Koepka Holds 2-stroke Lead; Tiger in Top 6

Carla Harmon
August 13, 2018

Tiger Woods gave himself a fighting change of winning his first major in more than a decade with a second straight four-under 66 Saturday to trail PGA Championship leader Brooks Koepka by four shots going into the final round in St. Louis.

The 14-time major champion, in the eighth month of his comeback from spinal fusion surgery after years of back injuries, shared third on eight-under-par after seven holes at Bellerive Country Club.

Could Sunday in the PGA Championship be the day Tiger Woods breaks through with his first victory in a major since 2008?

Shortly after 5 p.m., he had a 20-foot putt on the 16th green that would've tied him with Koepka, who was two holes behind but may as well have been playing on another course compared to the frenzy in front of him.

"It started with the first putt, just ran it by", Woods said after his round.

Woods said he had trouble judging the speed of the greens, especially on the back nine, and his three-putt on 17 was the result of an over-correction.

And yes, that includes Tiger Woods, too. His 72-hole score of 264 set the PGA Championship scoring record and matched the major championship record set by Henrink Stenson at Royal Troon in the 2016 British Open. 'The bottom line is that I had the best result of my career in all four majors, so I've got to be happy with that, ' said the 27 year old Englishman.

"I feel like, if I do what I'm supposed to do", Koepka said, "I should win the golf tournament". Woods was one of 10 players within four shots of the lead at the start of Sunday. He was at 3-over par for the second round through nine holes and 4 over for the tournament, putting him in a tie for 111th.

Sticking approach shots tight all afternoon, Tiger again made back-to-back birdies on No. 12 and 13 to get within one shot of the lead. That included Koepka. The back-to-back U.S. Open victor sprinted away from the field for much of the afternoon, at one point grabbing a 5-stroke lead.

"What he did at Shinnecock, just bombing it, and then he's doing the same thing here". "A bit of a struggle with my game today, but I hung in there".

Three-time major victor Jordan Spieth, needing only the PGA to complete a career Grand Slam, opened birdie-birdie but took a double bogey at the par-3 sixth then followed that with three consecutive birdies.

Thomas turned birdie into bogey at the turn with a three-putt from 5 feet, and he missed a short par putt on the 14th to fall back.

Woods, whose earlier charge on the easier front nine raised the massive gallery's excitement to fever pitch, was among a logjam of six trailing by four shots.

While it's going to be a hard task for Woods to claim a 15th major win this week, it's not out of the question. "It was nice to have that in my back pocket, (having) been there in that same situation, and came out on top".

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