PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka surges to 2-stroke lead


Two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka took a step towards including a 3rd main to his brief checklist of victories.

Koepka bullied rain-softened Bellerive on Saturday on the entrance 9 and constructed a four-shot lead, solely to run into unhealthy patch that introduced a robust checklist of contenders into the combo — together with Tiger Woods — going into the ultimate spherical of the PGA Championship.

Even with back-to-back bogeys on the again 9, Koepka had a 4-under 66 for a two-shot lead over Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who has been struggling by means of his worst season in practically 20 years. Scott had a 65 to get into the ultimate group.

The reigning U.S. Open champion carded a 4-under 66 to take a two-shot lead into the ultimate spherical of the 100th PGA Championship. 0:19

Gary Woodland misplaced his means in his footprints in a bunker and made triple bogey on No. 10, falling six photographs behind, and nonetheless managed a 71 to keep inside three photographs of the lead, together with Jon Rahm (66) and Rickie Fowler (69).

The most important buzz, as at all times, belonged to Woods.

Tiger within the hunt

Coming off a three-putt bogey on the fifth gap, Woods ran off three straight birdies to get in vary, solely to stall on the again 9 like he has accomplished so typically this 12 months. He hit a 4-iron so pure on the par-5 17th gap that he instantly started strolling off to it, and 1000’s of followers roared when it settled 20 ft from the outlet for an eagle that might have introduced him inside one of many lead.

He missed. After which he missed the subsequent from Four ft for birdie and ended his day with 10 straight pars. Woods had to accept a 66, and by the point everybody else got here by means of the 17th gap, he slipped again to a tie for sixth, 4 photographs out of the lead.

That is the identical place he was in going into the ultimate spherical of the British Open at Carnoustie, the place he led briefly within the last earlier than fading.

Now he will get one other shot, and it almost certainly will take one other spherical like Saturday.

“Not simply myself, however everybody’s going to have to shoot low rounds,” Woods stated. “It is comfortable, it is gettable, and you’ll’t simply go on the market and make a bunch of pars.”

Totally different check for Koepka

Koepka was at 12-under 198 and can play within the last group of a significant for the primary time. He gained within the penultimate group on the U.S. Open every of the final two years.

He already burnished his repute two months in the past by successful a U.S. Open on two fully totally different programs — one at Erin Hills with a record-tying rating of 16-under par, the opposite at Shinnecock Hills the place he survived to win at 1-over par.

He has just one different PGA Tour victory, one in Europe and two in Japan. However put him in opposition to the strongest fields and the most important occasions, and he is a world-beater.

This check figures to be totally different.

Bellerive is so comfortable {that a} cost can come from wherever.

“I’ve watched Tiger win 14 of these items hanging round lots of the time,” Scott stated. “He ran away with a number of, for certain, however he hung round for lots. And I might love to hold round tomorrow. And which may imply taking pictures 5 underneath once more to hold round, however I might love to be within the combine coming down the stretch and have the prospect to gap some putts to win.”

Crowded leaderboard

Ten gamers have been inside 4 photographs of the lead, which incorporates defending champion Justin Thomas (68), Jason Day (67) and Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champion who performed with Woods and matched his 66.

“It is a fairly intense setting on the market. It is enjoyable,” Cink stated. “Listening to the gang, and Tiger’s performing nice, it was like turning again the fingers of the clock.”

Woods and Fowler have been amongst these simply comfortable to get off the course. That they had to end their second rounds on Saturday morning due to rain that deluged Bellerive late Friday afternoon. Woods performed 29 holes, whereas Fowler performed 26.

Nobody caught Woodland, that means his 36-hole rating of 130 stood because the PGA Championship report. The lower was one other report, coming at even-par 140 and knocking out the likes of Phil Mickelson. Meaning Mickelson will fail to robotically qualify for the Ryder Cup staff for the primary time since his first full season on the PGA Tour in 1993.



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