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The Latest: Koepka takes 2-shot lead over Scott into Sunday
Sports By: The Bullet Wire August 11th, 2018 5:33 pm
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship, golf’s final major of the year (all times local):
Brooks Koepka will take a two-shot lead over Adam Scott into the final round of the PGA Championship after shooting a 4-under 66 that left him at 12 under for the tournament.
Koepka is trying to become the first player since Tiger Woods to capture the U.S. Open and PGA in the same year. Woods did it in 2000 to join Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen as only the fourth player to accomplish that double.
Scott had the day’s best round with a 65.
Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland are at 9 under, and Tiger Woods is another shot back, in a six-way tie for sixth.
Brooks Koepka has dropped a shot heading down the stretch after his wayward drive at the par-4 14th came to rest against the base of a tree, forcing him to take an unplayable lie penalty.
Koepka hit his next shot into the rough left of the green, but he managed to make a nice up-and-down to limit the damage. The bogey left him 11 under, two ahead of Adam Scott and Gary Woodland.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods wrapped up a 4-under 66 to reach 8 under for the championship. He cooled off on the back nine, making par at every hole after a hot start to the round.
“I hit it good on the back nine today,” Woods said, “I just didn’t make anything.”
Perhaps the pressure and long day at the PGA Championship is beginning to wear on the leaders.
Brooks Koepka made his first bogey of the day at the 14th, shortly after Tiger Woods three-putted for the second time in his round. Kevin Kisner had back-to-back bogeys early on his second nine and Zach Johnson bogeyed the easy par-5 17th to fall to 1 over on the day.
Stewart Cink is among the guys still taking down Bellerive. He has only one bogey on his scorecard and was part of a six-play logjam at 8 under. Koepka leads at 12 under.
Gary Woodland made a mess of the par-4 10th at Bellerive, the second-round leader making triple bogey to drop to 3 over for the day and six shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
Woodland’s trouble began when he found the bunker guarding the right side of the green. He clipped his shot from the sand and it rolled into the bunker on the opposite side of the green.
Meanwhile, Kevin Kisner hit from the same bunker — but nobody raked it.
Woodland blasted his next bunker shot over the green and into the original bunker, where the ball came to rest in a foot print. The big hitter had to conservatively get back onto the green from there, then putted his way to triple bogey.
Matt Wallace aced the par-3 16th hole with a 5 iron on Saturday to spur a Tiger-like roar from the gallery eagerly awaiting Woods to arrive in the following group.
It was the 26th hole-in-one in the PGA Championship since such records were kept in 1983.
Wallace, a 28-year-old Englishman with three European Tour victories on his resume, rewarded all those fans by chucking the ball into the crowd. What are the odds he regrets that some day?
The ace got Wallace to 2 under for the round and 5 under for the championship.
Brooks Koepka wrapped up a bogey-free front nine Saturday that included five pars, getting the U.S. Open champion to 13 under at the PGA Championship.
Koepka has been hot going back to Friday, when he started a second-round 63 that matched the lowest round in PGA Championship history. He’s riding a stretch of 15 birdies in 44 holes.
Koepka also struggled early at the U.S. Open, where he opened with a 5-over 75 and was 7 over early in his second round. But Koepka went on a tear the rest of that round, then shot 72-68 over the weekend at Shinnecock Hills to defend the title he won last year at Erin Hills.
Right now, Koepka is simply overpowering long but soft Bellerive Country Club.
Virtually all the work Jordan Spieth spent getting back into contention at the PGA went to waste in the span of one hole.
After playing the first 11 holes in 4 under to get within four of the lead, he made triple-bogey on the par-4 12th to drop from a tie for 10th to a tie for 26th.
Spieth hit his tee shot deep into the woods, and from a trampled lie, tried to elevate over a tree and onto the green. The ball slammed into the tree and ricocheted to the right, over a fence and out of bounds.
He took a drop, punched out into the rough, and needed three shots to get down.
He is now seven shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
If this was next month’s Ryder Cup, everything would be going the way of Team USA.
Brooks Koepka leads the charge of Americans atop the leaderboard at the PGA Championship. Gary Woodland is one shot back, followed by Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas.
