Rory McIlroy Holds 1-Shot Lead Over Phil Mickelson at PGA

Rory McIlroy holds a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson and Bernd Wiesberger during the final round of the rain-soaked PGA Championship.

Mickelson, a five-time major championship winner, birdied two of his opening three holes to close in on the lead.

Heavy rain this afternoon caused a delay of 1 hour 51 minutes at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The final group of McIlroy and Wiesberger began play at 4:19 p.m. With the rain delay and typically slower play on a saturated course, it might be difficult to complete play today. Sunset in Louisville is 8:42 p.m.

The crowded leaderboard also increases the chances of a playoff, which would involve three holes. The lowest aggregate score wins.

McIlroy parred his first two holes to remain 13-under par for the tournament. Coming off wins at the British Open and Bridgestone Invitational that pushed him to No. 1 in the world ranking, McIlroy is seeking to become the fifth golfer since 1980 to win three straight U.S. PGA Tour starts, joining Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, David Duval and Vijay Singh.

With a win, McIlroy would become the fourth-youngest golfer with four major titles after Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Morris Jr. McIlroy also won the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship. He would also be the first player to win consecutive major titles since Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won the 2008 British Open and PGA.

Wiesberger, who made the cut in one of his five previous major tournament appearances, shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 yesterday to reach 12-under.

American Rickie Fowler, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, and South Africa’s Ernie Els are tied for fourth at 11 under, one ahead of Jason Day of Australia and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.

European Winner

Wiesberger, 28, a two-time winner on the European PGA Tour, is No. 70 in the world ranking. He has three top-10 finishes this year in Europe, including a runner-up in the Lyoness Open, where he lost a playoff to Mikael Lundberg.

Mickelson moved up the leaderboard yesterday with birdies on holes 14, 15, 16 and 18 after bogeys on holes 11 and 12. Mickelson has no top-10 finishes this season and missed the cut at the Masters Tournament in April.

Woods is no longer in the tournament after missing the 36-hole cut at a major tournament for the fourth time since turning professional in 1996.

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