WATCH: Kisner Keeps Lead Despite Stumbling Finish

Kevin Kisner limped to the finish in his third round but still maintains a lead heading into Sunday. (Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher, USA Today Sports)

There’s always one in every major, a grinding day with few birdies and more groans than cheers: the kind of round where players put their heads down and hope for the best. A day after a soft, post-thunderstorm Quail Hollow seemed defenseless, the greens firmed up, the putts ran by and, with the final group playing in an unbelievable 5 hours and 40 minutes, nerves jangled like a loose logging chain.

 


PGA Championship 3rd Round
Score
Kevin Kisner -7
Hideki Matsuyama -6
Chris Stroud -6
Justin Thomas -5
Louis Oosthuizen -5
Grayson Murray -3
Graham DeLaet  -2
Patrick Reed -2
Gary Woodland -2
Scott Brown
-2

FULL LEADERBOARD

For 15 holes, Kevin Kisner managed the conditions better than most, hitting fairways and greens and patiently taking nothing more than what Quail Hollow gave him. He made one birdie on the front and one bogey at the 12th before reaching the only two legitimate birdie holes on the course. Kisner birdied the short par-4 14th and the reachable par-5 15th to become the first player to get to 10 under.

Then, just when it looked like Kisner was on cruise control, he pulled an approach shot at 16 into a pond and made double bogey to let the world back into the championship.

Kisner also bogeyed 18 after pulling his approach. He finished 7 under to lead Chris Stroud and Hideki Matsuyama by one stroke.

But the leader wasn’t the only one to take a hard blow to the solar plexus. Rickie Fowler climbed into the top five through 15 holes. Then the man who now wears the best-player-never-to-win-a-major yoke played the last three holes 4 over.

Jason Day made Fowler’s finish look pedestrian. Seven under and a shot back after his second hole, Day played the last 16 holes 7 over, making four birdies for the round, three bogeys, a double bogey and a crazy quadruple-bogey 8 at the 18th.   

Stroud clawed his way into a share of the lead at 8 under after Kisner’s double at 16. But, just like that, Stroud made bogey at 17 and three-putted 18 for bogey to finish even par on the day and 6 under for the week, one back and tied for second with Matsuyama, who had the driver yips early and shot 2-over 73.  

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