Love shared the lead and the final pairing with Phil Mickelson at Baltusrol but fell off the pace quickly with three straight bogeys from Nos. 3-5, dropping from 6-under at the start to 3- under after the fifth. Another bogey at the seventh sent Love to 2-under and in danger of disappearing from the leaderboard.
The 1997 PGA champ rebounded with a birdie at the 10th but gave that stroke back at the 11th.
Mickelson, looking for another major to go with his 2004 Masters title, got to 7-under with a birdie at the fourth but struggled over the next five holes. He was at 4-under by the turn and dropped another stroke with a bogey at the 10th before a birdie at the 13th got him back to 4-under.
Love kept a close eye on the darkening sky, and when he heard a crack of lightning while on the 14th green, he quickly left the course.
Love had credited patience for his success in the early rounds, when he looked nothing like the player who failed to make the cut at the Masters and British Open, but that virtue was missing Sunday. Love hit just four of 10 fairways and posted five bogeys and one birdie over 13 holes.
In 1997, as Love putted out on the 18th green to win the PGA title for his only major, a rainbow appeared in the sky over Winged Foot, which he took as a sign that his late father was looking down on him.
On Sunday, storm clouds descended on Baltusrol and left Love and the other players hoping for a clearer sky on Monday for completion of the final round.
STANDING ROOM ONLY
The final round of the PGA might have provided plenty of drama, but the setting of the 554-yard closing hole hardly seemed like a theater.
The PGA of America decided not to ring the 18th green at Baltusrol with grandstands. A three-story television tower was built directly behind the green, and the one set of bleachers that was constructed to the right of the green filled up early, as did the clubhouse balcony, which provided members with an unobstructed view of the final green.
Other spectators hoping to watch the finish were left to crowd a sloping, open area between the stately clubhouse and green.
Kerry Haigh, managing director of tournaments for the PGA of America, said consideration was given to surrounding the green with stands to accommodate 1,500 to 1,800 spectators.
``Had we done so, we would have also blocked out the view of the clubhouse,'' Haigh said. ``So, by not putting one there, we feel we've got a similar number viewing from the clubhouse, plus two or three thousand on the ground, with the slope of the land, being able to see.''
Bleachers surrounded the green of the par-3 fourth a few hundred yards from the 18th, and Haigh expected fans to also fill those seats to watch the leaders finish.
The setup was similar to that used during the 1993 U.S. Open at the club, although Haigh said another set of bleachers was constructed short and right of the green.
He was satisfied that the optimum number of spectators would be able to view the final hole.
``Although it may have looked more theaterlike, I think you'll find more people will be able to see the finish,'' he said. ``We certainly wanted to maximize the viewing potential there, and I think we did so.''
Steve Schneiter closed with a flourish, making eagle at the 72nd hole for the best finish of the four club pros who qualified for the weekend.
The assistant from Sandy, Utah, who failed to make the cut in seven previous PGAs, followed three 72s with an even-par 70 to finish 6 over par.
``I'm honored to be the low club pro,'' said the 41-year-old Schneiter, who earned a spot in the closing ceremony with his finish. ``I don't know if I deserve being with the champion -- I mean, shooting 6 over par -- but I think that's a neat thing and I'll cherish this week for a long time.''
Ron Philo Jr., who had his sister, LPGA player Laura Diaz, as his caddie, had a final-round 72 and was 9 over.
Reigning club pro champion Mike Small, the men's golf coach at Illinois, finished 15-over after a 73, and Darrell Kestner, the head pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhassett, N.Y., had a four-round total of 19-over after a closing 73.
DALY AT 17 -- AND MORE
Despite his best effort, John Daly wasn't able to reach the 650-yard 17th hole in two in the final round, leaving his 3-wood from 286 yards short.
The 1991 PGA champion hit a driver and 3-iron to reach the green during the third round and, for the second straight major at Baltusrol, was the only player to make the par-5 in two shots. Tiger Woods reached it with a 2-iron Sunday, but his ball ran through into the rough just behind the green.
Daly played the hole in 1-under for the championship.
At the 1993 U.S. Open, when the hole was 20 yards shorter, Daly was the only player to reach it in two shots, hitting 1-iron for his second shot.
Daly averaged 334.6 yards per drive in the PGA, hitting 18 of 56 fairways.
One day after using a wedge to putt over the final eight holes because the head of his putter became loose, Daly returned to a conventional flat stick and was pleased with his performance.
``I actually putted the ball really well today,'' Daly said after having 32 putts in a 74 to finish 12 over.
CROWDED LEADERBOARD EQUALS RATINGS
The overnight television ratings for the third round of the PGA were 42 percent higher than last year and 7 percent better than 2003.
CBS Sports' Saturday broadcast from Baltusrol drew a 4.4 rating and an 11 share, well above the 2004 championship at Whistling Straits, which had a 3.1 rating and 7 share. The third round of the 2003 PGA at Oak Hill drew an overnight rating of 4.1 and a 10 share.
Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets in the United States, covering nearly 70 percent of the country. Each overnight rating point represents about 735,000 TV homes.
The top 15 finishers and ties automatically qualified for next year's PGA at Medinah, and the top five earn a spot in the Masters. ... Former Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton made his first cut of the year but finished last among the 79 players who made the cut, closing with a 78 for a 300 total. ... U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell had a second straight 69 to finish 1-under. It was his best finish in seven PGAs.