PGA Championship Live Coverage: Round 3 Blog with Connell Barrett
Leaderboard | Live Video | Photos | TV Schedule Golf Magazine's Connell Barrett blogged the third round of the 2010 PGA Championship. 8:11pm -- Woah. Furyk's making like Gretzky on the greens. Three-putt finish for a bogey on 18. "Glory's Last Yip!"
Kuchar taps in for something -- par? -- but honestly, I think I'm hallucinating at this point. Everything's blurry. I suddenly love Jim Nantz's mellifluous tones. Six-plus hours of blogging has turned my brain into a bran muffin. Thank god I get paid by the word.
Thanks for reading! We'll see you tomorrow: Same golf time, same golf channel. Later!
8:05pm -- Watney strokes a superb lag putt to a few inches short of the hole and taps in for his 66, and a three-shot lead. It wasn't a pretty finish, but it could have been a lot worse.
8:02pm -- The lie isn't bad, but it's hanging at about knee height. It's a drastic hook lie. Watney grabs a wedge, opens the clubface, chokes down, and ... takes a tee-ball-type swing and finds the front center of the green. He'll need to two-putt from 50 or so feet to salvage bogey.
7:59pm -- Instead of laying up well short of the 18th green, Watney gambles and takes a good rip from the rough, but the grass grabbed his club, and he left his ball well short of the green on the side of an embankment. It's a questionable lie. Drama!
7:52pm -- Hmmm. Watney's drive on the 499-yard par-4 18th rolls into the right rough. Depending on his lie, bogey just became much more likely on a hole this lengthy. The last player to take a 4-stroke lead into the final round of the PGA, Nantz tells us, was Greg Norman, in 1986 at Inverness. Yeah, Greg Norman... that'sthe name Watney wants to hear right now. (The Shark lost his lead that year -- as he tended to do -- and fell to Bob Tway in a playoff.)
7:47pm -- Nick taps in for his par. 4-stroke lead, one hole to play.
7:44pm -- Watney takes a bold run at the hole on no. 17, catches a piece, and has 2 feet left for his par. I love his aggressive mentality. Instead of thinking, "Just cozy it up there within 3 feet," he was assertive, trying to hole it. If he brings that attitude out on the course tomorrow, he'll be tough to catch. That's the way champions think. (I know this because I think the exact opposite way when I play.)
7:37pm -- Correction! Tomorrow's final pairing will be Johnson and Watney (barring a bizarre implosion on Watney's part), not McIlroy and Watney, because Johnson teed off before Rory in their group.
7:32pm -- Furyk missed his birdie putt on 16. Hmmm. Maybe he should lengthen his 17-step pre-shot routine.
7:30pm -- Sweet fancy Moses! Watney pours in yet another putt. Birdie, on no. 16. Which puts him at 14-under, and a 4-stroke lead. He's now 9-under on the par-5s.
7:26pm -- Watney wisely laid up on no. 16. From 96 yards out, he wedged it to about 12 feet, which he'll have left for birdie. Fun fact: Watney is a whopping 8-under on the par-5's, which is 9 strokes better than one Tiger Woods is on the par-5s.
7:21pm -- What a great final pairing shaping up: Rory and Watney.
7:17pm -- Rory's about to tap in for par on no. 18. He has to feel great about his chances -- 10-under -- entering Sunday. The course, a links layout you play by the air, is tailor-made for the big-hitting Irishman.
7:12pm -- Watney taps in for his low-stress par on no. 15. Three-stroke lead, three holes to play.
7:09pm -- Props to Steve Elkington, for his smooth 67 today. Golf.com's Mike Walker forwarded this observation from Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall, who works with Heath Slocum. Tattersall reports: I was in the locker room this morning going through the sunblock ritual and Steve Elkington came into the locker area. The position of the mirrors adjacent to the lockers makes it perfect for standing next to your locker and rehearsing one's swing. Elk rehearsed in front of the mirrors for a few minutes, checked his grip etc and then headed out. Looking at his score today obviously he found something that worked. The best in the world never stop searching, with this game you are either getting better or worse no standing still. 7:03pm -- Watney makes pure contact from the fairway bunker on no. 15, leaving his approach pin high, about 30 feet away, just off the green. He's playing like he knows how to win majors.
7:01pm -- Two birdie putts, two tap-ins for par for Rory and Johnson. They'll stay at 10-under.
6:57pm -- Rory Mac sticks his tee shot on the par-3 17th to 12 feet, Johnson to about 20 feet. They'll both have good looks at birdie to apply some pressure to Watney.
