Lynn exceeding expectations at PGA Championship
David Lynn had a feeling he’d have a good week, even if few
others gave him a chance to make it this far in his first PGA
Lynn, a veteran with one career win on the European Tour, hadn’t
played since finishing 36th at the Scottish Open four weeks ago.
Now, he’s 1 under at The Ocean Course after a stellar 68 that left
him five shots behind leaders Vijay Singh and Rory McIlroy in the
rain-delayed third round of the year’s final major.
The 38-year-old Lynn found out last week he’d gotten an invite
from the PGA of America to play. He’d been practicing well the past
few weeks and thought maybe he’d have some surprises in store in
his first career PGA. His round moved him up 26 spots into a tie
for 11th and within sight of the leaders.
”My game has sort of turned a corner a few weeks ago,” said
Lynn, who finished well ahead of the bad weather. ”Practice has
felt good. I feel like I’m hitting it well. Yeah, I came here this
week thinking my game feels pretty good, so why not?”
Lynn turned pro in 1995 and struggled for several years before
finally finding his footing on the European Tour. His best season
as a pro came in 2004 when he won the KLM Open and finished a
career-best 26th on the money list. He credited that victory to an
1891 ”Queen’s Shilling” that his father gave him to use as a ball
marker after he lost his longtime Wedgwood China marker a week
This season, Lynn’s had two fourth place finishes in 14 events
and got an invite by the PGA of America last week to play on Kiawah
Lynn’s been in contention many times during his 14 years on the
European Tour. ”But obviously it’s a different kettle of fish at
the bigger events,” he said.
He’s enjoyed his time on the island, staying at a villa near
water filled with alligators. There’s one Lynn’s nicknamed ”Big
It would be a fitting nickname for 6-foot-3 Lynn if he could put
together an even better round Sunday. Lynn just hopes to stay as
relaxed as he was on Saturday. ”I’d love to go out there and sort
of feel that way tomorrow,” he said.
RYDER CUP HOPES: Maybe Padraig Harrington’s got a chance at the
European Ryder Cup team after all.
Harrington, put on notice by captain Jose Maria Olazabal that he
needed something special to happen to be selected to Europe’s team,
had resigned himself to missing next month’s matches when he
followed an opening-round 70 with a 76 on Friday at the PGA
But Harrington rebounded in the third round with a 69, moving
five shots off the lead in the rain-suspended major. And Harrington
knows something about contending at the PGA Championship.
Harrington shot back-to-back 66s on the weekend in 2008 to take
the PGA title at Oakland Hills. It was his third major title in
little more than a season’s worth of golf after winning the 2007
British Open and defending that title a month before his PGA
”Who knows what’s going to happen now,” Harrington said.
Singh and McIlroy were tied at 6-under and that’s ”not too far
away,” Harrington said. With a few breaks from the players having
to finish their rounds starting at 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Harrington
thinks he could make a final-round charge.
”To hang in there and if 4-under is in the last couple of
groups, it means 1-under still has a chance,” he said.
MAJOR WINNERS: There probably won’t be a double-major winner
this season. Masters champion Bubba Watson and British Open
champion could not take advantage of The Ocean Course’s milder
conditions in Saturday’s third round.
Watson started the day eight shots behind the leaders and didn’t
make up much ground with his 70 that left him at 2-over for the
”Played good today, solid -2 today. watching golf on TV &
playing ”BubbaGolf,” Watson told his followers on Twitter when
the round ended.
Els also hoped to make an early, third-round run, but never got
things going with only one birdie on each nine to end with a 73 and
was 4-over par. ”Into the wind,” Els had said, ”it’s
Els had a dramatic victory at Royal Lytham & St. Annes last
month for his four major title. Adam Scott had a four-shot lead
over Els with four holes remaining. But the Australian made four
straight bogeys and Els left with the claret jug.
LUITEN’S WAIT: Joost Luiten was the only player who didn’t
finish the second round Friday, choosing to call it a day with as
darkness closing in on The Ocean Course and the difficult 18th hole
left. Turned out, Luiten made the right decision.
Luiten returned at 7:30 a.m., sinking a 22-foot birdie putt to
close with a 76 and stand at even-par through two rounds.
”If you make a birdie, it’s worth the wait,” said Luiten,
playing his first PGA Championship.
Afterward, the 26-year-old Dutchman gushed about the greens at
The Ocean Course. ”They are the best. I played yesterday as the
last group out and I have never seen greens get through like this
at the end of the day,” he said. ”There were not many footprints
and stuff. One of the best putting surfaces I have ever seen.”
Luiten’s love of the greens continued in the third round as he
opened with birdies on the first and second holes.
DIVOTS: Organizers set the yardage for Saturday’s third round
the shortest it had been all week at 7,451 yards. That’s 217 yards
shorter than the first-round yardage of 7,668. … Cameron Tringale
opened his round with six straight pars and then blew up with a
5-over 10 on the 7th hole. … Thomas Bjorn went 11 holes before
recording a par in Saturday’s round. He opened with four birdies,
then followed with three bogeys. He got another birdie before
taking bogeys on the 9th and 10th holes. Bjorn shot a 74. … Jimmy
Walker closed his round with a 31 on the back nine and finished
with a 67.