PGA Championship tracker: Day 4 at Whistling Straits

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 16, 2015, 3:50 pm

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. You can also check out our Day 2 blog here and all the action from Day 3 here. All-times for the PGA tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

7:20PM: What a way to close out the 2015 major season ...

7:17PM: Incredible year for Spieth ...

7:12PM: That's all, folks! Jason Day two putts to win his first major at the PGA Championship.

7:11PM: Spieth pars 18 to finish second, and he's now No. 1 in the world.

7:07PM: Day and Spieth both hit the 18th green. Day enjoying the walk down the 18th fairway.

7:05PM: Rose bogeys 18 to finish at 14 under, Grace in solo third at 15 under.

6:58PM: Day smokes his drive down the fairway on 18 ...

6:55PM: Nice two-putt par from Day on par-3 17th. Gets a big thumbs up from Spieth. Day leads by three heading to 18.

6:48PM: Quite the card from DJ ...

6:41PM: Day and Spieth both birdie par-5 16th, Day's back to 20 under and leads by three with two holes left.

6:35PM: Day hits the par-5 16th in two, Spieth finds the left bunker.

6:31PM: Update on the battle for No. 1 ...

6:28PM: Day and Spieth both find fairway at par-5 16th. Rose birdies up ahead on the green to get back to 15 under, four back.

6:25PM: Day bogeys 15 to fall back to 19 under, lead cut to three over Spieth with three to play.

6:20PM: Koepka shoots 6-under 66, currently T-6 at 13 under.

6:16PM: That's pretty good ...

6:11PM: DJ eagles par-5 16th and he's playing a crazy round of golf. Started with a quad, but is now 4 under on the day and 13 under overall.

6:08PM: Spieth makes a great up-and-down for par on 14 to stay at 16 under, but Day birdies to reach 20 under par. Leads by four with four to go.

5:51PM: And almost as if Spieth is following this blog, he drains the birdie putt. Day makes his par, and Spieth moves into solo second, just three back with five to play.

5:48PM: Spieth certainly hasn't given up on the tournament, but with Rory's closing 69, here's what he has to do to take the world No. 1 crown.

5:45PM: Day and Spieth both find the green on No. 13. Advantage Spieth on the hole. Advantage Day on the round.

5:37PM: Ridiculously tough sand shot for Day and he gets it to a couple feet from the hole. Spieth misses his putt and we have a couple of pars. Rose makes an untimely double-bogey 6 on No. 13. Looking more and more like Day's major to lose.

5:32PM: Advantage Spieth on the par-3 12th. Looking at a makeable putt from the fringe while Day finds a deep bunker. Rose finds sand on No. 13, and barely gets it out. Could get messy.

5:27PM: Rose misses his third straight birdie by about an inch on No. 12. Spieth executes a great chip out of the rough but misses the birdie putt and has to settle for par. Day makes the casual two-putt birdie and gets back to that historical 19-under par.

5:19PM: Spieth goes for the par-5 11th hole in two. Yells at his ball to "go hard!" but his ball doesn't listen, hits something and takes a 90 degree turn left and into the thick stuff. Day meanwhile looking at about 40 feet for eagle.

5:15PM: Then there's the curious case of Justin Rose. Playing in the second-to-last group, he spins a perfect wedge into No. 11, makes the putt for his second birdie in a row. Just two behind Day.

5:08PM: Jordan Spieth with the much needed birdie on 10. Day makes a par and still sits three up.

5:03PM: In case anyone was wondering what happened to Dustin Johnson today. Wonder no more.

4:55PM: Day recovers with great up-and-down for par. Spieth makes bogey. Justin Rose, who we haven't heard much from today, makes a birdie on No. 10. Suddenly, Day leads by three, but over Rose. Spieth and Grace both four back. Could be the turning point.

4:50PM: Grace, playing a hole ahead, does the exact opposite. Makes way too good of contact and blasts it across the 10th green. Then chip lands short and it comes right back to him. Could be the end for him.

4:45PM: And suddenly Day is struggling. Hits approach on No. 9 as fat as a Tour pro can hit it, comes up way short of the green.

4:35PM: Day's first blemish of the round comes at No. 8. Drive finds the sand and he's forced to punch out. Saves a bogey. Spieth can't capitalize, makes par.

4:24PM: Jason Day to 19 under with a 48-foot birdie putt at No. 7. He's currently tied with Tiger Woods for the low score to par in a major at 19 under.

4:14PM: For the second straight hole, Spieth and Day match each other with birdies. Day to 18 under. Spieth to 15 under. Day's lead is back to two. Heads are spinning. Dogs and cats are living together.

4:10PM: Branden Grace has birdied four of his last five holes, including his last three in a row. He's just one behind Day.

4:05PM: Jason Day is 17 under. Reminder:

4:01PM: Spieth's bounce-back ability is ridiculous. End update.

4:00PM: Jordan Spieth just walked in a birdie putt at the par-5 fifth. And Day answered. Spieth tied with Grace at 14 under, but Day's lead remains three.

3:46PM: Scratch that. Grace now in solo second after a birdie bomb at the par-5 fifth. And Rose is level with Spieth in third at 13 under. Live golf, people.

