US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka leads, Tiger Woods in contention

Joann Johnston
August 12, 2018

The back-to-back birdies put Woods into the top 10, and pulled him within four shots of the leader.

"The golf course is gettable", Woodland said. After making a bogey at No. 4, he rolled in a 33-foot putt for birdie at the par-3 No. 6 hole.

Koepka began two strokes back but quickly moved ahead by following a tap-in gain at the first with another birdie at the next, as Woodland bogeyed the second after finding water.

The biggest buzz, as always, belonged to Woods.

Koepka birdied the eighth but missed a 19-foot birdie putt at nine for a 62, settling for a 63, matching the lowest round in tournament history. Another at No. 15 led to a poor chip at the par-3 16th, and he stared into the jowls of three consecutive bogeys.

Woods has been pressing to play for the US Ryder Cup team but must win the PGA to automatically qualify for the squad going to France next month to defend the trophy against Europe.

Woods, who said Saturday's round-and-a-half of golf left him mentally exhausted, will have to make every birdie he missed thus far.

Lowry carded six birdies in his six-under round of 64 and is well poised for a crack at his first ever Major win.

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But on Saturday he tweeted: I'll always give my best to the fans and my teammates no matter what's going on . I came back on Monday so it was very hard for the legs and the stamina but we played very well.

As word spread that Woods was on the charge, those who weren't already following the former world number one were soon scrambling to join crowds that were 12-deep and lined almost every hole from tee to green.

A four-under third round by the 14-time major-winner took him to nine-under and four behind leader Brooks Koepka, who had four holes remaining.

"I know that I can do it", Rahm said. "They really get my attention". Three majors for a 28-year-old is historically flabbergasting.

Still, it would be wrong to dwell on the odd aberration on a day when Woods gave the largest crowds seen at a major in recent memory a day they will never forget. The tournament was still going, except by then, two events were coexisting on the same course: the PGA Championship and whatever Woods was doing, the show within a show. Koepka can make it 46 on Sunday.

"After this week I could just retire, it's been so wonderful". Players try to downplay it, and I've downplayed it over the years myself because you're trying to downplay it yourself a little bit, but it's a pretty intense environment out there. Yeah, there's a lot of star power, and it should be. Major championship golf is amusing. "I think we'll see some putts go in".

No matter how it goes down on Sunday, it's going to feel important. Either somebody is going to run down the mighty man with the feather touch - which feels improbable with the way he's swinging it - or we're going to have a three-time major victor devoid of a real category with which to label him. Woodland is among the most powerful players in golf. It's my favorite day of the year, four times a year, and this time for the last time in 2018.

The PGA Championship celebrates its 100th anniversary this week at Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.

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