Saturday, August 9, 2014

PGA Championship Day Three

It's Glory's Last Shot!

Valhalla Golf Club, the only Kentucky course to host a major golf championship, is hosting the 96th PGA Championship.  The leaders have just teed off in the third round, and the leaderboard looks like this:

1.  R. McIlroy (NIR):  -9 (37 holes)
T2.  J. Furyk:  -8 (37)
T2.  J. Day (AUS):  -8 (37)

There's a whole bunch of folks at 7 under, including Rickie Fowler and Lee Westwood.

I was planning to comment on this day, but my Internet connection is not good.


  1. Jason Day almost lost his drive on the long par-4 second hole, but he found it close to a creek, took off his socks and shoes, rolled up his pants, waded across a creek, and then whacked a shot through the fairway.

    Kentucky golf!

  2. Hunter Mahan finishes with a 6-under par 65. He is 7-under for the tournament, two shots off the lead.

  3. Day puts his third shot on the second green, and then holes the 8-foot putt to save par! So all that climbing around in the hazard was worth it.

    McIlroy takes a more conventional par, and remains in the lead at 9-under.

  4. After three holes, Fowler is 1-under for the day and 8-under for the tournament, one shot off the lead.

  5. The third hole is a relatively easy 188-yard par 3.

    McIlroy hits a 7-iron that stops about 15 feet from the hole.
    Day's shot runs about 18 feet past. They will both have decent birdie chances.

  6. OK, here goes Day -- his birdie putt misses to the right.

  7. It looks great in Louisville, by the way -- exactly the sort of overcast day I always wanted in Kentucky in August but rarely saw.

    McIlroy misses his birdie putt, and he and Day both leave the third hole with pars.

    1. We had a bunch of rain today in Madisonville, so I imagine that'll impact play in Louisville tomorrow. We'll see.

  8. Furyk birdies the short par-4 fourth hole to move into a tie for the lead at 9 under. Fowler almost got to 9 under with a birdie on 5, but he has to tap in for a par instead.

  9. The 4th hole is a par 4 that's only 292 yards long. Kenny Perry eagled it earlier today, and it's played easy all day. But McIlroy just hit a terrible drive that soared over the green and has disappeared into the trees.

    But Day, still pumped up after his save on 4, whacks a perfect drive into the middle of the green, and he will have a 15-footer for eagle.

  10. Leaderboard:

    T1. J. Furyk: -9 (40 holes)
    T1. R. McIlroy (NIR): -9 (39)
    T3. R. Fowler: -8 (41)
    T3. J. Day (AUS): -8 (39)

    There are SIX golfers tied at 7 under, including Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

  11. Here's Day for eagle. He doesn't hit it right, and it comes up just short. But he taps in for a birdie, and moves into a tie for the lead at 9 under.

    As for McIlroy, his drive landed in a creek behind the green. He takes a drop, and chips his third shot to within about 12 feet. He then ROLLS IN THE PUTT to save par and remain in the lead at 9 under.

  12. Furyk has a chance to take the outright lead on 5, but his birdie putt just misses. He takes par and remains at 9 under.

  13. Ryan Palmer birdies 5 and moves to 8 under, only one shot off the lead.

  14. The 5th hole is a 455-yard par 4. Day's drive goes into the rough, but McIlroy whacks a long drive right down the middle.

  15. This tournament is amazingly close -- there are currently 17 golfers within three shots of the lead.

  16. Leaderboard:

    T1. J. Furyk: -9 (41 holes)
    T1. R. McIlroy (NIR): -9 (40)
    T1. J. Day (AUS): -9 (40)
    T4. R. Fowler: -8 (41)
    T4. R. Palmer: -8 (41)

  17. From the rough on 5, Day makes an extraordinary shot -- he's only about 10 feet from the hole. McIlroy, from the middle of the fairway, also makes a great approach.

  18. McIlroy steps up and rolls in his birdie putt on 5. He's now 10 under and in the lead by himself.

    Day then matches McIlroy's birdie with one of his own. He's also 10 under.

