ROCHESTER, New York (Reuters) – Scottie Scheffler made a miserable start to the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday to fall out of the lead, but the unflappable world number two dug deep to keep it together and is not counting himself out of the race.
Scheffler began the day in a three-way share of the lead but after a rain-filled day at Oak Hill was tied for fourth place and four shots behind four-time major champion Brooks Koepka going into Sunday’s final round.
The trouble came quick for Scheffler as he bogeyed the first two holes and added another pair of bogeys before reaching the turn at four-over 39 and looking out of sorts.
But Scheffler steadied the ship with a string of pars and made his lone birdie of the day at the par-four 14th en route to a three-over 73 on a day when only nine players broke par.
Scheffler’s front nine could have been even worse had he not caught a break at the par-four seventh, where his shot from the rough skimmed the creek and luckily came out the other side.
“I’m pretty proud of how I fought. I stayed in it,” said Scheffler. “I think I’m only four back going into tomorrow. I started driving it really good on the back nine, and that will be important if I’m looking to make a run tomorrow.”
Scheffler went out in the final pairing with Corey Conners and had to endure pretty bad conditions for the bulk of the front nine at Oak Hill.
While not feeling perfectly comfortable with his swing, Scheffler felt he started to drive the ball well on the back nine, which will be extremely important during the final round if he hopes to make any sort of move.
“I didn’t shoot myself out of it on a day where the conditions were tough and I didn’t have my best stuff,” said Scheffler.
“I hung in there pretty good and didn’t post the number I wanted to, but I’m still only four back going into tomorrow, and if I go out and have a great round, I think I’ll have a decent chance.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by William Mallard)