Fairways And Roughs Title

Kisner holds the lead into Sunday At Quail Hollow

By PGA Tour News
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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – News and notes from the third round of the PGA Championship at the Quail Hollow Club where Kevin Kisner leads by one stroke after a 72 on Saturday. For more coverage from Quail Hollow, click here for the Daily Wrap. KISNER KEEPS THE MOMENTUM The stoic Kisner promised to show some emotion on Sunday if he ends up winning the PGA Championship. “Don’t worry,” he said with a rare smile after the draining third round was finally over. But keeping his emotions in check has been the key to his play this week at Quail Hollow. The intensity in Kisner’s eyes reflects his focus, and even the worst of breaks – remember that approach that found the water on 16, for example – is met with an even keel. “I think I've been pretty good at that,” Kisner said. “This game will do it to you in my opinion. As soon as you think you're on top of things, it finds a way to kick you right in the face. “So there's no real reason for me getting mad or upset or showing y'all that I'm ticked off. I'm pretty good at keeping it all in, and the golf course here is so hard; if you get (ticked), you're just going to throw away more shots. There's no real reason to show that emotion.” Kisner, who has won twice on TOUR in less than a year, has never had a top-10 in a major championship. But he’s held at least a share of the lead since opening with a 67 at Quail Hollow, and while playing the Green Mile in 3 over has set up a dogfight, he’s eager for the challenge. “It's a dream to win a major,” Kisner said. “That's what I grew up practicing and playing, to play on the PGA TOUR and to have a chance in major championships. “The way my game's progressed over my career, I like where I am, and I like having a chance tomorrow. It will be awesome to take home the Wanamaker Trophy and a lot of great names on that trophy.” JT MANAGES HIS GAME The way Justin Thomas saw it, he didn’t have his A game on Saturday. In fact, he probably didn’t have his B game, either. “I would definitely go C, more towards the C side than B side,” he said. Thomas still managed to shoot a 69 in the third round, though. As a result, he will start the final round of the PGA in a tie with Oosthuizen at 5 under just two strokes off the lead. The PGA is just Thomas’ 10th major championship. He got valuable experience at the U.S. Open earlier this year, though, when he shot 63, which tied what was then the major scoring record, in the third round to climb the leaderboard before falling to a tie for ninth with a closing 75. The key? Well, the 24-year-old Thomas, who has won three times already this year, feels like he’s learned to manage his game – even when he doesn’t have his best stuff. “I think that's why I feel like I'm ready to win a major championships now versus last year, I probably didn't have that,” Thomas said. “Because you are going to have a day, usually at least a day in the tournament where you don't have your best. You are not hitting it well. It's what you can do with it. “That's what Tiger did so well. He won tournaments by five or six with his B game or C game. It's about managing it around here, trying to get it around. What I did today was definitely a confidence boost. It's not the same as playing great. I'm definitely more tired than if I would have played great. I will definitely take it.” OOSTHUIZEN OVERCOMES RUSTY START Louis Oosthuizen had a bit of a scare early in his round when he hit the root of a tree as he attempted a dicey approach at the second hole. Oosthuizen reached the green with a brilliant shot but immediately started shaking his hand to try to loosen his right arm. His physical therapist slipped under the ropes and started working on the South African, stretching out his forearm as they walked down the fairway. Oosthuizen finished his round of even par with a strip of kinesio tape on his arm. He’ll start the final round trailing by two at 5 under and although it’s a little tight at the top, he expects no lingering effects. “It's fine. You know, I wasn't it wasn't hurting at all,” Oosthuizen said. “I didn't feel like it was painful or anything. It was just it got tight really quickly. “Sort of when you close your hand like that, I could feel it all over. I thought it would be good to get the physio and release it. He just did a proper release of it. There was no pain. I could hit my shots no worries.” And Oosthuizen’s 8-iron took the brunt of the blow anyway. He said he saw something – although he didn’t know it was a root – as he was pondering the shot. “It was very close to my ball,” Oosthuizen said. “I didn't want to go and feel or do anything. The top, I was going pretty steep on it. Took a big chunk out of it. Bent my 8-iron properly.” The next time Oosthuizen needed the club was on the ninth hole. He saw that it was bent right at the hozzle and tried to straighten it out. “I tried to fix it, but obviously I'm not good at that,” he said with a smile. “I didn't it a very good shot. … Ping is already building me a new one and getting it to me.” That’s a good thing, too. Oosthuizen had yardage for a full 8-iron at the 16th and 17th holes. But he had already given his club to a Ping rep and ended up dropping down to a 7-iron. While he did manage a birdie at No. 17, Oosthuizen said “those aren't holes you want to go with different clubs.” PLAYERS BEAT THE HEAT At sundown on Friday, players were sprinting down fairways to finish as many holes as possible due to a lengthy weather delay. But on Saturday, the same players came in drained and dragging with rounds averaging in the five-and-a-half-hour range. Threesomes off one tee didn’t speed things along and Quail Hollow would have been challenging even on the best of days. But Saturday was marked by stifling humidity that nearly sent the “feels-like” temperature into triple digits. “I thought it was super hot,” Kisner said. “Standing around in 105 probably heat index is not a whole lot of fun. It's difficult on your mental game, I think as much as anything, as the heat. “I'm pretty used to slow play; you watch us every week.” Rory McIlroy, who has won two PGAs and is a two-time champion at Quail Hollow, agreed. He shot 73 on Saturday but is well back at 4 over. “I think we're used to slow rounds on the TOUR these days,” McIlroy said. “Hopefully we go to twos tomorrow if the weather is decent. That will get the guys around a little bit quicker. “Five hours 20 minutes out there in that heat was a little too long for my liking.” ODDS AND ENDS This has been a week of positives and negatives for Webb Simpson, who lives at Quail Hollow. He’s been grateful for the support of family, friends and fans but he hasn’t played as well as he’d like. Simpson will start the final round well off the pace at 5 over. He says he’s been surprised at how difficult the course has played – and it’s not just due to the changes made under Tom Fazio’s guidance. Simpson says the set-up has been “too tough” for a PGA Championship. “I told the scorer in there I felt like really all week, but especially today with some of the pins and tees and length of the course, it feels like a U.S. Open,” Simpson said. “We are dealing with a long golf course, tons of rough, and crazy fast greens. “I don't think that's the stereotype of a PGA Championship. I feel like I'm out there trying to survive. Similar feelings to how when I play a U.S. Open. You shoot even par you have done really well.” Graham DeLaet had a three-hole stretch worth bragging about – a birdie at the par-3 13th, followed by back-to-back eagles at the par-4 14th and par-5 15th. That leaves the Canadian at 2 under and just five stroke off the pace. “That would be a cool run, you know, at any PGA TOUR event,” DeLaet said. “But to do that at the PGA Championship is pretty special. It's something I'll probably always remember, you know, when I look back at my career. And the nice thing about it was it put me in a position where something really special tomorrow can -- you never know.” … Of the top-15 players on the leaderboard, 14 of them have never won a major. The exception: Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champ, who’s two shots back. His gameplan Sunday: “Just patience and play yourself in a position with four or five holes to go and take it from there.” SHOT OF THE DAY BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA


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