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15 players sit within five shots after PGA Championship third round

There are 15 players within five shots of the lead following the third round of the PGA Championship… Who wins?

 

The third round of the 2024 PGA Championship had a bit of everything, and it ended with the enticing prospect of what is to come on Sunday.

At the top, Xander Schauffele has kept hold of the lead, but he has been joined at the top by Collin Morikawa, with the pair sitting at 15-under-par.

Whose hands will lift the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday? That’s anyone’s guess, with 15 players within five shots of the lead after 54 holes.

So what happened on PGA Championship Saturday?

Well, not much to begin with. We expected second round action to resume at 7:15am. However, dense fog put pay to that idea.

Instead, it was 9:37am when play got started, with 17 golfers finishing up their second rounds before the third rounds got underway.

Xander Schauffele held a one-shot lead at the start of the day, and he was steady throughout the day. The only blemish on his card came at the 15th, where his approach went long. He would make double bogey, but battled back to birdie 17 and 18.

Collin Morikawa started the day in 2nd, one shot back of Schauffele. A bogey on the 2nd dropped him further away from the lead, but that would be the only square on the card. Five birdies, including one on the final hole thanks to a glorious wedge shot, see him into a tie for the lead. He will make a run at a third major title after wins at the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2021 Open Championship.

Sahith Theegala will go into the final round one shot back of the leading pair, as he aims to win a maiden major title. A wobble came midway through the front nine, with bogeys at 5 and 6, but he fought back brilliantly. A back nine of 31 see him right in the hunt.

And then there was Shane Lowry. The 2019 Open Champion showed us his very best on Saturday, with a bogey-free 62 to tie the record for the low round in a men’s major championship.

Imagine shooting a 64 and not having the best round in your group. That was what happened to Justin Rose. He played alongside Ryder Cup teammate Lowry on Saturday, and like the Irishman, birdied five of the first seven holes. He will start the final round at -12, three shots off the lead, and aiming for a second major championship – 11 years after his first.

Fellow Europeans Viktor Hovland and Robert MacIntyre are also in the hunt for a first major victory, while the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas are within reach of the lead. The latter is the hometown favourite, and will have the crowds behind him throughout Sunday’s play.

However, for Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, it was a day to forget. You can forgive Scheffler for shooting an over par score for the first time in 42 rounds. He has had plenty going on outside of the ropes this week. For Koepka, though, Saturday was a surprise. The defending PGA Champion could only manage a 73, dropping down to 4-under and out of contention.

Shane Lowry Justin Rose PGA Championship

Who said what after the PGA Championship third round?

Shane Lowry (-13 / record-equalling 62 in men’s majors)

“I just went out there with the hope of trying to get myself towards double digits. I thought if I could get to 10-under today, I could give myself somewhat of a chance going into tomorrow.

“I went out and got a great start, rolling putts in, felt great, kept going and really enjoyed it. Myself and Justin [Rose], we had a great day out there and I enjoyed every minute of it. It is pretty cool to do something like this but obviously there is a lot more to do tomorrow.

“We both birdied four of the first five holes and I was laughing because I couldn’t get the tee off him, I couldn’t get the honour off him. Every time I made a birdie, he made a birdie as well. It was just an enjoyable day, one of those days that you’ll remember and yeah, it was good.”

Xander Schauffele (-15)

“It would mean a lot. At the end of the day, it’s just a result. Winning a tournament is just a result. All I can focus on are good golf shots and striking good putts.

“At the end of the day, wherever the cards fall, they fall. Yeah, it would mean a lot, obviously.”

Collin Morikawa (-15)

“I think looking back at a month ago at Augusta, I felt sharp in everything, but I feel like I could have had a little bit of self-talk before I went out on that first tee and really just not got ahead of myself. Not that I did, but two holes really cost me back there.

“Tomorrow is just going to put everything I have out there and see how it plays out.”

Bryson DeChambeau (-13)

“I’ve got a good chance. I’m not executing to the level that I know I can, but playing well enough to give myself a chance, obviously.

“Got to keep strategising around this golf course and putting the golf ball in the right areas and miss it in the right place and hit a bunch of greens out here. It’s iron play. The key is iron play this week, and I haven’t done my best but got up-and-down nicely.”

Robert MacIntyre (-12)

“We’re out there fighting as much as we can, but I’m going to get nervous tomorrow. I’m going to be nervous tonight. But all I can do is try my best, and that’s honestly as much as I try and say it to myself, that’s all I can do is just try my best and see where we end up. If I’m in with a chance, I’m in with a chance, and then we may start think about winning a golf tournament.”

pga championship second round

Shot of the day

It just had to be the hometown kid didn’t it!

Needing birdies to keep up with the field, Justin Thomas found himself in trouble on the left side of the long par 3 14th.

But this is JT! You know what he did next!

Stat of the day

How many Shane Lowry stats do you want? There are plenty to choose from after his incredible Saturday at Valhalla!

Starting with the big one, the major record. Lowry equalled the men’s major championship scoring record with his 62 in the third round.

Once again, we thank Justin Ray for his incredible statistical knowledge. He pointed out that Shane Lowry’s +11.26 Strokes Gained: Putting this week is the best we’ve seen this year!

The Scheffler arrest story has another layer to it…

We all know what happened on Friday morning now, and how Scottie Scheffler ended up stretching in a jail cell prior to his second round at the PGA Championship.

However, new information came to light about the situation on Saturday. The Louisville mayor announced that there is no bodycam footage of the arrest of the World No 1.

You can read more on that new information, along with what the Louisville mayor had to say on Saturday, here.

Everything seemed to finally get to Scheffler on the third day, as he fell away, shooting an over par round for the first time in 42 rounds.

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Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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