January 18, 2019

Phil Mickelson misses cut at PGA Championship, puts Ryder Cup in question

12 August 2018, 08:24 | Pamela Mathis

2018 PGA Championship 5 reasons why the scores are falling at Bellerive Jeff Curry USA TODAY Sports

Aug 10 2018 Saint Louis MO USA Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller lines up a putt on the 17th green during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

More than the Masters. It is even more hard trying to catch Koepka, who looks rock-solid and has won consecutive U.S. Opens. But he hasn't won since capturing his only major, when he triumphed over the seemingly ageless Tom Watson in a playoff to win the 2009 British Open at Turnberry. In the lead at 12 under, Koepka is supplying the rolled-up sleeves and the kind of blacksmith arms that would've left Arnold Palmer's arms on the wrong side of a before-and-after ad.

England's Wallace produced one of the most memorable moments of the tournament by claiming a "mindblowing" hole in one on the par-three 16th. 14 and 15 brought him back.

Koepka will take a two-shot lead over Adam Scott into the final round after shooting a four-under 66 that left him at 12 under for the tournament.

But in his wake are some other heavyweights.

Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland are at nine-under, with Woods another shot back, in a six-way tie for sixth. He opened the week in 65 and has shot in the 60s all week.

Scott told that his warm-up before an opening 70 was the best he's had all season. He is the ultimate big game hunter, and he'll go for his third major win in his last six starts on Sunday.

The chances of a controversial victor with Adam Scott just two off the lead.

Perhaps it is appropriate that the 100th playing of this Major sees the Americans firmly in control of the PGA Championship and dominating the top of the leaderboard. What Koepka possesses in sheer strength, Scott showcases in a fashion more lean.

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There were so many other big names jostling for position that at one point it felt more like a vehicle race than a golf tournament.

In nearly 40 years as a sportswriter, I can't recall any organization doing as through a job supplying information as the PGA does for the fourth major.

"Yeah, there's a lot of star power, and it should be, it's a major championship", Koepka said.

"The golf course is playing soft, it's gettable, you have to make birdies, " Woods said. "Tiger's never been to St. Louis". The previous three majors were more like a microwavable Stouffer's meal.

Day arrived at Bellerive with two US PGA Tour wins under his belt this year and a tie for 10th at last week's elite WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Woods also didn't stick around for four rounds at Shinnecock Hills.

On Sunday, finally, they'll collide. We saw plenty of the Tiger/Justin Thomas/Rory McIlroy group, and plenty of Jason Day and Phil Mickelson as well, but those were online featured groups already. "I was just trying to make the thing". And Koepka didn't even tee it up because of a wrist injury. Three majors for a 28-year-old is historically flabbergasting. On seven of the last eight holes, Woods had a birdie or eagle putt of 20 feet or closer and missed them all. Golf is, undoubtedly, more exciting when that is the case.

"It's a packed leaderboard and there are going to be about 10 of us looking for that round of the year", Scott said. I've been in this position before, so I know what it's about. But will Koepka be tougher?

"I have a lot of friends out here", he said after he completed the second round, in which half the field of 156 resumed play only yesterday. It's going to take that tomorrow. Koepka and the boys could show the Show Me State some major heat Sunday at the PGA.

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