PGA Championship tracker: Day 3 at Whistling Straits

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2015, 11:54 am

The 97th PGA Championship takes place this week at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. is tracking the men's final major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. And check out our Day 2 blog here. All-times for the PGA tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

8:30PM: And this is where we leave you. Here's a final look at the leaderboad after 54 holes. Tomorrow should be fun.

8:26PM: So all eyes will be on Spieth and Day tomorrow in the final group. Anybody want a dark horse?

8:22PM: Jason Day closes out his Saturday with a ho-hum par and a 6-under 66. We have a potentially epic final round on tap tomorrow.

8:15PM: Justin Rose puts the finishing touches on a 4-under 68 with a disappointing bogey at the last. Sits three back through 54.

8:11PM: This says it all.

8:06PM: David Feherty on Matt Jones' lie in the rough on the par-3 17th ... "I don't think the devil could've placed it any worse." Jones makes double, but Day comes back with a birdie to take the lead by two.

8:01PM: This is how you move on Moving Day.

7:59PM: How good has Spieth been this year at the majors? Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

7:56PM: Day catches a tough break on the par-5 16th. Finds some thick rough just off the green and has to settle for par. Stays one ahead of Spieth.

7:50PM: This just in. Jordan Spieth is really good at golf. Birdies the final hole for a 65 to get within a shot of the lead. Kid is ridiculous.

7:36PM: OK, maybe he's not threatening history. Leaves his first shot in the bunker. Gets it out on his second attempt, makes double. What's Jordan doing? Oh, just making another birdie. Within two. Someone hasn't given up hope, though she's not really allowed to.

7:33PM: Meanwhile, Day hits what could be his worst shot of the round. Approach lands in left greenside bunker on 15. His streak of only 3s on the back side in danger. But he's still threatening history.

7:30PM: Spieth hits tee shot on the par-3 17th. Yells at ball to turn left. Ball says "OK." Another short birdie putt upcoming.

7:26PM: Spieth making birdies just to keep up at this point. Makes fourth back-nine circle on 16. Five back.

7:18PM: Day says come and get me on 14. Hits 52-degree wedge to a few feet. Makes the putt. Pin-seeking personified. Stays two up after Jones makes a birdie of his own.

7:09PM: Another birdie for Jason Day. He's 5 under on his last five holes and sits two clear of the field.

7:05PM: Some good sportsmanship from the 2010 PGA Champion, who shot a 7-under 65 today. We haven't seen much of DJ on TV today, but he's hanging in there, currently 9 under.

6:58PM: Just in case you were feeling strong today. You're not.

6:48PM: Matt Jones birdies 11 to grab the lead. Holds onto it for approximately 19 seconds before playing partner Jason Day pours an eagle right on top of it. Leads alone at 14 under.

6:48PM: Matt Jones birdies 11 to grab the lead. Holds onto it for approximately 19 seconds before playing partner Jason Day pours an eagle right on top of it. Leads alone at 14 under.

6:43PM: Anyone heard of this kid?

6:34PM: Branden Grace makes it a three-way tie for the lead by holing a shot out of the sand on 18 for a 64. Jason Day makes it a four-way tie with a long putt on 10. Rose blows his chance to make it a five-way tie by missing a four-foot eagle putt on 11.

6:30PM: Don't look now, but that's two birdies in a row for Jordan Spieth. He's back on the first page of the leaderboard. Three off the lead.

6:25PM: And suddenly we have a ballgame. Jones' bogey opened the door.

6:19PM: Jones can't get up and down, makes a heckuva bogey though. Safe to say he handled it better than Shooter McGavin would have.

6:16PM: Jones, from the hospitality tent to the thick greenside rough. NBD. Fans surround him after he hits, making sure to hold their drinks above his head, so they don't spill.

6:13PM: Your leader Matt Jones drives one into the hospitality tent on No. 9, and he's pacing out the yardage, moving people and furniture. This is awesome.

6:07PM: If Rory wins the PGA tomorrow, it will take something special. If he wins The Barclays, it will be a miracle.

6:01PM: Nice front nine from Finau. He makes the turn at 11 under, two behind Jones.

5:53PM: Rory birdies 18 for a 4-under 68. At 6 under, he's still got a chance on Sunday.

5:51PM: Billy on the board. Horschel birdies 10, 11 and 12 and is at 9 under with Rose and Kaymer.

5:48PM: DJ's hanging around. Birdies par-5 11th to get back to 7 under.

5:44PM: Still a long way to go ...

5:38PM: Rose's birdie on No. 5 was pretty sweet.

5:33PM: Birdies are flowing again. Finau (10 under) birdies par-3 7th. Kuchar and Matsuyama both join the group at 8 under.

5:24PM: Strong showing by the defending champion ...

