PGA Championship report: What happened on Saturday at Bethpage Black?

There was a moment when you wondered if Brooks Koepka might be feeling the strain of having dominated his Wanamaker defence since Thursday morning, it lasted not much longer than 20 minutes.

At the 9th he horseshoed out from kick-in range – he had been 33/33 from inside five feet this week – and he gave another shot back at the next but he will begin his PGA Sunday with a seven-shot lead.

For a moment it looked like we might have something to ponder with the possibility of a Koepka-Johnson Sunday pairing but Johnson made a mess of the 18th to slip back to five under.

As it is Koepka will play alongside Harold Varner III, playing in just his second PGA. The 28-year-old from Akron had a beautiful day with a bogey-free 67 which was signed off with a birdie.

Big-hitting Luke List will also start the final day at five under and he had two chip-ins, one from sand, one from green side rough, to help his cause though he would have made it a bit more dramatic had he not bogeyed his last two holes.

Jazz Janewattananond (see below) is the fourth member of the quartet to sit seven shots adrift of Koepka.

Full PGA Championship leaderboard

The possible moves from the more-established names never materialised with Jordan Spieth, playing with Koepka, grinding his way to a 72, while Justin Rose had a real wobble midway through his back nine as he stumbled to a 73.

Matt Wallace did shine though on a day where he admitted that he didn’t have his best stuff with him but he balanced out his three bogeys with three birdies for a level-par 70 and he will get going at four under.

As for Koepka, for one he gave something back to the field with his putting but he still got it round in level on a day when the best effort was 67.

For the record nobody in major, or PGA Tour history, has lost a seven-shot lead with one round to play. It’s going to take something extraordinary to change any of that.

PGA Championship report: Saturday talking points

Who is Jazz Janewattananond? Other than being the longest-named surname in the field he’s a 23-year-old Thai golfer, who turned pro not long after his 15th birthday and who got the last spot at the European Tour Q School in 2017 having come second in Fiji just a few months before.

Last year he finished a lowly 176th but he did make his Open debut at Carnoustie. And now he’s sitting very pretty at five under.

This week he has local looper Jack Miller on the bag as he doesn’t have a regular caddie and uses a friend when need be. Miller does the hiring and training for Bethpage’s caddie master and he was the first choice when it was revealed that a player was in need of someone.

“He’s from Thailand and he speaks very, very smooth. I’m like, ‘What?’ He carries himself very nicely,” said Miller.

The Jazz part, his first name is Atiwit, comes from his dad who loves…jazz music. Another nice quirk to Janewattananond is that he took some time out in 2016 to spend time as a monk.


Phil Mickelson has done it again. After his Augusta ‘dropping bombs’ effort he’s excelled himself once more.

“I just had an idea and hopped in the car and shot it and then sent it and that was that. It’s not really scripted, I’ve just kind of come up with them, I’ve done them Saturday at the Masters and Saturday here, and I haven’t played great either day, so I’m going to try changing it up a little bit. So I’ll change that up. But it’s been fun, I just want to play better.”

Sadly there were only three birdies to go with nine bogeys in his 76.

But there was some more good news to end the day with…


When Justin Rose signed his clothing deal with menswear company Bonobos at the start of the year he hoped it would give him an extra boost of confidence on the course.

The staple Rose diet of blue slacks and white shirt would be a thing of the past.

“I feel like I’ve moved to a brand where I haven’t lost anything in terms of technical performance but have gained so much more on the fashion side,” Rose said. “I can have so much more fun with my closet and with my look in how I want to express myself without losing anything from a performance point of view.”

Five months on we are here.

To be fair it’s unique look but the laid-back swagger sort of comes undone by all the corporate branding splashed in amongst the pineapples.

Christ knows what he’s got in store for us on Sunday..


PGA Championship report: Best photo

PGA Championship report: Best quote

Xander Schauffele on Brooks Koepka:

This is a major championship, and everyone is here to win, but there’s only one guy who’s absolutely just destroying this place. So I’m sure he’s having a blast. But for the rest of us, he’s making it awfully boring.

PGA Championship report: Best stat

PGA Championship report: Best tweet

PGA Championship report: Best moments

Roll on Sunday.

Keep up to date with all the action from Bethpage with NCG’s dedicated PGA Championship website as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you missed the action and best bits from Friday, head to the next page…