Aug
12
2012
Scenes from the third round at the 2012 PGA Championship
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Championship

Ominous...

As you know, play was suspended on Saturday afternoon due to a dangerous weather situation with 26 players still on the course. Naturally, it happened just when things were starting to get interesting, but it was probably for the best since Tiger Woods was ready to implode after making three bogeys in four holes (and was just about to miss another putt for par).

While he began to slide down the leaderboard, Rory McIlroy had started his charge, rolling off five birdies in the first eight holes before the only blemish on his scorecard on the first nine — a bogey on the 9th.

The delay looked like it would be most beneficial to Tiger and a (potential) momentum-killer for Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy.

I thought the best way to tell the story of what transpired on Saturday and Sunday morning was through pictures…and I love clouds, which anyone following me on Twitter and/or Instagram (see icons at the top of the site to follow along for inside the ropes coverage) have probably noticed. Oh, this is also pretty cool, in my opinion, at least.

Foreshadowing…?

Dude, where’s my ball?

That’s a pretty bird..? No, it’s Rory digging his ball out of a tree on No.3. His drive flew right into a “branch” (I guess you’d call it?) and got stuck in a crevice.

Yep, that’s my ball.

He had to take a drop and a one-shot penalty. No problem. McIlroy knocked it to 15 feet and rolled in the putt for par.

Thank you, thank you very much.

C’mon Aussie! Adam Scott is looking for redemption after this final-round meltdown at the Open Championship only three weeks ago. He trails by three.

“I still feel like 70 was a good score, third round of the PGA,” said Scott after giving back two shots on Sunday morning. “It wasn’t that easy yesterday, and I kept myself in this tournament with a chance. We’ve all seen four back is no big deal.”

Indeed.

Another major, another missed opportunity to add to his otherwise very accomplished resume for world No. 1 Luke Donald.

This is Tiger at the start of the third round. Not too happy, but hanging in there…

Uh-oh, there’s the WTF-hand gesture…

Meanwhile, playing partner Vijay Singh staying hot with the putter and tied for the lead when play was suspended.

Da**it, that Fijian is beating me. Feels like the old days again — Vijay and Ernie were the only two guys that I thought could beat me in my heyday.

God, this is embarrassing. I’m getting a migraine.

A storm is looming in the horizon.

Oh, the putter-drop.

Fan start to tire of watching Tiger make bogeys…

God-you-know-what! Another missed putt…Why hasn’t the F-word horn blown yet?

Oh, there it is. Finally.

Stricker made his move on Saturday and deserves a shout-out for his excellent five-under 67. Remember, he figured out something with his putting stroke last week in Akron.

When play resumed, the leader board looked like this …

Rory McIlroy -6 through 9 holes

Vijay Singh -6 through 7

Adam Scott -5 through 9

Carl Pettersson -4 through 8

Bo Van Pelt -3 (round had been completed)

Trevor Immelman -3 through 10

Steve Stricker -2 (round had been completed)

Peter Hanson -2 through 12

Tiger Woods -1 through 7

At the conclusion of the round, it looks like this …

Rory McIlroy -7

Carl Pettersson -4

Bo Van Pelt -3

Trevor Immelman -3

Adam Scott -3

Steve Stricker -2

Peter Hanson -2

Vijay Singh -2

Tiger Woods -2

*****

The pants — ’91 PGA champ John Daly — is hanging in there and T25 going into the final round.

Oh, Sunday morning didn’t start off great, either…here’s Tiger letting go of the driver in his follow-through.

“How the f*(# did that break left and not get to the hole?” You pulled it and didn’t hit it hard enough.

 

Carl Pettersson has the least amount of strokes to make up and catch Rory. He’s four-under and trails by three.

Mutual respect.

“I’m right there,” said Tiger after two-over 74, trailing 54-hole leader McIlroy by five shots. “I was at one point six back, and we had a lot of holes to play, so I was very encouraged the way I dug down deep and got this thing turned around and gave myself a chance going into this afternoon.”

 

Catch me if you can! McIlroy has had large leads before at majors — most notably, the 2011 Masters when he had a four-shot advantage going into the final round — but I learned from my mistakes, obviously. See U.S. Open, 2011.

To be determined…

(Getty Images/Andrew Redington, David Cannon, Ross Kinnaird, Sam Greenwood; AP Photos/Lynne Sladky, Evan Vucci)