PGA Championship: Day fights off field, but several challenge for Round 3 top spot
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — The PGA Championship leaders battled the course at Whistling Straits Saturday afternoon, trying to keep pace with the early field who closed the gap during the early hours of Round 3.
Jason Day shot 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth into the final round of the PGA Championship.
Day got the first of his nine top-10 major finishes at Whistling Straits five years ago, and will try to wrap up his first major on the same course Sunday.
After a slow start to his round, Spieth made six birdies over his last eight holes to shoot 65 and earn a spot in Sunday’s final twosome.
Among the earlier highlights:
• Rory McIlroy shot a 68 to reach 6-under 210 at the PGA Championship. He’ll have one more round to go in his return from an ankle injury, and then take a two-week break. That means missing the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy says he wants to take stock of where he is and then will start up at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston and play through to the Tour Championship. His schedule is fairly limited after that — the Frys.com Open in Napa, California, in October, and then probably one event in Shanghai and the European Tour finale in Dubai.
• Branden Grace briefly held the clubhouse lead with the best round of the day so far. Meanwhile, Matt Jones had the hospitality-tent shot.
Grace chipped in from the bunker on No. 18 at the PGA Championship for a birdie to complete a round of 8-under 64 and move into the lead at 12 under before the later field supassed him.
Jones was trending online after playing a shot from the blue carpet in a hospitality tent, and salvaging bogey on the ninth hole after teeing off into the hospitality tent on No. 9. The ball came to rest on the dark blue carpet. Jones walked into the tent, checked out the lie — perfectly clean — then walked back to a spot on the golf course where he would have been permitted a free drop. He decided to play it as it lied.
After walking back through the crowd, and getting the yardage from his caddie — 154 but be careful of the picket fence — he took a swing and hit it to the fringe just off the green amid a slew of high-fives all around as he exited.
• Phil Mickelson made up a lot of ground in the third round at the PGA Championship. Lefty finished the day at 6 under and moved to 5 under for the tournament.
Mickelson birdied No. 17 before escaping a jam on the final hole. His second shot fell short of the green and landed on a steep, grassy incline. But Mickelson’s next shot was near-perfect, chipping to within 3 feet of the hole to set up a putt to save par.
Here’s Mickelson’s shot:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 15, 2015