PGA Championship: Tiger Woods flirting with cut line

Brooks Koepka

And Woods knew the putt was bad.

The 14-time major victor was three under for his round to that point and carried on where he left off on Saturday morning, pitching to five feet and holing the putt to improve to four under par.

Tiger Woods birdied five of the first eight holes and charged into contention for his first major title since 2008 in Saturday's (Aug 11) third round of the PGA Championship.

"He was just shaking his head", Finau said after finishing the rain-delayed round this morning with a 4-under 66, a round that featured just four pars. He'll enter Sunday's final round eight shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.

As Woods said, "Guys are making birdies from everywhere".

"I expected to shoot too low in pretty tough conditions and shot myself in the foot a little bit", Scott said, "but it felt good to be back feeling like I was in contention at a major".

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But Koepka faltered late in the day and went to dinner and bed at 12 under par with just a two-stroke advantage and the knowledge that a host of proven champions are close behind him, all keen to take advantage should he slip further. Frankly, everything about this golf tournament in the St. Louis Cardinals' backyard was supposed to be for the birds.

Four strokes down, he can afford no lapses, especially with Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland also chasing Koepka in front of him.

Adam Scott
PGA Championship 2018 Adam Scott is just shots off the lead

He has not made a putt of longer than 17 feet over three days, and has only made five putts of more than 10 feet all week. As Saturday's round wore on, he was consistently coming up short as the already soft greens got even slower; he had six birdie tries of 20 feet or less over the back nine and didn't make one. "So that's all I'm going to say".

"You always feel like you've got something to prove, whether it be to yourself or somebody else", said Koepka, who will take a two-stroke lead into the final round following a third-round 66.

You could pardon Woods for looking like he needed a shave and a fresh shirt after nearly 12 hours of golf, with a 7 a.m. start to complete his rain-halted second round followed by the third.

Even with back-to-back bogeys on the back nine, Koepka had a 4-under 66 for a two-shot lead over Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who has been struggling through his worst season in almost two decades.

This year? He ranks 120th in back-nine scoring average on the PGA Tour, and is tied for 10th over the front nine. He went double bogey-bogey on 11 and 12 to fall out of the lead and finished tied for sixth.

"Twenty-nine holes, it's not necessarily the physical, it's this mentally grinding that hard for 29 holes in this heat".

"It's going to be a long day", Fowler said.

The problem is it is a lot to ask for Woods to hit the ball that well again and give himself those kind of opportunities. His silky-smooth swing is back firing on all cylinders, and if the broomstick putter cooperates (Scott is 24th in strokes gained putting this week), he could add a second major to his 2013 Masters victory.

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