We’re almost done with the final major of the year, and it’s still almost anyone’s tournament. Sunday at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis promises to be one fine afternoon of golf, with many of the sport’s biggest names in position for a career-defining win. Let’s run it all down.
Can anyone stop Brooks Koepka?
Koepka has three wins on the PGA Tour, and two of them are majors: the last two U.S. Opens. He’s a dog with a steak when he’s got the lead in a major, and once again he’s out in front after carding a four-under Saturday to finish with a two-stroke lead at -12. Koepka’s as low-key as they come, and while that doesn’t make for lively stories, it does keep him steady during rough stretches; he drained a wicked 10-footer on 16 to save par and halt a two-hole run of bogeys. At one point, he had a lead of five strokes on the field; that dwindled to two by the end of the day, but still: he’s one of the toughest cats on the course to catch when he’s got a lead. He could turn this into a runaway by the turn on Sunday.
What’s up with that leaderboard?
Beyond Koepka, it’s a strange crew, to be sure. There’s Adam Scott (-10), who hasn’t carded a strong major in half a decade, along with Jon Rahm (-9), who’s one of golf’s Next Great Hopes. There’s defending champ Justin Thomas and fellow PGA winner Jason Day, both at -8. Also there: Stewart Cink, parachuting in from 2009 with a stunning three rounds. And Gary Woodland learned just how hard it is to lead all four days in a major, or even three.
What happened to Rickie Fowler?
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Rickie Fowler looked strong at a major early on, but couldn’t close. Yes, we have an entire day left and Fowler could go HAM and obliterate the field. But on a day when much of the field was diving deep, Fowler was virtually treading water, carding only a -1 on the day to end at -9. He’s got the game to win a major, but he never seems to pack it all four days.
What’s up with Tiger Woods?
Look, the fact that we can say “Tiger Woods should be leading a major” in the year 2018 is, in itself, an astonishing thing. But it’s true! Woods left half a dozen strokes out on the course on Saturday thanks to some weak and off-line putting, and he’s still right there at eight-under. We have no confidence that Woods will be able to run down Koepka; this is a whole different world than the early 2000s. But it’s also undeniably cool to see Woods back in the hunt. He’s going to win one of these things, one of these days.
What were the best and worst shots of the day?
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 11, 2018
— Steve Weidner (@Airweid) August 11, 2018
The triple essentially ejected Spieth from the championship conversation, a tough loss as he attempted to go for the career Grand Slam.
The final major round of the year begins Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern on TNT and 2 p.m. on CBS. Let’s all see off the major season together, shall we?
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