2017 PGA 3rd Round Recap; Birdies and Bogeys

By Joe Hines, Hanging around the lead

Saturday brings the completion of the 3rd round of the 99th running of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. Here’s what we found out about how to expect it to finish…*crickets*.

Local favorite Kevin Kisner seems to be hanging in against the odds, his shorter, game management style of play doesn’t seem suited to the golf course. Yet he plods along making pars, sprinkled with the occasional birdie to maintain his perch atop the leader board. Then of course, as soon as I write that sentence, he hits a ball in the water on 16 and takes double bogey.  Hideki Matsuyama charged and fell back. Jason Day charged and fell back. Unlikely hero Chris Stroud had to win something called the Barracuda Open to claim the final spot in the field last week, so naturally, he hovers around the lead with 18 to go.

Louis Oosthuizen hit a trick shot from a tree root and enlisted the aid of a physiotherapist to rub his subsequently injured right arm as he walked between subsequent shots.  I subsequently learned from the CBS rules analyst that this is perfectly legal, and I subsequently decided I’m in the wrong line of work. I need a physiotherapist to rub my arm while I laboriously write these subsequent stories.

All told, through 3 rounds, it feels to me like the golf course has just beat the snot out of the bulk of the field. 20 players are under par from the original 156 player lineup.

Forecasts of the winning score being even par or higher have proved to be hyperbolic, as these predictions often are. My prediction for tomorrows final round? Matsuyama bags his first major with a winning total of -8, 276. Here are birdies and bogeys from Saturday’s third round action.

Birdie–Steve Stricker. The pride of Edgerton Wisconsin and the University of Illinois extended his record of cuts made in majors to 26. Even as he has moved to the Senior tour, he has maintained the impeccable professionalism and humility that has exemplified his career. Well done Strick.

Bogey–Jason Day. After a birdie at number 2 that seemed to announce his presence as a contender for the Wanamaker Trophy awarded to the champion, he scuffled, falling from -7 to -2 after a double bogey/bogey stretch on 12 and 13.  That then led to….

Birdie-Jason Day. The Aussie 2015 champion rebounded with 3 straight birdies to get back within 3 shots of the lead. This dude is resilient.

Birdie–Justin Thomas/Grayson Murray. They almost anonymously fashioned 69’s on a treacherous day to stay within shouting distance of the lead at -3. Total collapse would be required Sunday by the leaders for either of them to have a chance, but they have been solid.

Bogey–PGA tour. Somehow, this event just lacks the pizazz of the other majors. I can’t quite put my finger on it, I think it’s a lot of things that contribute. Personalities that have been lacking on the tour since Tiger has been absent. Unfamiliar venues. Lackadaisical television coverage. The event is switching on the calendar from August to May in the 2019 season, maybe it’s new position in between the Masters and the US Open will give it some life.

Heres hoping for a compelling final round on Sunday. I will be back to break it down in the evening, I look forward to it.

Long and Straight. Peace.




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