“Tiger’s never been to St. Louis”. It might be that he’s back to using a modified version of his long putter, or perhaps it’s a peace of mind that came with rehiring his brother-in-law, Brad Malone, as his swing coach after a couple of years apart.
There should be plenty of excitement heading into the final two rounds of competition. The long-hitting Finau has had a breakout season in the big events, sharing second at Riviera, tying for 10th at the WGC-Bridgestone and finishing in the top 10 in each of the year’s first three majors, including the Masters, where he tied for 10th after dislocating an ankle during the Par 3 Contest.
The five-time major victor has also been on every U.S. Presidents Cup team dating to 1994.
Then there’s Scott, Rahm, Fowler, Woodland, Stewart Cink, Jason Day and Justin Thomas to contend with, as well. In the lead at 12 under, Koepka is supplying the rolled-up sleeves and the kind of blacksmith arms that would’ve left Arnold Palmer‘s arms on the wrong side of a before-and-after ad.
“It could have been a little bit closer but I’ve got a shot going into tomorrow”, he said.
He is four strokes behind leader Brooks Koepka and in a tie for sixth. The slugger has what his father, Bob, calls “those steely eyes” when he prepares for a Sunday round in a major.
Koepka seemed an unlikely candidate to falter, but falter he did. “And that might mean shooting 5 under again to hang around, but I would love to be in the mix coming down the stretch and have the chance to hole some putts to win”.
You need only to see the tail to understand why. “I enjoyed every minute”, he said. “It was like, ‘All right'”. It’s a major championship. “But I think a part of everyone is playing for Jarrod out here this week”. You’re always trying to prove somebody wrong.
Birdies were abundant early, a hint that scoring conditions might rival those of Friday that saw three players make a run at matching the all-time low major round of 62 by Branden Grace of South Africa from last year’s British Open.
“I don’t even really know if we have all really had time to reflect on it and let it sink in”.
But it is the first time in 14 tournaments this year that Woods has faced more than 18 holes in one day due to a weather delay. Koepka didn’t waste any time and energy complaining about the USGA. And right now, the USA team has just one in position to make the team automatically on Monday, and that’s Justin Thomas.
Ryan Fox is battling away well at the PGA Championship, seven shots off the lead with one round to play.
“If I can get off to a hot start there and play the rest of the golf course really well, I know I have a chance to win this golf tournament”. It’s a major championship.
It’s even better in match play.
Tiger Woods didn’t just play his way into contention to win the 100th US PGA Championship with another stand-out performance in his stunning comeback this summer.
What was particularly encouraging for the 14-time major victor was the fact that some of his best swings came late in the day, including a bullet four iron to the par five 17th that set up a presentable eagle chance.