Kisner leads Matsuyama, Stroud by one at PGA

By Nick MentaAugust 12, 2017, 11:35 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After a round of 1-over 72, Kevin Kisner takes a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama and Chris Stroud into the final round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at the year's final major: 

Leaderboard: Kevin Kisner (-7), Chris Stroud (-6), Hideki Matsuyama (-6), Justin Thomas (-5), Louis Oostuizen (-5), Grayson Murray (-3)

What it means: Kisner is 18 holes from his third PGA Tour victory and his first major title. The 25th-ranked player in the world made a name for himself on Tour in 2015 when he lost three different playoffs, including one to Rickie Fowler at The Players, before cashing in for first his victory later that year at the RSM Classic. He followed with his second win earlier this year at Colonial and is now trying solidify himself as a major champion. Kisner reached 10 under par before dumping his ball in the water on 16 and nearly doing it again on 18, where a well-placed bridge saved his outright lead. One back, world No. 2 Matsuyama (73) carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders as he seeks to become the first Japanese player to win a major. Stroud, on the other hand, started the week a far more unlikely contender. He was the last man to make the field after winning last week’s PGA Tour opposite-field event, the Barracuda Championship, for his first victory in 290 career starts.

PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog: Day 3 | Full coverage

Biggest disappointment: Two back to start the day, Day fell as many as six behind before rallying back with three straight birdies at Nos. 13, 14, and 15. Then he collapsed. He bogeyed the par-3 17th as a prelude to a quadruple bogey-8 at the home hole via an adventure in the right trees. The quad capped off a round of 6-over 77. He'll start Sunday seven back. Worth a separate note, Stroud was 8 under with two holes to play before a bogey-bogey finish.

Round of the day: J.B. Holmes and Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira both moved up 50 spots into a tie for 20th at 1 over par thanks to matching rounds of 67.

Best of the rest: Graham DeLaet played a four-hole stretch, from Nos. 13-16, in 6 under par with back-to-back eagles on the middle holes. His Saturday 68 jumped him into a tie for 10th at 2 under par.

Shot of the day: DeLaet very nearly made the second hole-in-one on a par-4 in PGA Tour history when his tee shot from approximately 301 yards lipped out.

Quote of the day: “The PGA Championship, I think, is going to be the toughest for me. If we look historically back on my career, I think I will play this tournament worse than the other three majors just in the way that it’s set up. I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than the PGA Championship. But I believe we can play anywhere and we can win anywhere. It's just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time.” – Jordan Spieth, who after an even-par 71 in 3 over for the championship

Getty Images

Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

Getty Images

Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

Getty Images

Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

Getty Images

Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."