Koepka sees historic three-turf as Johnson leads PGA

Yet what the host location for this year’s PGA Championship, the TPC Harding Park course in San Francisco, appeared to do during Saturday’s third round with Koepka holding a horror show stretch of three consecutive bogeys – a sequence that it may well have crushed the minds and morale of many a golfer there.

Let’s be very clear about what’s up in California this week. Koepka is looking to become the first man to win the same three on three consecutive occasions since Peter Thomson triumphed at the 1954-56 Open Championships.

The 30-year-old’s reaction to setbacks was quite typical of a man who made no secret of the fact that winning major is the worst lifeblood of his game. And no one knows that better than his compatriot Dustin Johnson who is at par below nine for the tournament and will take a one-shot lead in the final round of Sunday and currently has a two-shot advantage over Koepka.

The seemingly nervous Floridian, a fierce competitor at the best of times, bounced back in style to close with two birdies in his final three holes for a round of 69 in the process of sending a very clear message to his rivals. . One almost as clear as the wink he gave to the TV cameras the moment he put it down at 18 sank.

Now Koepka is famous for his mental ability. He just never lacks for confidence and he is rarely slow in public to throw the castle at his rivals.

Brooks Koepka of the United States is well placed for a successful defense of his crown at the PGA Championship, as he begins the final round in San Francisco, just two shots again from leader Dustin Johnson.

Johnson – whose only major title so far came at the 2016 US Open in Oakmont – – is a former Koepka’s workout buddy who pushed his fellow Americans all the way during last year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York before he finally fell short.

Never one to speak for him, the two-time defending champion says he enjoyed his chances of winning again, adding “If I had been in this position before, I would have capitalized. I do not know, he has but one won. I’m playing well. We’ll see. ”

The greats hunt

With a win, Koepka would simply become the third youngest player to win five majors since World War II, and what about business?

He would only sit behind Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. But if he has to go and seal his fifth major title he will have to do it for no fans in this very first tournament of 2020 after the months-long shutdown of the sport due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.

Koepka – who says he is “very comfortable with the lead in the big events” – as is always clear about the challenge, reveals “It will feel completely different than anyone we’ve ever played. I look forward to after that. It should be a fun shootout. “

Dustin Johnson charged at the top of the Leaderboard at TPC Harding Park with a third round 65 that included eight birdies.

For his part, Johnson knows that the margin for error is small. His eight birdies on Saturday en route to a stunning round of five under par of 65 marked the most he has ever been included in one round on a major, though more than one he will be well aware of past failures when it comes to several other major majors over the years, including noting this particular event a decade ago at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

In fact, this is now the fourth time he has held the 54-hole lead as a co-lead on a major. On all three previous occasions, he failed to go through and seal the victory.

For the player known as DJ, the hunt for that unlucky second major continues with Koepka and does not forget to become time in his experiences of a multiple big winner and said he finds that expectation still makes it challenging.

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“I think it gets harder when you think you’ve played well enough to win multiple. But you have to keep putting yourself in there. I’m doing a good job of it. But the second one is definitely a little harder. I think, as you can see from the top of the Leaderboard. “

But Johnson – who has now shot eight straight laps at the PGA Championship in the 1960s – feels he has matured and now has a wealth of experience to utilize especially with numerous other applicants still looking are to their breakthrough major. The 36-year-old says he is looking forward to the challenge, adding “I have been on the hunt in a major a few times. I have one major, so having that experience will certainly be beneficial.”

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Johnson even had to overcome some adversity on Saturday. His round of 65, which at one point included a double bogey, was already impressive enough, but even more so, when you consider that he later revealed that he actually lacked the most important of components for part of his round – his yardage book, full of course notes and distances.

Fortunately, however, there was one help for the former world number one thanks to his brother and caddy Austin, who had a reserve, even if it was not set specifically for Harding Park. So what happened to the original?

“I think it should be in the bottom of my bag,” Johnson revealed before throwing more insight into the escape on the course. “I didn’t want to take all my clubs on the golf course. But AJ had an extra one, so we were fine.”

Trusted Leaderboard

The last round of Sunday should be compelling to watch. Johnson has a one-shot lead over compatriots Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ, while some big names and former big winners pull with intent amid a beleaguered Leaderboard.

Besides Koepka at seven under, England’s Justin Rose is just three counts back as is Australia 2015 champion Jason Day and the big hit Bryson DeChambeau, who puts a monster 95-feet on his way to a 68.

Leader of the third round Haotong Li of China slipped to a three-over 73, but is still in the hunt, four shots from the lead.

Meanwhile, another disappointing outing for American great Tiger Woods who finds himself at two par for the tournament after a third round 72.

The 44-year-old is currently 11-shots back and acknowledged that adding his number of 15 majors is becoming increasingly difficult with the likes of Koepka and Johnson in their prime.

Tiger Woods saw his chances win a 16th major all-around, but disappeared with a third-round 72 to trail leader Dustin Johnson by 11 shots.

“It’s getting harder and harder to win events,” he said.

“When I look at Leaderboard, I see the same handful of guys. They understand how they win the majors and how they participate. The guys who understand how to play tough golf courses will be up there, crowds or no crowds. “