Rory owns top spot on talented leader board
By Bernie D'Amato under PGA Championship


Just when we thought Rory would let up in the third round of the PGA Championship, he birdied three of his final four holes to take a one stroke lead over Bernd Wiesberger. McIlroy is at 13-under total, and is looking to hoist his second Wannamaker trophy on Sunday.

The three-time major champ said, “It wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be out there today. You know, they tucked a few pins away, and obviously playing with the lead, as well, you maybe can’t play with the freedom as if you’re chasing. But really happy with how I finished; to shoot another 67 without really having some of my best stuff for the round was really pleasing.”

Rory kept a close watch on the leader board during the third round, and it seemed to improve his focus. He finished with a 25-footer for birdie on 15, a two-footer for birdie on 16, and a nice up-and-down from the front bunker on 18 for birdie and a round of 67.

While his booming drives are getting a lot of attention, his putter has been clutch as well. “I felt really comfortable with the putter for the last, maybe the last couple of months. I worked on a couple of things after The Masters and it really seems to have clicked. It was a big putting round out there (24 putts). There’s a lot of putts that sort of kept the momentum of the round going.”

The driver and putter will be needed once again in the final round because there are several players within a couple shots of the lead.

Rory said, “Tomorrow standing on the first tee is going to feel different than how it felt a month ago at Hoylake because you don’t have that ‑‑ it is going to be a shootout. You know the conditions are soft; guys are going to make birdies, and you know that you’re going to have to make birdies, as well, to try and win.”

He added, “I’ve got one more day. I’ve got one more day to give it everything I have.”

PGA Championship leader board.

–Bernie D’Amato