FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Brooks Koepka is doing a great of defending both his championship and his lead at the 101st PGA Championship, grinding through an even par round on Saturday to hold the 54-hole lead at 12-under. Koepka’s accuracy dropped during his third trip around Bethpage Black, but he still finished on the plus-side of the field on a day where the course continued to confound the best players in the world time and time again.
Anything under par was good on Saturday, and so Koepka was able to keep his cushion despite a few misses along the way with his round of even par. The action below Koepka on the leaderboard was where things got really interesting, as Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler were among the many players to score over par for the day. That left the door open for Harold Varner III, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay to make big moves.
Koepka might be cruising to a second-straight PGA Championship and fourth win in his last eight major starts, but as we saw in the payouts, there’s still a lot to shake out between the tight pack of golfers a half dozen strokes behind the lead. Here’s how the leaderboard looks after 54 holes:
1. Brooks Koepka (-12): This was his worst round of the tournament so far, not just with the score but also with his form. The accuracy waned and a few of those putts that were dropping in the first two rounds seemed to fall just a couple inches short. Still, I’m not sure how much it matters, as he can play defense again on Sunday to hoist the Wanamaker.
T2. Harold Varner III (-5): With only one bogey in his last 36 holes, it’s clear Varner has found something good here this week. His play on the greens has been particularly impressive, pouring in putts on his way to a third-round 67.
T2. Jazz Janewattananond (-5): Saturday was Jazz’s best day tee-to-green, and he’s been one of the better putters in the field all week. There were a few misses coming down the stretch that kept him from going into Sunday with a good chance to catch Koepka, but this has still been a monumental week for Janewattananond at Bethpage. Plus, we got to learn today that Jazz was a monk. So that’s delightful.
T2. Luke List (-5): Some creativity around the greens was required to log a third straight round under par, but his 69 was good enough to remain at the top of the leaderboard on a day where accuracy off the tee dipped.
T2. Dustin Johnson (-5): It says something about DJ’s raw talent that a round with tons of setbacks and adversity ends under par. He was grinding all day and still finished with 69. It’s not the low number he was shooting for out of the gate, but by the time the back nine sunk its teeth into Johnson, it seemed like survival was the new goal. He is perhaps the only one with the length and skill to catch Koepka, but it would require a lot to go right for DJ and wrong for Koepka on Sunday.
T6. Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Wallace (-4): A late round hot streak with birdies on the 13th, 17th and 18th put Matsuyama up into the top 10 heading into Sunday. Wallace had a tough day but emerged even par to hang in at 4-under after strong performances on Thursday and Friday.
T8. Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott (-3): Schauffele was pouring in putts on Saturday, and he and Cantlay had two of the better mid-afternoon rounds each carding 68s. Scott struggled to keep the ball in play during his round of two-over to fall back on the leaderboard, and Spieth was upended by a double-bogey at No. 9 during a day where the only real momentum came with back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way Saturday updating this story with the latest scores, analysis and highlights from Round 3 of the 101st PGA Championship. If you are unable to view the updates below, please click here.
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