5:22PM: Grace is on fire. He's made three straight birdies (11-13) to reach 10 under. Day is back to 10 under after a birdie on par-5 5th

5:20PM: After a birdie on 1 Spieth (7 under) has made six straight pars.

5:15PM: Rose gets back to 8 under with a birdie on the par-5 5th.

5:10PM: Grace makes second birdie in a row. He's at 9 under, three off the lead.

5:08PM: Tony Finau joins Day and Lahiri at 9 under. Kaymer, Casey and Matsuyama join a group of seven players at 7 under.

5:04PM: Grace birdies par-5 11th to reach 8 under. Day bogeys 4 and is back to 9 under. Jones's lead back to three strokes.

4:54PM: Rose doubles par-4 4th and drops back to 7 under.

4:51PM: Plenty of birdies out there.

4:46PM: Day nearly aces the par-3 3rd. He's back to 10 under and two behind Jones, who made a nice up and down from a bunker left of the green.

4:36PM: Day finds three bunkers on No. 2 and makes a bogey. Jones now leads by three strokes over Day, Rose and Lahiri.

4:24PM: Whales are currently migrating through Lake Michigan.

4:18PM: Birdies all around. Jones (12 under) and Day (10 under) both birdie No. 1. Lahiri birdies 1 and 2 to reach 9 under.

4:10PM: Rose drops a bomb on No. 1. He's 9 under par. Anirban Lahiri, who also birdied No. 1, is at 8 under.

4:06PM: Schwartzel and Grace reach 7 under par. Schwartzel's birdied Nos. 9, 10 and 11, while Grace birdied the par-3 7th.

4:02PM: Spieth still has some work to do today ...

3:58PM: McIlroy birdies No. 10. He's back to 5 under with a par 5 coming up.

3:51PM: Spieth birdies No. 1 to reach 7 under. DJ bogeys par-3 3rd to drop to 5 under.

3:45PM: DJ birdies No. 2 and he's at 6 under, five behind Jones.

3:42PM: Phil pars 18 for a 66. He finishes at 5 under par after making nine birdies and three bogeys.

3:35PM: Rory bogeys Nos. 6 and 8. He's back to 4 under par.

3:29PM: Some light reading for you on this lovely PGA Championship Saturday ... if you're interested.

3:25PM: ICYMI, here's Rory McIlroy making eagle at the par-5 fifth hole. NBD.

3:20PM: Look out, field! Phil Mickelson just made his NINTH birdie of the day, the most birdies Phil's ever had in one round in a major. He's now 5 under for the PGA Championship.

3:15PM: If DJ is going to win the PGA, he's got his work cut out for him,

2:45PM: That's eagle for McIlroy at the par-5 fifth hole. He's now 6 under and just five shots off Matt Jones (11 under).

2:30PM: Hot start for world No. 1 Rory McIlroy:

2:09PM: Call it a 2-for-1: That's a birdie at No. 2 for the No. 1 player in the world. Rory McIlroy moves to 3 under at the PGA.

2:06PM: Hearts break everywhere ... because Phil's birdie streak comes to an end. Or maybe they didn't. Either way, Phil remains at 4 under through 12 holes on Saturday.

1:54PM: Dustin Johnson sighting:

1:52PM: We'll give you two guesses as to what Phil Mickelson did at the par-5 11th, but you're only going to need one.

1:44PM: Pars at the first for both Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka. They remain 2 under for the championship.

1:35PM: Count 'em. That's three ... we repeat, THREE birdies in a row for Phil Mickelson. Eight more birdie opportunities left in his round. Currently at 3 under and eight back.

1:30PM: Next on the tee: Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.

1:21PM: That's two birdies in a row for Phil Mickelson, who is now 3 under on the day and 2 under for the tournament.

1:20PM: More of the same for Victor Dubuisson who continues his stellar performance in Round 3.

1:15PM: Steve Stricker opens with birdie on Saturday and is now 2 under, just nine back of leader Matt Jones.

1:10PM: Spotted! World No. 1 Rory McIlroy in all black for Saturday's third round.

1:00PM: They're on a boat!

12:50PM: Phil Mickelson is playing in the third round and he's doing Phil Mickelson stuff.

12:36PM: In case you missed it this morning, this is how Matt Jones built a two-shot lead at the PGA:

12:20PM: Will we see a 62 on Saturday? Danny Lee is 4 under through five and Victor Dubuisson is 4 under through eight. Lee is at 3 under, overall; Dubuisson 2 under.

12:06PM: Only four hours until the final group goes out!

11:52AM: If you're so inclined:

11:42AM: The 2013 PGA champion has seen happier times in this event.

11:32AM: Brian Gaffney is nearing his third-round tee time (11:54 a.m. ET). He's at even par and the lone club pro, out of 20 in the field to start, who made the cut.