6:55pm -- Watney drives into a lefthand fairway bunker on no. 15, seconds after Feherty tells us, "Watney's been happy-go-lucky all day, but you can almost see the weight of the Wanamaker Trophy starting to bear down on him. He's still happy, but not so 'go lucky.' "
6:51pm -- Rory Mac jumps into second place, 3 strokes back, after making a 3-footer for birdie on no. 16. Johnson joins him by making his own birdie putt on the same hole.
6:48pm -- Watney makes his 3-foot birdie putt on no. 14 to get to 13-under, a 4-stoke lead -- for now. Johnson has a birdie putt coming up.
6:42pm -- A four-stroke lead for Watney? From the middle of the fairway, he parks his approach shot on no. 14 to about 3 feet, for birdie.
6:38pm -- Tiger talks! Post-round quotes: "It was a struggling day. I'm done with it... Ironically, I hit the ball better today than the first two rounds but I putted atrociously... Tomorrow, I want to go out there and play a good round and see where that puts me."
6:32pm -- The World No. 1 finishes in style, holing a 30-footer for birdie on no. 18. He's 3-under for the event, nine behind the leader.
6:30pm -- What? Watney fails to drain a 20-footer, on no. 13? That's the equivalent of the yips for him this day. He taps in for par.
6:25pm -- From the hairy stuff on no. 13, about 135 yards out, Watney lashes out of the rough and stops his ball 20 feet from the cup. A superb recovery shot.
6:24pm -- Johnson's drive on no. 15? A mere 372 yards.
6:22pm -- Meanwhile, we have a new Straits course record: 64, courtesy of Wenchong Liang!
6:21pm -- Egads, Watney just pumped his drive into what looks like an underground lie in the rough on no. 13. Will he give one back?
6:18pm -- Dustin Johnson just ripped a monster drive on no. 15, prompting a good line from Kostis: "This is absolutely inhumane to Surlyn."
6:15pm -- Yes, windy Jim Nantz actually quoted himself, from 1997 and Tiger's "Win for the Ages." You know, I'm pretty sure the Straits gargoyle mascotwas based on Nantz.
6:12pm -- Our leader by three strokes continues to putt brilliantly; Watney cozies a 40-footer on no. 12 up to about a foot, for a ho-hum tap-in par.
6:09pm -- Elk warning! Steve Elkington has it to 8-under, after rolling in a birdie on no. 17. Time flies. Is it 1995 already?
6:04pm -- Whether playing for pride, or if he thinks he still has a shot to win, Tiger sticks his iron on the par-3 17th to a foot. He'll get to 2-under for the tournament.
6:01pm -- Watney rolls in yet another put -- a right-to-left bender on no. 11 for birdie, to get back to 12-under. Fist pump. Three-shot lead. Great stuff from the leader.
5:58pm -- With a fairly good lie in the rough, from about 100 yards out, Watney's third shot on the par-5 11th finds the left side of the green, about 20 feet from the cup. A good, smart shot.
5:55pm -- On the par-5 11th -- "an incredible concoction," Faldo calls it -- Watney's second out of a fairway bunker finds rough. Meanwhile, Molder birdies no. 12 to get to 9-under, tied with four others for second.
5:51pm -- Wenchong Liang drains a 30-footer for birdie on no. 7, his third straight bird. He's now 9-under, just two behind Watney. (Man, I knew I should have picked Liang in my PGA pool...)
5:46pm -- After making par on 10, Watney's drive on 11 finds a yawning fairway bunker. He'll have to lay up.
5:42pm -- Phil taps in on his 18th, for a 1-over round on the day, 1-under for the week. Lefty just couldn't get any momentum going today.
5:39pm -- Here comes Furyk, who pours in a long birdie putt on no. 10, to get to 9-under. Do you have Jim Furyk Fever, golf fans? Me too!
5:36pm -- An urgent update from Cameron Morfit: Popular children's activity at Whistling Straits: Grass-skiing down the severe slopes, without the skis. 5:34pm -- Well, there's just no other way to say it: Johnson gagged on his short birdie putt on 11. He makes par to stay two strokes behind the leader Watney.
5:32pm -- I will NOT be scooped by Christina Kim (see comments section). Luckily, I've got Golf Magazine's Cameron Morfit on my team. He sends this dispatch from the course: J.B. Holmes got off to such a horrendous start in his third round he took off his shoes and changed socks shortly after mis-hitting his drive on the par-5 fifth. Didn't work. He failed to birdie the hole, and bogeyed three of the next four. The extremely high-strung Bubba Watson after his iron off the tee on six strayed left, and a few people cheered: "That shows how bad I am. People say 'good shot' even when I hit a bad one. 'Good shot. Good shot.' " 5:26pm -- Watney's lead may momentarily shrink to one, as Johnson has about 4-5 feet for birdie on no. 11.
