Mickelson almost aces 353-yard par four

JEJU, South Korea (AFP) – Phil Mickelson came within a whisker yesterday of an amazing new chapter in his storied career when he was a fraction from a hole-in-one at the CJ Cup – on a par four.

The five-time major winner, who has graced the world’s top 50 for more than 25 years, hit the pin at the 353-yard 14th hole with the ball finishing just inches from the cup for a brush-in eagle.

Had it dropped, it would have been only the second ace at a par four in US PGA Tour history.

Mickelson, who carded a second-round 72 to add to his opening 70, lies 11 strokes off the lead held by his playing partner for the first two rounds, Justin Thomas.

But at least he now has the consolation of an early contender for shot of the season.

“So it was 307 (yards) to the front, so I had to go ahead and hit it,” said Mickelson, whose perfect blow with a driver took one hop on the green fringe and arrowed straight at the hole.