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PGA Championship: Tiger Woods flirting with cut line

12 August 2018

More than the Masters. More than the U.S. Open. Even more than the British Open. "He ran away with a few, for sure, but he hung around for a lot".

And there is quite the band of Clydesdales ready to race to the finish. In the lead at 12 under, Koepka is supplying the rolled-up sleeves and the kind of blacksmith arms that would've left Arnold Palmer's arms on the wrong side of a before-and-after ad. In fact, after draining a 10-footer for par to keep his front-nine momentum intact, Woods had birdie putts of 20, 16, 14, 8 and 20 feet at the 11th through 15th holes, a 20-footer for eagle at the 17th and a 14-footer for birdie at the 18th - and made none of them. 14 and 15 brought him back.

Spieth was two shots off the lead when he triple-bogeyed No. 12 with an errant shot into the woods then hit a shot from the woods that caromed out of bounds.

But in his wake are some other heavyweights.

Some players were closer to Lyle than others - and a handful of them find themselves near the top of the leaderboard presenting the chance of an extra emotional outcome.

Woods didn't discount the fact that the long day might have had an impact. He opened the week in 65 and has shot in the 60s all week. Rahm has gotten a shot better each day, firing bogey-free rounds of 67 and 67 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Former PGA champs Justin Thomas and Jason Day are only four behind Koepka, and one behind them is Open victor Francesco Molinari, who stared down Tiger in their Sunday pairing at Carnoustie.

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He then won the Open de Portugal in 2017 and has two wins this season at the Hero Indian Open and BMW International Open. Day is also a two-time victor this year.

His nearest challenger is former Masters victor Adam Scott of Australia, who carded a fine five-under 65 for 10-under 200, two shots back.

Tony Finau got out of the gates with a 4-over 74 in the first round of the PGA Championship. What Koepka possesses in sheer strength, Scott showcases in a fashion more lean.

Now, if he can only get the putter to cooperate. "According to their PGA Tour profiles, Koepka is 6'0" and 186 lbs, while Woodland is 6'1" and 195. It's hard enough at age 42 for Woods to win a major championship. The previous three majors were more like a microwavable Stouffer's meal. Furyk then has four captain's picks to make on September 4. The third round was marred by a botched course setup and Mickelson's antics on the 13th green. And while Tommy Fleetwood made a spirited charge with a final-round 63, the likes of Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose didn't do much to challenge Koepka, who won his second straight U.S. Open title at 1 over. But McIlroy faltered on Sunday playing in the final group, and Woods and Mickelson were never a factor. "I feel like yesterday I played really well too and sometimes you just don't really score very well. but today I drove it beautifully". And Koepka didn't even tee it up because of a wrist injury.

The two Utah club professionals in the field each ended up at 5 over par, missing the cut.

The four-time US PGA champion is 10 under on the front nine for the tournament, but two over on the back nine this week.

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Sunday's play will decide the victor of the fourth and final major of the golfing season with the PGA Championship itself moving to a May date for the 2019 season.

"It's a packed leaderboard and there are going to be about 10 of us looking for that round of the year", Scott said. "So that's all I'm going to say".

Added Fowler: "Obviously, Brooks out front, but a lot of guys from 10 to 7 under".

One of the main story lines of the week has been the steamy weather in St. Louis.

"A late tee time tomorrow on a Sunday at a major is where I want to be".

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PGA Championship: Tiger Woods flirting with cut line