The run of Americans ends with Adam Scott, Shane Lowry and Charl Schwarztzl, who are at 8 under and three shots off the lead. Another group of Americans that includes Jordan Spieth, Julian Suri and Pat Perez is at 7 under, while Stewart Cink is another shot back.
The last player born outside the U.S. to win the PGA was Jason Day in 2015.
Tiger Woods had five birdies and a bogey on his opening nine of the third round, moving within two shots of Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland in the PGA Championship.
Woods is in a group at 8 under that includes reigning champion Justin Thomas, first-round leader Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. Jordan Spieth is another shot back at 7 under as he tries to win the PGA and complete the career grand slam.
Daniel Berger continues his turnaround. He was 6 over after his first nine Thursday, but he’s roared to 5 under for the championship. He has three birdies without a bogey in his third round.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka has pulled into a tie for the lead at the PGA Championship.
Koepka is trying to become the fourth player to win the U.S. Open and the PGA in the same year, joining Tiger Woods (2000), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Ben Hogan (1948) and Gene Sarazen (1922).
Speaking of Woods, he’s followed a bogey at the fourth with back-to-back birdies to get to 3 under on his round. He’s three off the pace set by Koepka and second-round leader Gary Woodland.
Chris Kirk is also making a move. He’s 4 under through 11 and 6 under for the championship.
Kansas native Gary Woodland isn’t the only guy with a “hometown” crowd behind him at Bellerive.
Brice Garnett made the cut right on the number in his PGA Championship debut, much to the delight of his friends and family from Chillicothe, Missouri. Garnett starred at Missouri Western, a Division II school and the training camp home of the Kansas City Chiefs.
He still calls Gallatin in the western part of the state his home.
Garnett went wire-to-wire to win the Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in March, his first PGA Tour victory and one that got him into this week’s championship at Bellerive.
Emiliano Grillo has back-to-back birdies at the PGA Championship to join the logjam at 6 under that includes Tiger Woods, who came within a whisker of holing his pitch shot for birdie at No. 4.
If Bellerive is offering any defense, it’s the thick fescue and bluegrass rough that became saturated by Friday’s rain. And that’s where Woods drove his tee shot at the fourth before hacking his approach shot shy of the bunkers guarding the right front of the green.
With another perfect lie in the zoysia fairway, Woods’s pitch shot danced to the right and nearly rolled into the cup before settling about a foot away for a tap-in par.
Tiger Woods has birdied the first two holes of his third round at the PGA Championship, and now will try to string a few more together to chase down second-round leader Gary Woodland.
Woods is now 6 under, four shots off the lead.
He got off to a bogey-double bogey start on Thursday at Bellerive, and it looked as if Woods’s comeback tour had hit a wall. But he fought back to shoot even-par 70, then worked around the rain that suspended play Friday to shoot a second-round 66.
Woods is trying to join Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus as five-time PGA winners.
Justin Rose is among the players at the PGA Championship who finished their rounds Friday and knew they’d make the cut, allowing them to sleep in a bit on Saturday.
Rest he did, too. Rose said he didn’t watch any of the early coverage on television.
The Englishman will be 4 under when he begins his round off the first tee at 12:32 p.m. He’s in a group with Zach Johnson and Emiliano Grillo that is six shots off the lead.
Rose had some back spasms last week at Firestone, but he says “from Wednesday afternoon I’ve been feeling perfectly fine.”
The third round is underway at the PGA Championship, and among those headed out at Bellerive is Daniel Berger — an incredible turnaround given where he was after his opening nine holes.
Berger was 6 over before playing his last 27 holes in 8-under par.
“I just stopped trying at one point. It’s funny how things work out,” said Berger, who was tied for the lead entering the final round of the U.S. Open before finishing in a tie for sixth.
“The last 27 holes I just kind of freewheeled it,” he said, “so that was kind of good.”
Especially considering Berger has been dealing with a wrist injury.
“It sucks,” he said, “because I’ve never been hurt before, and it’s just kind of been lingering and there’s not really a point in the season I can take a break. Just been trying to play through it.”
The second round has wrapped up at the PGA Championship, where Gary Woodland leads at 10 under and it took even-par 140 just to make the record-low 36-hole cut.
The previous low for the PGA was 1-over 141 at Atlanta Athletic Club in 2001.
Some big names missed playing the rest of the weekend, too. Matt Kuchar, Sergio Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau were in a large group at 1 over. Masters champion Patrick Reed was 3 over and Phil Mickelson was in the group at 4 over.
