tour, and that is a straight-up fact for me...That requires a lot of energy.”

Jordan Spieth had a heartbreaking back nine. It seemed like every hole on the inward nine of his first round he had a lip out. He ended the day with a 73 at +1 over par and tied for 41st. Master’s champ Hideki Matsuyama also shot 73 and is tied with Jordan for 41st.

Some big names struggled today and unless they play lights out tomorrow, they are in danger of missing the cut.

  • Rory McIlroy (+3 over par)
  • Tommy Fleetwood & Kevin Kisner (+4 over par)
  • Sergio Garcia & Matt Kuchar (+5 over par)
  • Adam Scott & Max Homa (+6 over par)
  • Kevin Na & Daniel Berger (+7 over par)

Look out for two-time PGA Champion and four-time major champion Brooks Koepka this weekend. His post-round comments about his struggle around “figuring something out” with his swing on the 18th tee box is eyebrow raising – especially considering he shot -3 under par 69 today and is only two shots back of Corey Conners.

Friday Round 2 Update

Phil Mickelson’s special formula of C Squared = HB + HS = I & V seems to be working for him this week at Kiawah. He fired a 3 under par 69 to take the lead at the PGA Championship heading into the weekend. Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa shot 68 to join Phil as co-leader, both at -5 under par total for the tournament.

Brooks Koepka was in the lead at -6 under par for a bit after he drained this amazing 41 foot Eagle putt.

He unfortunately bogeyed 2 out of his last 4 holes to finish 1 shot back of Phil and Louis at -4 under par for the tournament.

Master’s Champ Hideki Matsuyama got himself in the mix at another major with a round of -4 under par, shooting 68 today. He sits 2 shots back of the leaders at -3 for the tournament. Thursday’s leader Corey Conners had a rough start and was +4 through his first 6 holes. He clawed his way back a bit on the back 9 however, and ended up shooting +3 over par 75 today. Conners sits 3 back of the leaders at -2 for the tournament.

Had some big names miss the cut after the conclusion of today’s second round:

  • Dustin Johnson +6 over par
  • Sergio Garcia +6 over par
  • Xander Schauffele +6 over par
  • Justin Thomas +6 over par
  • Adam Scott +6 over par
  • Tommy Fleetwood +7 over par
  • Matt Kuchar +10 over par

Stay tuned for another update after Saturday’s “moving day” round! I am personally excited to see if Phil’s Calves + Coffee formula continues to lead the pack. Don’t forget if you need any help finding clubs or if I can answer any gear-related questions, don’t hesitate to hit me or any of the other Golf experts here on Curated up!

Weekend Update

With a Saturday round of -2 under par 70 and a Sunday round of +1 over par 73, Phil finished at -6 under par for the championship, two shots ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and two-time PGA Champion Brooks Koepka. Other notable top ten finishers include:

  • The 2019 Open Championship winner Shane Lowry at -2 under par (tie for 4th).
  • Three-time Major Champion and this year’s European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington at -2 under par (tie for 4th).
  • Abraham Ancer (my pre-tournament Dark Horse pick) had the round of the week Sunday, shooting a -7 under par 65 to finish in a tie for 8th place at -1 under for the championship.
  • The group of Justin Rose, Collin Morikawa, and Jon Rahm all -4 under par 68’s on Sunday to move into the top 10, all finishing in a tie for 8th as well.

Phil Mickelson – What’s in the Oldest Major Champion’s Bag?

Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (6 Degrees Loft tuned to 5.5) Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (47.9 Inches)

2-Wood: TaylorMade “Original One” Mini Driver (11.5 Degrees) Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

4-Wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero Fairway (16.5 Degrees) Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Utility Iron: Callaway X21 UT Proto (19 Degrees tuned to 20.5), Mitsubishi MMT 105 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex 21 MB (6-PW), KBS Tour V 125 S+

Wedges: Callaway PM Grind 19 – Raw Finish

  • 52 Gap Wedge tuned to 50, 12 degrees bounce
  • 55 Sand Wedge, 12 degrees bounce
  • 60 Lob Wedge, 10 degrees bounce

Putter: Odyssey Milled Blade – The Phil Mickelson

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (Triple Track)

We’re halfway through the Major Championship season now! Phil has opened as a 50/1 favorite for the U.S. Open at the course he grew up on in San Diego. Dustin Johnson has the best odds currently at 11/1 – there hasn’t been a major at Torrey Pines since Tiger Woods’ unforgettable win at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Next month’s USGA Championship is sure to be a blast! Till then – make sure you get out on the course as much as possible to practice those backwards flop shots so you too can be just like Phil.

Any questions on finding the right gear for your game? Reach out to me or one of my fellow experts here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.

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