KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – With the forecast finally on their side, officials managed to complete the third round of the PGA Championship Sunday morning. The rest is up to Rory McIlroy.
Following a scorching 32 on his front nine on Saturday, the Ulsterman made the inward loop at the weather-delayed event in 1 under for a 67 and a three-stroke advantage over Carl Pettersson at 7 under par.
Yet neither McIlroy’s pedigree nor his performance had the engraver starting early at Kiawah.
“Four (shots) back is no big deal,” Adam Scott, who is at 3 under, offered with a wry smile. He should know.
Just 11 of 34 54-hole leaders this year on Tour have converted that advantage into a “W,” and no three-round major front-runners. The most glaring of those collapses was Scott’s meltdown at Lytham when the Australian squandered a four-stroke lead with four to play.
McIlroy, as is his habit, took the long view on the poorly trending leaders.
“A lot of those guys who didn’t hold on in the past it was a first time for them,” McIlroy said. “I definitely learned a lot at the (2011) Masters, being in that position before will help me.”
Tiger Woods will need a lot of help if he is going to end a four-year major championship drought. Woods signed for a 74 and will begin the final turn five strokes back.