Brooks Koepka slips late, but holds on for 54-hole lead at PGA Championship

Streeter Lecka/PGA of America/PGA of America via Getty Images

Brooks Koepka slips late, but holds on for 54-hole lead at PGA Championship

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Brooks Koepka slips late, but holds on for 54-hole lead at PGA Championship

Here is a recap of the third round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis:

LEADING: Wow, what an interesting day.

Brooks Koepka had this tournament by the throat early in Round 3 as he started birdie-birdie and went out in 5-under 30 to go from two behind to a three-shot lead. At one point, his margin swelled to five!

But even as his lead grew on the back nine, cracks showed. Koepka’s fluid game started to fall apart and he successfully scrambled for pars for only so long. He would make back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 14 and 15 and his lead would get down to one as the round wound down.

He salvaged, though, with a late birdie at 17 and ended the round with a 4-under 66. His 12-under total gives him a two-shot lead heading into the final round.

Koepka is of course the reigning U.S. Open champion – he’s actually won it the last two years. If he can hold on, this would be his third major and fourth PGA Tour win overall. He did win the prestigious Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in 2014 as well.

The World No. 4 has only won once in 2018 (that U.S. Open), but he also sat out roughly four months after the 2018 opener in Hawaii due to a wrist injury. Since then, he’s posted that U.S Open win and three other top-11 finishes.

Could another major be coming Sunday? We will know in one day.

CHASING: Adam Scott fires a second straight 65 to produce the best third round in the field, and that boosts him to solo second at 10 under. Gary Woodland made a triple bogey at No. 10, but the 36-hole leader battled to a 71 to sit in a tie for third at 9 under and remain in the hunt. Rickie Fowler (69) and Jon Rahm (66) are also T-3 at 9 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Yeah, when you have an ace (more details here) … this is no contest.

SHORT SHOTS: Tiger Woods birdied five of his first eight holes and went out in 4-under 31 for the second straight round. But also for the second straight round, he stalled thereafter. Still, another 4-under 66 puts him T-6 at 8 under. He’s just four back heading into Sunday, just like last month at Carnoustie. … Defending champion Justin Thomas is also T-6 at 8 under after a third-round 68. Jason Day’s 67 also puts him in that 8-under group. … Kevin Kisner began the day one off the lead but stumbled in a 72 that dropped him five back in a tie for 12th at 7 under. … Dustin Johnson birdied three of his final four holes just to get in with a 72. It was a rough day for the World No. 1, as he plummets to T-21 at 5 under. … Ben Kern, the lone club pro to make the cut, fires a 67 to put himself 3 under and in a tie for 36th. … Rory McIlroy is T-45 at 2 under after a third-round 71.

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