There are 3 missing golfers

Access Hollywood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As we stare down Sunday at the PGA Championship, our leaderboard is awash with awesome contenders.
It was his first over-par round of the season; it’s impossible to ignore the connection between Friday’s chaos and Saturday’s letdown.
“But yesterday happened and I did my best to recover from it and come out here and compete today.
But as a major championship specialist and the defending champ, crowds and bookmakers alike were expecting a charge from the five-time major winner.
1 he reeled off birdies at 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to climb within three shots of the lead.
Soft conditions yielded low scores and a bunched leaderboard, and as a result Valhalla is promising an all-out brawl come Sunday.
But he hasn’t won in nearly two years, either, and while Schauffele has a gold medal and a bunch of PGA Tour wins he’s still missing a major championship.
Now he’s just one shot back entering the final round of a major championship.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As we stare down Sunday at the PGA Championship, our leaderboard is awash with awesome contenders.

But let’s start with three guys it’s missing.

On Saturday, Scottie Scheffler was the co-favorite according to the bookmakers. Despite being arrested and placed in jail, he returned to shoot 66 and started the day two shots behind the lead, further solidifying the public’s belief that he was unbeatable.

Saturday wasn’t quite so easy. He made double bogey at No. 2 and bogey at No. 3 and another bogey at No. 4. Before the round had even got moving, his chances at the championship had apparently vanished. And while he scattered five birdies across the rest of his scorecard he canceled them out with three bogeys, too, settling for a round of 2-over 73 that left him T24. It was his first over-par round of the season; it’s impossible to ignore the connection between Friday’s chaos and Saturday’s letdown.

“I definitely did not feel like myself today, for sure,” Scheffler said in an interview on CBS. But he was keen not to make excuses. “However, I tried my best to move past what happened yesterday and come here to compete today. I did a great job yesterday of coming out and competing, riding the adrenaline. If that makes sense, this morning’s routine was very different from my usual one. But at the end of the day I came out here hoping to have a good round and wasn’t able to get it done, which was pretty frustrating, but I’ll come back and try again tomorrow. ”.

Brooks Koepka began the day at the edge of contention at seven under par. But as a major championship specialist and the defending champ, crowds and bookmakers alike were expecting a charge from the five-time major winner.

Instead they got a strange showing from a player who looked like Koepka but didn’t play like him; through 16 holes he was five over par, hadn’t made a birdie and had the second-worst score in the field. Birdies at 17 and 18 may have softened the landing of a three-over 74, but still: He’s far from contention at T47.

Rory McIlroy had a different sort of day than his fellow pre-tournament favorites. Having overcome No., he started from a lower position and quickly ascended higher. 1 he reeled off birdies at 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to climb within three shots of the lead. But he missed tantalizing birdie tries at 12 and 13 and made bogeys at 14 and 16 and wound up stalled out at eight under par, T19 and seven shots back of the lead.

“During a six-hole segment, the putter seemed to lose its grip on me,” McIlroy remarked after the round. When I reflect on the tournament, I might lament the six holes where I was unable to make any putts. That all depends on what happens tomorrow. ”.

Much was made of the fact that entering the tournament, Scheffler, Koepka and McIlroy had won their previous starts. Come Sunday they’ll be conspicuously absent from the top of the leaderboard. However, there are eager and convincing substitutes for this PGA Championship.

Bring on the contenders! There’s a boatload of ’em. Due to the soft conditions that produced low scores and a crowded leaderboard, Valhalla has promised an all-out brawl on Sunday.

Enter Xander Schauffele, a guy who needs a win. After shooting three-under 68 on Saturday, he shared the lead after the third round, having led the competition after the first and second rounds. Last week, he was also in the lead at 54 holes, but McIlroy caught up to him. Other than Scheffler, he’s been the most consistent player in the world. In eight consecutive majors, he has placed in the top twenty. He hasn’t missed a cut anywhere in the world in more than two years. But he hasn’t won in nearly two years, either, and while Schauffele has a gold medal and a bunch of PGA Tour wins he’s still missing a major championship.

“When you haven’t won a golf tournament in a few years, you have to be pretty resilient,” he said earlier in the week. “I’m just patient and trying to play the best golf I can and stay out of my own way. I know I’m playing really good golf right now, and all can I could do is focus on my process and my talk with [his caddie] Austin, and that’s about it. ”.

