SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – Nearly 28 hours after the third round started at the PGA Championship things drew to a soggy end with Jimmy Walker clinging to the lead in what has become a race against a foreboding forecast.
Walker rebounded from two early bogeys to finish with a closing nine of 32 and was one stroke clear of defending champion Jason Day at 11 under par.
Both players will head back out onto soggy Baltusrol in just a few hours, with officials electing not to re-pair before the final round in an attempt to complete the event on schedule.
“I just made a couple of loose swings, and finally I settled in,” said Walker, who finished with a third-round 68 and is scheduled to tee off for the final round at 3:16 p.m. (ET). “I said, ‘Man, I'm swinging at it good. Let's just keep trusting that.’ Finally, I started making some really quality golf swings, shots right at the flag, good ball control, good distance control, so felt good.”
Day birdied the par-5 18th hole for the first time this week to post a 67 and will tee off for Round 4 at 3:07 p.m. in the penultimate group.
“It’s really unfortunate with the weather,” said the world No. 1. “Everyone wants a good test, but we have to take it as it is.”
Henrik Stenson, less than two weeks removed from his victory at The Open, and Brooks Koepka are tied for third place at 9 under after posting rounds of 67 and 66, respectively.
PGA officials broke with tradition and allowed preferred lies for the final round, an unprecedented move at a major in the modern era.
“It will be nice [playing preferred lies], but the back pins will be tough. We have wedge into a lot of these holes and you have to be able to control the spin,” Koepka said.