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

Championship.

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

earlier.

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

Island.

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

Dude.”

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

Championship.

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

win.

”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

tournament.

”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

survival.”

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.

—(equals)

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.