We also have a proven major champion who is seeking a comeback victory: Collin Morikawa. Although he won two majors in his first eight career starts, he has been driven to win since. He showed clear signs in a T3 at the Masters. He moved to a new coach. He’s now changed back. Additionally, he hopes to arrive on Sunday with a clear strategy and a clear head.

Regarding that collaboration with coach Rick Sessinghaus:.

“A lot of it is just him going through all the mumbo-jumbo and the gibberish I pretty much say to him and formulating a plan of saying, ‘okay, this is what we’re going to focus on for today,’” Morikawa said. “I think the goal for me tonight before my tee time is just to be mentally sharp by that first hole. “.

You want a fiery, fun-loving fan favorite? We’ve got him, too! Sahith Theegala admitted earlier this week that he can’t believe he’s ranked No. 12 in the world; he doesn’t think he’s that good. A major championship round is about to begin, and he is now just one shot behind.

He remarked on Saturday night, “Tomorrow will feel different.”. “I felt a lot of those feelings today and was able to overcome the nerves and stick to my process. I’ve been playing so well so just want to keep it rolling, and I’m just going to have a lot of fun tomorrow. I’ll be nervous and it’s going to be great to embrace those nerves because it’s a feeling you don’t get often. ”.

Pour yourself a Guinness and enjoy the Irish legend who just tied the major scoring record, Shane Lowry! His only complaint after shooting a 9-under 62 on Saturday was that he missed a 61-yard putt, which dropped him to 13 under, two back of the lead.

I haven’t felt that way in a long time. It’s a nice feeling to have,” Lowry said. I intend to relish the moment, sort of go tomorrow, and then simply try to repeat it. ”.

You want the star golfer who’s surprised to be here? Ja! Enter Viktor Hovland, who was the hottest player in the world late in 2023 but changed coaches, changed philosophies and lost his way — until they reunited last week.

“I thought this was potentially going to be a little bit of a project and maybe take six, eight weeks before I would see kind of immediate improvement,” Hovland said. Instead he’s two shots back. “Yeah, that was kind of best-case scenario right there. ”.

You want the content king? We’ve got him! Thanks to a fist-pumping final-hole eagle on Saturday evening, Bryson DeChambeau will play alongside Hovland in the third-to-last group. One brief reminder of what sets him apart came when he mentioned in his media comments following the chip-in that finite element analysis modeling has its limitations. He relished Sunday’s finish. He’s hoping Sunday will be just as much fun.

“Exciting,” he remarked. “I haven’t felt like that in a long time. “.

An aging major champion who is vying for a final trip to the winner’s circle is available. Justin Rose couldn’t match Lowry’s round but shot 64 from the same group; he’ll start Sunday within three shots of the lead and was honest and thoughtful about just how much the chase will mean.

As Rose put it, “It’s encouraging to keep going and working hard to try and give myself like, the Indian summer of my career,” so it’s nice to see it sort of show up in the events she really wants it to. “Try to still steal one or two of these to really make it a fantastic career. ”.

How ’bout a Scottish lad who’s been going through tough times? Who’s chasing better golf scores but something more elusive, too? You might find yourself rooting for Robert MacIntyre, who surged with a bogey-free 66 on Saturday and will play alongside Rose, his Ryder Cup partner, hunting for happiness.

The rookie on the PGA Tour said, “Everyone knows I’ve been struggling with living in America since January.”. It’s been challenging. I went home there for three weeks. I returned from spending a great deal of time with friends, family, and everyone who truly matters to me wanting to play golf. ”.

He is able to play with a strong force that acceptance is because of his positive outlook.

“All I can do is try my best and honestly, as much as I try and say it to myself, that’s all I can do is just try my best and see where we end up. “.

We can’t wait to see how he does — and where it stacks up with the rest of the field.

There are more contenders, of course, further afield than MacIntyre’s three-shot deficit. Dean Burmester sits four shots back, LIV’s second representative behind DeChambeau. The group at 10 under, five back, includes Justin Thomas, the hometown kid, who on Saturday holed a chip shot that he immediately counted as “one of the coolest moments of my career. ”.

You could talk yourself into Tony Finau at 10 under, too, or Keegan Bradley at nine under or even McIlroy at eight. Low scores should be on tap, just like they’ve been all week. Lower stretches will experience pressure puts. Somebody’s career will change. We just don’t know whose. And when it’s done we’ll wish for more, because major championships matter, and that’s why they’re here and why we are, too.

Thomas said, “I’m kind of bummed that the week is almost over.”. “Just [gonna] enjoy tomorrow as much as I can and see what happens. ”.

Likewise.

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