CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Graham DeLaet started his Saturday at the PGA Championship nine shots off the lead and when he made a double bogey-6 at the 11th hole he’d drifted a dozen strokes off the pace.
Over the next hour or so his fortunes changed dramatically.
DeLaet’s dramatic turnaround began with a tee shot that just narrowly slipped passed the hole for a hole in one at No. 13 for a tap-in birdie. His next tee shot, at the 301-yard, par-4 14th hole, also nearly went in and he converted the 8-footer for eagle.
“I could have just gone 1, 1, but going 2, 2 is pretty good on those holes, too,” DeLaet told his caddie, Julien Trudeau.
DeLaet wasn’t finished, adding a 12-footer for eagle at the par-5 15th hole and he capped his run with a birdie at No. 16. That’s 6 under in a four-hole stretch to finish with a 68, which matched his lowest round in a major.
Although he started his third round nearly an hour and half before the leaders teed off, he will begin Sunday tied for seventh place, just five shots off the lead.
“That would be a cool run at any PGA Tour event. But to do that at the PGA Championship is pretty special,” DeLaet said. “It's something I'll probably always remember when I look back at my career. And the nice thing about it was it put me in a position where something really special tomorrow can . . . you never know.”