2013 PGA Championship, Round 3 Summary
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/10/13

On Saturday of the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, the sun came out and dried up the East Course. As a result, only one golfer really pillaged par — but most of the players who needed to shoot under par, did.

Smooth, not Fury-ous

Jim Furyk continues to play Oak Hill solidly, following up his 65-68 start with another 68 and held his first-ever PGA Championship lead. It didn't start well, though; after pitching close to save par at the 1st, Furyk bogeyed 2 and 3, but got it back with a 104-yard wedge to eight feet for a birdie at the 4th, followed by another birdie about a half-hour later at the 8th. Another wedge to ten feet at the 10th led to another birdie to take a solo lead. At 12, his putter was the weapon; he holed a 25-foot uphill-er to get to -2 on the day.

But after nearly holing a long bunker shot at 15, Furyk couldn't sink the comeback par putt and gave a shot back. But at the par-5-turned-into-a-par-4 17th, Furyk retook the lead with an 18-foot birdie. His tee-shot at the 18th missed the fairway and he had to punch out, but Furyk wedged on and sank a slippery par-saver. A horrid 3-wood tee-shot at the 18th was nowhere near the fairway, but he curled home a 15-foot par-saver from the fringe to maintain his solo lead.

Coming into the post-round interviews, Furyk apparently didn't know he had a lead. Once told he had a one-shot advantage, Furyk talked about his "tunnel vision" approach:
"I'm comfortable with where I'm at. There's a crowded leaderboard at the top and, instead of really viewing it as who is leading and who is not, I'm really viewing it as I need to go out there tomorrow and put together a good, solid round of golf. Fire a good number and hope it stacks up well."

You Keep Me Hangin' On

A day after breaking the course record with a 63, Jason Dufner did what most golfers would love to do at a major — he ground out par after par. But at the 5th, he sliced his tee-shot into the creek — and he knew it was bad the instant the ball came off the club-face. His wedge from the rough for par sailed past the hole, and then he left his bogey putt well short.

But after a par at the par-3 6th, he sank a left-to-right slider for birdie. His only other mistake came on the 8th green, where he left his birdie putt well short, then lipped-out his par-saver. Dufner got the shot — and a share of the lead — back with a long right-to-lefter at the 10th, then parred the rest of the way in, including a par-saver at 18 that actually had to fall backward into the jar. Dufner is in second alone at -8 202, one behind Furyk.

Beware The Nordiques

Two Swedes hold third and fourth alone, respectively. After shooting a bogey-free 66 on Friday, Henrik Stenson bogeyed 2 and 15. But the rest of his play was steady and solid. Following an impressive 15-foot par-saver from the collar at 12, Stenson sank a ten-footer at the 13th for birdie, then somehow coaxed in a 15-footer for bird at the 14th. Looking at his seventh top-ten finish in a major, the two-time European Ryder Cup team member is alone in third at -7 203.

More impressive was Jonas Blixt. After sinking a 50-foot-plus bomb to save par and the 3rd, got birdies at the 5th and 9th with second shots that finished within three feet, then almost made another birdie at the 11th. After his second at the par-4 18th actually landed in a spectator's pocket, Blixt got a free drop, then wedged to two feet and sank the birdie putt. A strong finish on Sunday, coupled with his Frys.com Open win last October and his win at Greenbrier last month means not only that his PGA Tour card is secure, but that we might see him debut at the Ryder Cup next autumn at Gleneagles. Blixt is alone in fourth place, four back at -6 204.

Swing Low

The low round of the day came from Dustin Johnson, who improved on a 72-71 start with a 65 that had only one bogey and six birdies that included a 12-footer at the 598-yard 13th. If D.J. can keep his scorecard (and his nose) clean, he can register his sixth top-ten finish in a major, although at -2 208, seven shots behind Furyk, a win on Sunday is most unlikely.

The Magic Is Gone

Interested in know how Tiger Woods did? Well, he dumped his opening tee-shot into the cabbage and made bogey. He did well to card a three-over 73, but that leaves him T-48 at +4 214. Phil Mickelson's magic wedge behaved more like a 2 x 4 at the 7th, where he badly stubbed two pich shots out of the rough and staggered away with a triple-bogey 7. His Saturday 78 leaves him next-to-last in the remaining field, three ahead of Gary Woodland, who shot an 80.

The Pursuit Of Happiness

Steve Stricker (70) and Adam Scott (72) couldn't break par on Saturday, and yet they're only four behind Furyk at -5, tied for fifth. Scott actually drove the green at the 323-yard 14, but couldn't sink the eagle putt.

Rory McIlroy made only one bogey on Saturday. Considering his 2013 season, this could be considered great. But McIlroy notched four birdies on Moving Day, including a 50-foot terrain-following missile at the long 17th. At 18, Rory missed the green, but chipped in for another badly-needed and confidence-boosting birdie.

He is tied for 7th at -3 207 with Lee Westwood, whose see-saw 68 included three bogeys and five birdies. The lanky Dustin Johnson is in a 3-way tie for 9th at -2 208 with Kevin Streelman (who shot an impressive 66) and Roberto Castro, who made the cut in only his second-ever appearance at a major championship.

Sunday's weather

As on Saturday, weather on Sunday will be sunny with high temperatures in the mid-70s, with winds of 5-10 m.p.h.

On television

TNT on cable will televise from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT, then at 2 p.m., CBS Sports will take the air until a scheduled 7:00 p.m. conclusion, barring a playoff.

For those of you Time Warner Cable subscribers in America's largest cities without any alternate way of receiving your local CBS affiliate, online streaming will be available at PGA.com.

Image via Wikipedia

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
I like the leader board. If Furyk wins it will be payback for his Sunday meltdown at last years U S Open.A Stricker win would be remarkable and make a lot of fans happy. Dufner is a driving machine but it looks like he has a twitchy putting stroke under pressure. Stenson has been playing the best golf as of lately. Allin all Sunday should be a fun day for viewers. The pin position on 15 may create havoc all day. The PGA will probably double cut and double roll the greens. If the wind comes up it may be impossible to get the approach shots close.
falcon50driver says:
When we shoot a great round, and then go out the next time and play like it's our first time on a golf course, can take solice with what's happening to Phil and Tigger lately.
[ post comment ]
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