LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Rory McIlroy played the kind of golf Saturday that typically would put him in control at a major championship. Staked to a one-shot lead in the PGA Championship, he made three birdies over his last four holes for a 4-under 67.
All that did was allow him to stay in front – barely.
More rain in the morning allowed for a deluge of birdies during a third round so wild that six players had a share of the lead at some point. McIlroy could hear it. The cheers of so many birdies resounding across the back nine made him realize it was time to get it in gear.
He rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 15. His approach from 172 yards landed with a splat next to the hole on the 16th for an easy birdie, and he took a one-shot lead over Bernd Wiesberger by getting up-and-down from a front bunker on the par-5 18th.
He was at 13-under 200.
Eight players were within four shots of the lead, a group that includes Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.
Wiesberger closed with three straight birdies – the three putts were a combined 3 feet, 6 inches – for a 65. Playing in only his sixth major championship, the 28-year-old Austrian now gets to play in the final group at a major with the No. 1 player in the world.
Fowler, a runner-up in the last two majors and the first player since Tiger Woods to finish among the top five in all three of them, gets one last crack. He played bogey-free for a 67 and was two shots behind.
Fowler will be playing in the penultimate group with Mickelson, the five-time major champion who turned his game around with strong finish. Right when he looked to be fading from contention, Lefty turned it on with a long birdie putt on the 14th hole, two more birdies, and then he narrowly missed an eagle putt on the final hole. He had a 67 and was three shots behind.
MEIJER LPGA CLASSIC
BELMONT, Mich. (AP) – Inbee Park made two long birdie putts on the back nine and finished with a 3-under 68 to remain a stroke ahead after the third round of the Meijer LPGA Classic.
The third-ranked South Korean player holed a 25-footer from the fringe on the par-3 14th, bogeyed the par-4 15th after missing a 3-foot par try and rebounded with a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th.
The 26-year-old Park won six times last season and took the Manulife Financial in June in Canada for her 10th LPGA Tour title. She had a 13-under 200 total at Blythefield Country Club.
Mirim Lee was second after a 67. Suzann Pettersen was another stroke back after a 69. Cristie Kerr matched the low round of the tournament with a 64 to jump 44 spots to a tie for 12th at 5 under.
U.S. WOMEN’S AMATEUR
GLEN COVE, N.Y. (AP) – Kristen Gillman and Brooke Mackenzie Henderson won semifinal matches to advance to the 36-hole final in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Nassau Country Club.
The 16-year-old Gillman, Austin, Texas, beat 15-year-old Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, 4 and 3. Henderson, the 16-year-old Canadian who is No. 2 in the world amateur ranking, edged 16-year-old Hannah O’Sullivan of Paradise Valley, Arizona, 1 up.
Gillman is coming off an 11-stroke victory last week in the Junior PGA Championship.
Henderson, from Smith Falls, Ontario, is trying to become the third Canadian winner in tournament history, following Marlene Stewart in 1956 and Cathy Sherk in 1978.