On the power of an even-par, Saturday 70, Brooks Koepka completed the third spherical precisely as he began it – at 12 underneath, seven away from the sphere on the PGA Championship. Right here’s the place issues stand by means of 54 holes at Bethpage Black, the place Koepka simply set one other report:
Leaderboard: Koepka (-12), Harold Varner III (-5), Jazz Janewattananond (-5), Luke Record (-5), Dustin Johnson (-5), Hideki Matsuyama (-Four), Matt Wallace (-Four)
What it means: Koepka is 18 holes from his fourth main title and his second PGA. His seven-shot lead is the biggest 54-hole benefit in event historical past. With a win, Koepka would develop into solely the second participant to efficiently defend on the PGA Championship within the stroke-play period (since 1958), becoming a member of Tiger Woods, who did it in 2000-01 and 2006-07. A victory would additionally transfer Koepka again atop the Official World Golf Rating and provides him three of the final 5 majors contested – and 4 of the final eight wherein he’s competed. He’s poised to develop into the primary participant in historical past to carry two back-to-back main championship titles (the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship) concurrently. No participant within the historical past of the PGA Tour has ever blown a 54-hole lead of seven or extra.
Better of the remaining: Taking part in within the ultimate pairing with Koepka can be Varner, who’s competing in solely his fifth main and taking part in the weekend for under the second time. With one skilled victory to his credit score, the 2016 Aussie PGA, the 28-year-old has by no means completed higher than tied for fifth on the PGA Tour. Janewattananond is the 23-year-old, 72nd-ranked participant on the planet who spent Saturday introducing himself to an American viewers. A 3-time Asian Tour winner, he’s now making a run at representing Thailand on the Presidents Cup in April. Record and Johnson each missed out on alternatives to play with Koepka on Sunday once they bogeyed the 18th gap.
Spherical of the day: Varner and Jattawananond each signed for 67. Varner was bogey-free, whereas Jattawananond carded 4 birdies in opposition to two bogeys.
Largest disappointments: Tied for second by means of two rounds at 5 underneath par, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth each struggled to 2-over 72. Kelly Kraft and Daniel Berger, who each began the day minus-Four, now discover themselves plus-Four after matching rounds of 78.
Quote of the day: “It’s going to take one thing particular, I feel, to catch Brooks, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly doable on this course, simply because it so troublesome. In the event you can put collectively a very good rating – you recognize, 5 [or] 6 underneath – he may shoot a pair over … it may occur.” – Johnson