Skip to main content

Tall Order for Tiger

Tiger Woods bogeyed his final hole Saturday and was then escorted into the media center at the 84th PGA Championship, where he was asked if he could come from behind and win Sunday.
He just laughed.
He was then asked if five shots were too much to overcome.
He just laughed again.
Woods has eight major trophies on his mantle, but all have come when in command through 54 holes. What's no laughing matter is that hes 0-15 when trailing entering the final round of a major.
The last time Woods was in this position ' having a realistic chance to win a major when trailing though three rounds ' was the 1999 U.S. Open. He was two back of Payne Stewart, shot 70 and finished in the same position.
This time around hes a full five back of Justin Leonard. The 30-year-old Texan was the only player to successfully navigate the 25 to 35 mph winds Saturday at Hazeltine National Golf Club in fewer than 70 strokes.
His 69 put him at 9-under-par, and in position to win his second major championship. Leonard won the 1997 British Open to gain worldwide prominence. He then captured the 1998 Players Championship and was the U.S. Ryder Cup hero later that year, sinking a 45-foot putt to cap the greatest comeback in Cup history.
Unsatisfied with his swing, however, he retooled his delivery in late 2000. His patience paid off with a repeat victory at the Texas Open in 2001, and a victory this year in Hilton Head.
Unheralded Rich Beem joins Leonard in the final pairing Sunday. The two-time PGA Tour winner struggled down the stretch in round three, but made an eight-foot save at the last to stay within three strokes.
Beem, who has said all week he doesnt see himself as a major contender, has made headlines with his casual nature and propensity for sipping Pepto-Bismol before a round.
He admitted hell have to take more than just one pull from the pink bottle Sunday.
Also in the hunt are veterans Fred Funk and Mark Calcavecchia. The 46-year-old Funk led through two rounds and stayed in contention by shooting 1-over 73 in round three. Hes alone in third place at minus 5.
Calcavecchia, 42, is tied with Tiger at 4-under. Hes recorded only three top-10 finishes in major championships since his British triumph in 1989.
Should Funk or Beem prevail it would mark the 12th time in the last 15 years that a first-time major winner has captured the PGA Championship.
Full-field scores from the 84th PGA Championship