5:23pm -- Watney taps in for par on no. 9, for a nifty little front-nine 4-under 32.
5:17pm -- On no. 9, from 167 yards out with a lie well above his feet, Watney hooks his second shot over a tree to about 15 feet from the pin. Just a cool, creative shot. And even more impressive after making bogey on the last hole.
5:13pm -- Watney pushes his tee shot on the 455-yard par-4 9th into the right rough, though from the aerial view he appears to have a reasonable lie.
5:08pm -- Watney's 12-footer for par on 8 burns the right edge. He taps in for bogey, his first of the day, to drop to 11-under, for a two-stroke lead on Johnson. It was Watney's first bogey in 20 holes, CBS tells us. My, my... leads go fast in majors, don't they?
5:03pm -- Let's go to the phones... Steve writes: Since you've already bashed the locals by calling us "husky"... We hear all about how beautiful Whistling Straits is, which is true (except for all those bleachers, skyboxes, and tents...). How does the surrounding area compare to other tour stops, especially majors? Do you get a chance to get away from the course? It seems to me that this area is out of the ordinary compared to other golf "destinations." Am I wrong?Steve, I have yet to play Whistling Straits, although I'm dying to. If anyone else out there would like to address Steve's question, chime on in.
As for the "husky" comment, I meant it with love. As a Midwestern boy with deep ties to Ohio, Indiana and Missouri -- and as the fattest kid in my 6th grade class -- I think I've earned the right. (In grade-school, they took my name and called me "Corn-Oil Bear-Fat." I wish I was kidding.)
OK, back to the action!
4:49pm -- On the par-4 8th, Watney leaves his second-shot approach woefully short of the green, perhaps in the rough. His first miscue of the day. Watney will have to earn an up-and-down for par. Will he give one back to the field?
4:55pm -- Ha! McCord: "Pete [Dye] must have had a really, really troubled childhood to come up with something like this [course]." I LOL'ed. It's a pity that banned-for-life-from-the-Masters McCord only gets to do one major a year. It's just wrong.
4:49pm -- Faldo just alluded to something that will be interesting to watch: How will a 4-stoke lead affect Watney psychologically the rest of today? Will he keep playing his same game? Or take a more conservative approach? He's actually been playing conservatively aggressive, which I think is the right mentality. Just keep doing what you've been doing and take big numbers out of play.
4:45pm -- Maybe they'll award the Wanamaker Trophy tonight and just be done with it.
4:44pm -- Watney makes yet another big putt, making birdie on no. 7 to take a four-stroke lead.
4:42pm -- On the par-3 12th, Tiger's approach stops some 30 feet from the pin. Woods' first birdie of the day finally came one hole earlier, on the 11th, to get him back to 1-under. But the clock is ticking on Tiger's major hopes for 2010.
4:38pm -- Ho hum. On the 221-yard par-3 7th, Watney sticks his 5-iron to 10 feet. That's pretty much inside the leather for Nick today.
4:36pm -- Correction: Watney leads Johnson by 3, Furyk and Rory by 4.
4:34pm -- Watney looks bullet-proof: He's pulling the right clubs off the tee (he hit iron on no. 6), he's putting like young Ben Crenshaw, and he looks completely comfortable in the lead.
4:32pm -- Wow! Watney pours in another birdie, his fourth of the day, on no. 6. He's at 11-under for the week, with a three-shot lead on Furyk.
4:29pm -- On no. 8, Rory misses a 15-footer for par, after leaving his approach shot in the thick stuff. He drops his first shot of the day.
4:25pm -- Watney's blind, 116-yard approach over a raised bunker on no. 6 lands in the center of the green, about 20 feet away. Smart, safe. He's playing like the leader, taking iron off the tee, placing the ball well. He's managing his game beautifully.
4:20pm -- Molder pitches in from the hay on no. 7. Birdie! He's 7-under, just three strokes back.
4:18pm -- Oh, Matt... On no. 6, Kooch screws the pooch, making an ugly bogey on the par-5. He's at 7-under. Watney, however, drops another big putt, for birdie. He's birdied three of the first five holes and now enjoys a 2-stroke lead, at 10-under.
I can see this becoming a Watney-Rory-Johnson three-way showdown today.