Eighty players made the cut, including some relative surprises. Ben Kern was the lone club pro to make the cut, while 55-year-old Vijay Singh and Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk made it through.
Julian Suri has surged into contention at the PGA Championship with an eagle at the par-5 17th taking him to 5 under, an impressive showing for the former Duke standout.
Suri’s father, Jagan, is the great grandson of Buchi Babu Naidu, one of the early pioneers of cricket in India. Jagan Suri moved to the U.S. in his teens and spent time as a professional tennis player, and now works in business development of golf courses.
Julian Suri played tennis and golf when he was young, but he clearly showed a preference for the latter. He won last year on the European Tour and has been second time this year.
Phil Mickelson will fail to automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993 after a 1-over 71 left him 4 over for the PGA Championship and well outside the cut line.
He still could be among Jim Furyk’s four captain’s choices.
Mickelson is 18-20-7 in the Ryder Cup, but he played well two years ago at Hazeltine National, when the Americans routed the Europeans 17-11 to win back the cup.
Bryson DeChambeau was just outside the top eight that automatically qualify for the team. He missed a short putt at his final hole Saturday to keep from playing the weekend.
The approach that guys will take between the second and third rounds at the PGA Championship will vary widely depending on when they finish Saturday morning and when they tee off again.
Some will have less than an hour between their rounds.
Then there’s Rickie Fowler, who concluded his 3-under 67 to get to 8 under for the tournament and within two shots of the lead. Fowler said he plans to return to the house he’s renting down the road from Bellerive, where he can change out of some wet clothes and catch some rest.
“Put some fresh clothing on and then yeah, get here like we normally would,” said Fowler, the first-round leader. “But it’s still going to be a long day.”
Sungjae Im probably should stop aiming for the greens at the PGA Championship.
The 20-year-old South Korean was right on the cut line Saturday in his second round when he chipped in for birdie on consecutive holes. That got Im to 2 under for the championship, which would be good enough not only to play the weekend but get within eight shots of the lead.
Im became the second-youngest player to win a Web.com Tour event when he triumphed in his debut in the Bahamas earlier this year. He also has a couple of second-place finishes on the tour.
The youngest champion in Web.com Tour history? Jason Day.
Tony Finau has matched the PGA Championship record for birdies in a round with 10.
If only he didn’t also have three bogeys and a triple on his card.
Finau wound up with a 4-under 66 on Saturday to get back to even for the championship. His birdie display came while playing with Jim Furyk, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain who could have to decide whether to include Finau on his roster next month in France.
The birdie record for the PGA was set by Gary Player. Anthony Kim has the record for birdies in a major championship with 11 during the 2011 Masters.
Tiger Woods bounced back from his first bogey of the second round with a birdie at the short par-4 11th, getting him back to 4 under in the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, the topsy-turvy round of Tony Finau presses on.
Finau began his second round Friday with five straight birdies, made a triple bogey, then had two more birdies. He added a bogey to finish off his front nine, and another birdie on the back nine has the U.S. Ryder Cup hopeful at even-par for the championship.
He’s played 12 holes and has made just one par on the round.
Haotong Li did not resume his second round at the PGA Championship, withdrawing with a wrist injury after his round was suspended by rain. He had completed the 11th hold.
Li opened with a 1-over 71 and was 3 over for the championship.
The course is playing soft with no wind and pristine greens, and that could mean record low scores this weekend. Tiger Woods already has another birdie at the eighth to reach 4 under, and first-round leader Rickie Fowler has his first birdie of the day to get to 8 under.
He’s two shots back of Gary Woodland, who already completed his second round.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the rest of the players that were still on the course when play was suspended at the PGA Championship have resumed their second rounds at soggy Bellerive.
All of them are chasing Gary Woodland, whose 66 before the rain rolled through Friday left him 10 under for the championship. Kevin Kisner also played early and was a shot back.
They got to sleep in Saturday while 78 players yet to finish their second rounds had to be in position by 7 a.m. There will be a 30-minute break once they finish, then the third round will start with groups of three heading off the first and 10th tees.
That will mean a long day for guys like Woods, who could play more than 28 holes Saturday. He was 3 under and in the fairway at the eighth when the sirens stopped play.
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