11:15AM: More good stuff to read. Unless you're one of these players who missed the cut.

11:02AM: A look at where things stand as the leaders still have five hours until they tee off in Round 3.

10:53AM: To play or not to play? Ryan Lavner writes that Tiger Woods is mulling a start at the Wyndham.

10:45AM: Interesting Matt Jones nugget:

10:35AM: Hear from Tiger Woods after his third consecutive missed cut in a major.

10:30AM: From the mind of Will Gray:

10:18AM: Here are the third-round tee times. The times are local (CT).

10:10AM: Some notables to miss the cut include: Zach Johnson, Padraig Harrington, Jimmy Walker, Richie Ramsay, Tiger Woods, Steven Bowditch, Graeme McDowell, James Hahn, Ben An, Ian Poulter, Brendon Todd, Camilo Villegas, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, Adam Scott, and Ryder Cup captains Davis Love and Darren Clarke.

10:00AM: Round 3 will get underway in exactly 15 minutes. Here are your hole locations:

And here's some intermission music in honor of our leader and his closest pursuer:

9:53AM: Jones' 133 total is even more impressive considering his playing partners were a combined 30 over. Jones beat Matt Every by 21 shots and club pro Brian Cairns by 31.

9:50AM: Background on Jones:

And if you've forgotten this, then shame on you.

9:45AM: Matt Jones finishes Round 2 as your leader at 11 under. Rounds of 68-65 have him two clear of fellow Aussie Jason Day. Jones was 5 under at the close of play last night and made two more birdies this morning. A look at the board:

9:37AM: o_0

9:31AM: Tiger has a long history of entering every tournament - with the exception of a few recent "building" starts - with the intent to win. Well, in the event he decides to play, he'll need to.

9:27AM: Get excited Greensboro fans!

Our story from last night on Woods' wishy-washy commitment right here.

9:25AM: Matt Jones is now your leader by two thanks to a birdie at No. 8. Jones is a whopping 7 under in Round 2 and 2 under this morning. Oi oi oi.

9:23AM: Tough way to close for Tony Finau, who like a lot of players made bogey at the let's-call-it-a-little-much par-4 18th. That said, Finau made up ground this morning with an eagle at 16. He sits at 7 under through two rounds, currently three back.

9:15AM: And that'll be it for Tiger. Woods closed birdie-par and probably hit his best shots of the week on his final two holes. Of course, he was out of contention to even make the cut at that point. Rounds of 75-73 leave him at 4 over for the championship.

9:06AM: Additional thoughts on DJ's slip-up in Round 2.

9:03AM: Day's bogey means Matt Jones is your new outright leader at 10 under, following a birdie at No. 6.

9:00AM: A three-putt from over 100 feet results in a bogey for Jason Day at 18. His 4-iron from more than 230 yards found the far left side of the green. Day got himself to 10 under with a birdie at 16 but he'll close at minus-9.

8:57AM: Dustin Johnson made four pars this morning to finish his second round. That's a disappointing 1-over 71 for DJ, who played the par 5s plus-1. That's never good, and it's especially bad for him.

8:54AM: Birdie for Tiger at 17 is too little too late barring a hole-out from the fairway at 18.

8:45PM: Par at 16 for Tiger after some bunker trouble. So what are we dealing with here?


8:38AM: Day with a workman-like, two-putt par at 17 to stay at 10 under. Tweet below gives you a good indication of just how well this guy has played this year.

8:33AM: That's one way to make par. Bubba Watson on 18 failed to find the putting surface from the greenside trap and then chipped in for par. Bubba will be around for the weekend - oh, right, the afternoon - at 1 under.

8:26AM: Jason Day now leads by himself at 10 under thanks to a two-putt birdie at the par-5 16th. Gave his second shot an encouraging "be as good as it looks" when it was in the air. Rose, separately, appears headed for breakfast. Smart man.

8:19AM: Justin Rose completes his second round with an impressive two-putt from the front of the 18th green to a back-right hole location. Played it up toward the edge of the green and had it break a couple different directions. Well done. Rose is in the house at 8 under, just one back of Day - although probably not for long.

8:12AM: The sky over Lake Michigan is beautiful this morning. It was only 12 hours ago officials were surveying the damage done by Friday's storm.

Here, in case you missed it last night, is a look at what happened to our LIVE From the PGA set:

8:07AM: "No! Don't go left. Go right." The first Tiger Woods update of the day is not a happy one. Big Cat did not get up and down from over the back at No. 14 and was left, instead, talking to his golf ball. Tiger now to 5 over and three off the cut with four to play.

8:00AM: Play has resumed at the 97th PGA championship. Jason Day and Matt Jones are tied for the lead. Tiger Woods has five holes to play and starts Saturday two shots off the cut. Back it, folks.

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.