Sport Recaps

PGA Championship: Round 3 Recap

Moving day at the 103rd edition of the PGA Championship didn’t see much change at the top, as Phil Mickelson becomes the oldest 54-hole leader at the tournament.

PGA Championship third-round leaderboard
P Mickelson (US); -6 B Koepka (US); -5 Louis Oosthuizen (SA); -4 K Streelman (US); -3 B Grace (SA), C Bezuidenhout (SA); -2 G Woodland (US), B DeChambeau (US), J Niemann,

Selected others: -1 C Conners (Can), P Casey (Eng) ; EVS J Spieth (US), R Fowler (US), T Finau (US); +1 H Matsuyama (Jpn), +2 P Reed (US); +3 C Morikawa (US), J Rahm (Spa); +5 J Day (Aus), R McIlroy (NI)

Mickelson will take a one-shot lead into the final round, but it could have been so much better. He is aiming to become the oldest player to win a major championship. 

The American started with an opening par, and only got better with each shot. His approach to the 2nd was marvellous, where he two-putted to claim a birdie. 

He then hit the shot of the round on the next for a tap in birdie. Mickelson went to the 4th three shots ahead, but kept missing the fairways, and then recover, masterfully. 

Further birdies on the 6th, 7th – millimetres away from an eagle – and 10th, put him five clear of the chasing pack, lead by Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace. 

Mickelson looked like he was walking away with the tournament. However, that retched last six holes were yet to come, and in golf, it’s never easy to just have it all your own way. 

Mickelson missed an easy birdie on the 11th, bogeyed the 12th, and then ended up in the water on the 13th, which resulted in a double-bogey. Within 25 minutes, his five-shot lead had been reduced to one. 

His nearest rival, Koepka missed a 20ft eagle putt on the 16th, to take the lead, but a birdie meant the two Americans were tied after Mickelson’s birdie putt rimmed out at the same hole. Two further pars for Mickelson ended an eventful round, and kept him a shot ahead of Koepka who bogeyed the last. 

How well can you play the last six?

No matter the lead, the final six holes to win a major championship is going to be daunting for any player on Sunday. 

So far, Brooks Koepka, and Kevin Streelman are even-par for the week, for holes 13-18, whereas leader Phil Mickelson is three-over. 

Branden Grace is one-over, Christiaan Bezuidenhout is two-over and Louis Oosthuizen is five-over for the final six holes. It is likely to be the way one of them navigates the final third of the round, which will determine who is successful. 

Other players may get close to the top, but they are unlikely to win. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island has proven itself all week as a front-runners course. 

PGA ChampionshThe winning score is likely to be around nine-under, with the playing conditions on Sunday to mirror the first three rounds. For anyone apart from the mentioned players to win, they would need to have the round of the week, which is near impossible.

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