4:13pm -- Watney's third-shot chip on the par-5 5th has too much mustard on it -- it trucks a good 10-12 feet past the hole. He'll have that for birdie. Rory Mac saves his par on no. 7, to stay at 8-under.
4:09pm -- Reader emails! From Eric in L.A., who's not crazy about all the CBS commercials: "I think CBS is taking all the commercials they don't air during the Masters and airing them now. Golf hasn't seen this many two-minute breaks in one round since Daly quit drinking."
4:06pm -- Rory Mac's trying to get up and down to save par on the par-3 7th. He'll have about 5 feet for par. Watney, meanwhile, goes for the par-5 5th green in two. From 257 yards out, he pulls 3-iron and wisely leaves his approach in the bailout area to the right, avoiding the water left. He'll try to get up and down for birdie.
4:01pm -- Woah! One-derful! On the 217-yard par-3 17th, 51-year-old Tom Lehman holes his 4-iron tee shot. Ace! He runs over to the gallery to high-five some fans... (and promptly shatters his hip.)
3:58pm -- Can Phil make something happen on his final nine? He birdies the third hole -- his 12th hole of the day -- to get to 2-under, even for the day.
3:56pm -- Kuchar saves his par on no. 4, from 8 feet. All pars so far for Kuchar.
3:54pm -- Birdies galore. Johnson birdies no. 6, to take it to 8-under for the event. And Furyk rolls in a 15-footer on no. 4, for his second straight bird. JF's at 8-under, too.
3:52pm -- Wow! From about 20-25 feet on no. 4, Watney rolls in a par-saving putt to maintain his 9-under lead.
3:51pm -- On 7, Kaymer taps in for birdie to get it to 7-under. And on no. 9, Tiger, at 1-under, tugs his approach shot into a cozy little greenside bunker.
3:48pm -- Maybe it's my third Pabst talking, but did I just see Jimmy Johnson appearing on the next "Survivor"?
3:45pm -- "If we were in a bovine restaurant, that lie would have been dessert." (Feherty, on Watney's thick, chewy lie in the rough off the fourth fairway. He hacked out nicely.)
3:41pm -- Rory Mac takes it to 8-under, after making a short birdie putt on the par-5 fifth. He's carded birdies on three of his first five holes and is now only one off the lead.
3:39pm -- We've seen Woods hit some spectacular shots this week, but they've all been from the weeds/bunkers/trouble.
From 30 feet on no. 5, Dustin Johnson slams his birdie putt into the hole, to get to 7-under, two off the lead.
3:35pm -- Phew! From the right rough on no. 8, Tiger rips an iron about 250 yards, his ball trickling just off the left side of the green. A helluva shot. He'll have 25-30 feet for birdie.
3:31pm -- Updates! Watney misses his birdie putt. He'll tap in for par on 3. Jason Day drains his third straight birdie, on no. 6, to get to 7-under. Furyk makes his birdie putt on 3. And also on 3, Kuchar misses his "Danny DeVito" -- a tricky 5-footer -- for birdie and taps in for his par.
3:27pm -- And Old Man Furyk follows suit. They'll all have good looks at birdie.
3:25pm -- Perhaps a birdie-birdie-birdie start for Watney? He sticks an 8-iron to about 10 feet below the hole on the par-3 third. Kuchar, with a 7-iron, does his playing partner one better, leaving his ball about 4 feet. He'll have a great chance to regain his share of the lead.
3:21pm -- Watney, Kuchar, Rory, Holmes, Johnson, Kaymer... What a cool, young, the-future-is-now leaderboard. Furyk's like the grumpy old coot, yelling at them youngins to get out of his yard.
3:17pm -- On 4, Rory Mac's birdie rolls right of the hole. He'll stay one behind Kuchar who now trails Watney by one. Watney takes a one stroke on the strength of his birdie-birdie start. Dang, the two-time Tour winner looks solid. Relaxed. Comfortable in the moment.
3:12pm -- Tiger saves his par, coolly draining his 6-footer. He stays at 1-under.
3:10pm -- Pabst is brewed in Milwaukee. Shouldn't this be called the PBR Championship? I'm just asking...
3:06pm -- Bubba misses a birdie putt on no 2 with a sorry, decelerating effort. Par for Watson. On no. 6, Tiger's pitch from about 60 yards caroms off of Molinari's ball, deflecting Tiger's ball closer to the right-cut pin. Fast Eddie couldn't have done it better. TW has about 6 feet for par.
3:03pm -- Jim Furyk needs a media consultant. He always looks like he just ate some bad clams.