3:44PM: While the focus is on the final pairing, Spieth is actually tied for second with Branden Grace at 13 under. Grace is 1 under today after a birdie at No. 3.

3:42PM: And back and forth we go. Day started with a two-shot lead, then led by three, then by two, and now three again after a bogey by Spieth at No. 4. Spieth found a bunker off the tee and couldn't save par. Now 13-of-15 scrambling this week.

3:38PM: Pars are overrated anyway:

3:32PM: We mentioned Billy Horschel and Justin Thomas' neon green pants earlier (12:28PM), but Horschel has upped the ante.

3:27PM: Jordan Spieth cuts the margin to two shots with a birdie of his own at No. 3. Used the contouring right of the green to bounce his ball within 10 feet of the flag. Day at 16 under. Spieth at 14 under.

3:23PM: Dustin Johnson opened Sunday 4 over through one hole, when he needed five swings to find the green from over the back.

3:15PM: Day takes a three-shot lead over Spieth with a birdie at the par-5 second. Spieth's birdie try just slid by on the left edge.

3:10PM: Good look at what may or may not be in store for Jordan Spieth and Jason Day this afternoon:

3:02PM: In case you missed it, here's the full recap of Bubba Watson's debate with a rules official over the classification of ants as a "burrowing animal." The transcript is rich.

2:57PM: A pair of pars for Day and Spieth on the opening hole. Day continues to lead by two.

2:53PM: Day and Spieth both hit the green on hole No. 1. Spieth a bit closer, around 20 feet.

2:50PM: As Spieth vies for his third major of the season, at age 22:

2:45PM: Game time! Jason Day and Jordan Spieth have teed off in the final round of the PGA Championship.

2:36PM: So much for a Dustin Johnson comeback. Myriad bunker problems on the first hole led to a quadruple bogey-8 at the par-4 first. At least the disaster occurred early on Sunday this time.

2:30PM: And then there is Phil Mickelson doing this:

2:27PM: Back on Planet Bubba, this is happening:

2:15PM: As the final groups set out at Whistling Straits, a reminder that winds are expected to be steady at 10-15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Temperatures are in the low 90's.

2:05PM: This has to be the last player Jason Day wanted to have to stare down on Sunday.

1:57PM: Brian Gaffney shot 1-under 71 in the final round to finish at 6 over par. He was the lone club pro to make the cut and managed to finish ahead of a few weekend pros, including last week's Barracuda champion, J.J. Henry.

1:48PM: It's a par-par start for McIlroy. He remains at 6 under par.

1:45PM: T-minus one hour and counting until the final pairing of Jason Day and Jordan Spieth conclude the major season.

1:41PM: Steve Stricker won't win this week, but he's given the locals something to cheer about early Sunday. He's 5 under on the day, 7 under for the event. He's currently T-14, with the top 15 earning an invite to next year's PGA at Baltusrol.

1:33PM: Rickie Fowler finding birdies on Sunday at Whistling Straits. Three of them on the scorecard through his first eight holes:

1:22PM: Because the Tiger Woods-Jordan Spieth comparisons never get old.

1:16PM: The struggle is real.

1:14PM: A world without Photoshop is not a world in which I wish to live. And if you don't know what this image is referring to, please see our live blog entry from 12:38 p.m.

1:12PM: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy (wonder if we'll still be calling him that tomorrow - here's looking at you, Jordan) is next up:

1:10PM: Bubba gives one back at the 7th, but that eadle at No. 6 was so good, let's take another look:

12:59PM: That's a 2 for Bubba at the par-4 sixth hole. He's now 4 under at the PGA.

12:50PM: Bubba Watson just drove the par-4 sixth and has a short-range eagle putt.

12:48PM: Good news! Less than two hours until this dynamic duo tees off for their final romp around Whistling Straits.

12:45PM: After all that burrowing animal hubbub, Bubba made birdie at the par-5 fifth and is 2 under for the championship.

12:38PM: Animal instincts. Bubba Watson going back and forth with a rules official about getting relief from an ant hole on the par-5 fifth hole. The ruling was that Watson would not receive relief, which didn't please Bubba too much. "If someone were allergic to ants and their ball landed there, you could care less," Watson said to the official. Perhaps he's a little more peeved than he might otherwise be, because he went bogey-bogey to begin his final round.

12:28PM: Is neon green the new black? Justin Thomas today, Billy Horschel yesterday. Who's next?

12:20PM: The 2010 PGA champion at Whistling Straits, Martin Kaymer has arrived. In 2010, he began the final round four shots back. Today, he will begin his final round four shots back.

12:07PM: Low scores are out there on Sunday. Take, for example, Ryan Moore, who's 6 under on the day:

12:06PM: Here's a look at the hole locations for the final round:

12:00PM: Who do you think will win the 97th PGA Championship? Our writers made their picks:

11:50AM: Happy PGA Championship Sunday! When play ended Saturday, here's what the final leaderboad looked like. Jason Day and Jordan Spieth tee off in the final pairing at 2:45 p.m. ET.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

“It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

“I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

Let it go.

Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

“I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

“It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

“I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

The only thing left to do?

Let it go.

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Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.

Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.

Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

There is, however, one running wager.

“Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”

Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.

Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.

“I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.