Koepka surges into lead through Round 3 of PGA Championship
Published 7:48 pm Saturday, May 20, 2023
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Brooks Koepka has fired a second straight 4-under 66 to surge into the lead through three rounds at the PGA Championship.
Koepka let a chance to win the Masters get away in the final round at Augusta National last month. He’s responded with three solid and occasionally spectacular days of golf at rain-soaked Oak Hill to put him in position to win the fifth major of his career.
Playing with former rival turned fellow LIV Golf member Bryson DeChambeau, Koepka made five birdies and one bogey during the third round, moving into the lead when he rolled in a 45-foot putt on the par-4 17th.
Email newsletter signup
Koepka is at 6 under for the tournament as he chases his third PGA Championship.
Viktor Hovland is one back at 5 under following a 69, alongside Corey Conners, who shot 70. Conners led for much of the day before a shot out of a fairway bunker on the par-4 16th smacked into the lip and became plugged. He made double bogey. Conners is seeking to become the second Canadian man to win a major.
DeChambeau, the first-round leader, is three behind Koepka after a 70. Third-round co-leader and world No. 2 Scottie Scheffler and Justin Rose are four back.
Rory McIlroy is the only other player under par going into the final round. McIlroy shot a second straight 1-under 69 to put him at 1 under for the tournament.
Club pro Michael Block continued his storybook trip to the East Course.
The 46-year-old fired a third consecutive round of even-par 70, becoming the first teaching professional to be inside the top 10 heading into the final 18 holes since 1990.
It took 14 holes, but Scottie Scheffler finally made a birdie Saturday in the PGA Championship.
The third round has been a battle among Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland, who started the rainy day tied with Scheffler. Brooks Koepka has moved into contention. He was one shot behind with two holes to play. Bryson DeChambeau is lingering.
Scheffler started with a three-putt bogey on No. 1, made another bogey from the bunker on No. 2 and then dropped shots on the sixth and seventh with errant tee shots. He didn’t make birdies and fell as many as five shots behind.
He holed a 12-footer for birdie on the 14th to get within four shots.
Only nine players are at par or better, and that remarkably includes California club pro Michael Block. He made consecutive birdies and was in ninth place — six out of the lead — going to the 18th. The last time a club pro was among the the top 10 after 54 holes in the PGA Championship was 33 years ago at Shoal Creek.
Canadian Corey Conners’ steady bogey-free play through the first eight holes of the third round of the PGA Championship has him sitting atop the leaderboard.
With persistent rain finally stopping at Oak Hill, Conners birdied No. 8 to move to 6 under for the tournament. He opened the day tied with Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler has plunged to 1 under for the tournament after posting four bogeys through his first eight holes. Hovland sits second at 4 under, tied with Justin Rose.
Rose has made the biggest surge of the day so far. He’s 3 under through 12 holes.
Conners is the lone player to not record a bogey in the third round. He’s from the farm town of Listowel, Ontario, which is located about a 2-hour drive west of Toronto, and about a 4 1/2-hour drive from Oak Hill.
Conners is a two-time PGA Tour winner with his best finish at a major a tie for sixth at the 2022 Masters.
The winner of the PGA Championship will be getting $3.15 million.
The PGA of America released its prize fund Saturday at $17.5 million. That’s up from $15 million last year, and $500,000 less than what the Masters offered last month.
The purses in the majors have been steadily increasing, though not at the rate of the PGA Tour, which this year has 11 tournaments with $20 million or more in prize money. LIV Golf offers $20 million at all its events for the individual winner.
The other two majors have not announced their prize money.
Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland, the co-leaders of the PGA Championship, have teed off in the third round at Oak Hill.
A persistent rain that soaked the East Course has prevented the rest of the field from gaining much if any ground on Scheffler, Conners and Hovland, who began the day at 5 under. They have a two-shot lead on Bryson DeChambeau, with a group of four players next at 2 under.
The second round closed with only nine players under par. When the twosome teed off, there were only 10 at 1 under or better.
Rory McIlroy and Adam Svensson each opened with a pair of birdies on their first five holes to move to 2 under. Justin Rose, meantime, fell back to even for the tournament with a bogey 5 on two.
Course officials have at times had to squeegee puddles of water that gathered on several fairways.
The third round of the PGA Championship is underway at soggy Oak Hill, where wet conditions await a trio of co-leaders when they tee off later Saturday afternoon.
Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland are all at 5 under through two rounds and will have to deal with a drenched East Course that will play even longer than usual.
The rain started soon after the first group went out shortly after 8 a.m. By noon course attendants were around the greens and fairways trying to squeegee excess moisture.
Most of the notable names who made the cut were struggling in the early going. World No. 1 Jon Rahm is 4 over for his round through nine holes, well off the pace at plus-8 overall. Phil Mickelson double-bogeyed the second hole and was at plus-9 overall midway through his back nine.
The rain is expected to ease later in the afternoon as Scheffler pursues a second major title to go with his 2022 Masters victory. Conners and Hovland are both chasing their first major championship.
Scheffler and Conners are the last group going out with a 2:50 p.m. EDT tee time. Hovland will play with 25-year-old Justin Suh, who is two shots back after making a cut at a major for the first time.
Former rivals turned LIV Golf competitors Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are paired together in the third round. DeChambeau is two off the lead, with Koepka three shots behind the trio of Conners, Hovland and Scheffler.