3:01pm -- Tiger's in trouble again, on 6, after mis-hitting yet another tee shot. He'll need a Houdini-esque escape to save par.
2:58pm -- No, Phil! Not you, too. On no. 17, Lefty misses a 6-foot par putt. Bogey. And Rory Mac is making a serious move early. He drains a birdie putt on no. 3 to get to 7-under, one off the lead.
2:56pm -- Watney rolls in a dead-straight birdie putt from about 12 feet on no. 1 to tie Kuchar for a share of the lead, at 8-under. Meanwhile, on no. 5 Tiger (this is not a misprint) bogeys the par-5. He drops to 1-under for the week.
So, umm, you know how I said Tiger was making a move today? Well, I didn't say in which direction.
2:53pm -- Kuchar leaves his birdie putt on no. 1 two feet short. A LITTLE tentative...
2:52pm -- The par-5's continue to torture Tiger. After back-to-back loose shots on no. 5, Woods needed a superb flop shot to eight feet just to give himself a chance to save par.
2:50pm -- On no. 1, Matt Kuchar shows no signs of nerve, knocking a sand wedge to about 18 feet from the hole. A solid start for the 36-hole leader.
2:47pm -- Is it just me, or has Phil packed on a pound or three lately? He certainly fits in with the husky Wisc. locals. (He probably thinks "Eau Claire" is something you order at Dunkin Doughnuts.)
2:45pm -- Phil! He drains the 18-footer for birdie on no. 16, his first of the day. He's now at 3-under.
2:43pm -- Here comes Rory! Mac birdies the second hole, to get to 6-under.
2:40pm -- From 73 yards, Lefty hits his wedge on no. 16 to about 18 feet above the hole, a definite miscue from such a short distance.
2:38pm -- On the par-5 5th, Tiger rips a drive dead center. He's only hitting 46 percent of fairways this week, putting major pressure on his short game, which has kept him in the tournament.
2:34pm -- Tiger's wild drive on no. 4 costs him. He fails to save par from 12 feet and drops to 2-under for the week, six off the lead.
2:32pm -- Bombs away! J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson are paired together today (along with Ryan Palmer). Holmes misses the fairway with a 3-wood. DJ pulls driver and finds the rough, too. Palmer splits the fairway with a metalwood.
2:28pm -- Phil has a fistful of pars through his first six holes. But he misses the fairway on the 16th (his seventh hole of the way).
2:25pm -- I'm gonna echo what SI's Rick Lipsey said in a recent PGA Tour Confidential: Pavin should look Tiger in the eye and ask him, "Do you want to play on the Ryder Cup? Can you help the team?" If the answer is yes and yes, you pick him. If the answer is no, Tiger should take the rest of the year off and reboot his career in 2011.
OK, back to the action...
2:22pm -- Question for the round-table: Should Captain Pavin pick Tiger for the Ryder Cup team? Could you possibly justify leaving the World No. 1 and winner of 14 majors off the squad? Discuss...
2:18pm -- Woods pulls his drive on the narrow par-4 fourth hole into the left rough. He could have an ugly lie to go along with an awkward hook stance.
2:16pm -- Tiger misses a 12-footer for birdie on no. 3. He starts with three straight pars, giving away two good looks at birdies.
2:14pm -- "Playing golf for a living is a pretty good deal," Kuchar tells Feherty in a pre-round interview. The 36-hole leader certainly looks chill and relaxed, which bodes well for him this weekend. Then again, Dustin Johnson looked utterly confident before the last round of the U.S. Open and we know what happened to him.
2:10pm -- Faldo on Tiger: "I predict he's going to slowly make his way up the leaderboard."
2:09pm -- Wow, it took Faldo on CBS about 13 seconds to start talking about himself. That's a record for Sir Nick.
2:09pm -- Tiger misses an almost gimme (for him) birdie putt on no. 2, from 6-8 feet. He starts par-par, but he recovers by knocking his iron inside 10 feet on the par-3 third.
2:06pm -- Today's forecast is perfect: sunny, breezy, good scoring conditions. It's Wisconsin, though. That could change. (Half the fans drove their riding snow-blowers to the course today.)
2:02pm -- My gut instinct, take-it-to-the-bank pre-round pick: Tiger. He's going low today. He's way overdue for some Tiger magic. I think it happens today, on moving day. There. I said it.
2:00pm -- Hey, Golf.commies. Thanks for tuning in, and welcome to Day 3 of the PGA Championship. I'll be live-blogging with you for many, many hours of action, fueled only by your comments -- and a six-pack of Milwaukee-brewed Pabst. Let's do this thing! [Hiccup!]