  19. This is great stuff so far. I don't remember being too impressed by Valhalla in the past, but it's playing like Augusta today.

  20. The 6th hole is a 492-yard par 4:

    Day's drive goes far over the gallery and is off in the rough. McIlroy hits another perfect shot down the middle.

  21. The 6th hole is the most difficult hole on the course; there has only been one birdie there today.

  22. Meanwhile, Mickelson is putting for eagle on 7. The ball stops about six inches short, but he taps in for a birdie. He is now 8 under, only two shots off the lead.

  23. Day is in all kind of trouble on 6 -- he is down at the bottom of a hill, not even close to the fairway. He can only whack a shot up the hill and into the fairway, about 120 yards from the green.

    McIlroy, from the middle of the fairway, hits a five-iron into the middle of the green.

  24. Leaderboard:

    T1. R. McIlroy (NIR): -10 (41 holes)
    T1. J. Day (AUS): -10 (41)
    3. J. Furyk: -9 (42)
    T4. P. Mickelson: -8 (43)
    T4. R. Fowler: -8 (42)
    T4. R. Palmer: -8 (42)

  25. McIlroy almost birdies the hardest hole on the course, but his putt on 6 stops less than an inch from the cup. He taps in for par to remain at 10 under.

    Fowler birdies the par-5 7th, and moves to 9 under par.

    Day reaches the 6th green in three, but his par putt misses and he falls back to 9 under.

  26. The 7th hole is a par 5 with two fairways. If you go to the left, you have a shorter path to the green, but your second shot has to carry over 200 yards of water. If you go to the right, everything is safer, but it will take three shots to reach the green.

    Both Mickelson and Fowler took the risky path down the left, and both walked away with birdies.

  27. Leaderboard:

    1. R. McIlroy (NIR): -10 (42 holes)
    T2. R. Fowler: -9 (43)
    T2. J. Furyk: -9 (42)
    T2. J. Day (AUS): -9 (42)
    T5. P. Mickelson: -8 (43)
    T5. R. Palmer: -8 (42)

  28. Mickelson pars the 8th to stay at 8 under.

    McIlroy and Day both take the more aggressive line on 7. Furyk took the safer line, and his third shot lands in the middle of the 7th green.

  29. Adam Scott finishes with a five-under par 66, and he is 7 under for the tournament.

    Henrik Stenson birdies the 10th hole, and now he is 8 under.

  30. To cries of "Get in the hole!" Ricky Fowler shoots a dagger at the 8th green, and he will have about 10 feet for birdie. That was a great shot.

  31. Furyk settles for par on 7, but Ryan Palmer rolls in a birdie to move into a four-way tie for second at 9 under.

  32. McIlroy has to carry 236 yards over water to reach the flag on 7. He hits it much farther than that, and actually goes over the green.

  33. McIlroy hits a glorious pitch shot on 7, and he will have about 5 feet for birdie.

  34. Day's second shot on 7 ended up in a greenside bunker, and he blasts out to within six or seven feet.

  35. Stenson had a great chance to get to 9 under, but his 12-footer for birdie on 11 misses, and he stays at 8 under.

    Day lines up his seven-footer for birdie on 7, but misses. He stays at 9 under.

    Now Rory can open up a two-shot lead by knocking in his four-footer on 7. He holes it easily, and moves to 11 under. Suddenly he has this tournament in hand.

  36. Meanwhile, Furyk has a disastrous three-putt on 8, and he falls back to 8 under par, three shots off the lead.

  37. The 8th hole is a 165-yard par 3. McIlroy lofts a 9-iron that just barely clears a greenside bunker and leaves him about 15 feet from the hole, but in the rough. Day, now trailing by two, hits a very nice shot that will leave him with a 15-20 footer for birdie.

  38. It is a stone-cold joy to have Go Heath back on the major mike. This concludes my PGA Championship post.