PGA Championship

Rahm, Fowler, Woodland chase first major title at PGA

2018-08-12 10:59
Rickie Fowler (Getty)

St. Louis - Jon Rahm is a prodigy. Rickie Fowler used to be one before eight top-five major finishes without a win. And Gary Woodland has never managed a top-10 major result.

But this unlikely trio find themselves in the hunt for their first major title in Sunday's final round of the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Two-time reigning US Open champion Brooks Koepka leads on 12-under par 198 with 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott of Australia two strokes back and Fowler, Rahm and Woodland another shot adrift.

"I dare to dream in the fact of accomplishing one of my goals this year, which is having a chance on a Sunday in a major," Rahm said.

The 23-year-old Spaniard, ranked seventh in the world, was fourth in this year's Masters and has already won two US PGA and three European Tour titles, most recently the Spanish Open.

"It's a good feeling. I've worked on changing some things and it's great to see it's peaking at the right time and I'm having a chance on Sunday to contend for my first major," Rahm said.

"It's hard to shoot a low score on a Sunday in a major... you still need to hit fairways, and you still need to make the putts."

He doesn't have to tell Fowler twice. The 29-year-old American has suffered plenty of near misses, including a runner-up finish at this year's Masters.

Ten years ago, he was the world amateur number one with a "can't miss" tag. Then came 2014, when he finished in the top five in all four majors but became the first to do that and go winless.

Fowler has top-five finishes in three of the past six majors, and some well-learned experience from them.

"It's just how comfortable and how confident I'll feel tomorrow versus maybe when you look at three, four, five years ago," Fowler said.

"It will be fun. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to take a solid round of golf from whoever's going to win because there are a lot of guys. It's not going to be given to anyone."

Fowler was unhappy at a third-round 69, one-under par, but pleased to be where he's at with a so-so showing.

"We're in a good spot and have a chance to win," he said. "I'm happy with where we're at, not having played our best."

It's the same sort of feeling for Woodland, the 34-year-old who grew up a three-hour drive away in Topeka, Kansas.

Woodland, ranked 44th, led after the first two rounds but stumbled to a 71. But after a triple-bogey 7 at the 10th, he birdied 12 and 14 and parred the rest of the back nine to avoid a total collapse.

"I was happy with the way I fought back, gave myself a chance tomorrow, which was key," Woodland said. "Really confident with the way I fought the last eight holes. Excited about where my game is and ecstatic for tomorrow."

But he knows he will have to risk more disaster for the birdies he'll need to contend.

"I'm going to have to play aggressive. Going to have to make a lot of birdies," he said. "It's going to take that. All in all, we'll play aggressive and just stick to what we've been doing."

Scores after Saturday's third round of the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club (par-70):

198 - Brooks Koepka (USA) 69-63-66

200 - Adam Scott (AUS) 70-65-65

201 - Jon Rahm (ESP) 68-67-66, Rickie Fowler (USA) 65-67-69, Gary Woodland (USA) 64-66-71

202 - Tiger Woods (USA) 70-66-66, Stewart Cink (USA) 67-69-66, Jason Day (AUS) 67-68-67, Justin Thomas (USA) 69-65-68, Shane Lowry (IRL) 69-64-69, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70-63-69

203 - Julian Suri (USA) 69-66-68, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 68-67-68, Kevin Kisner (USA) 67-64-72

204 - Daniel Berger (USA) 73-65-66, Xander Schauffele (USA) 70-67-67, Webb Simpson (USA) 68-68-68, Pat Perez (USA) 67-67-70, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 67-66-71, Brandon Stone (RSA) 66-68-70

205 - Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 72-66-67, Ian Poulter (ENG) 67-70-68, Matt Wallace (ENG) 71-66-68, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 69-67-69, Justin Rose (ENG) 67-69-69, Patrick Cantlay (USA) 68-67-70, Dustin Johnson (USA) 67-66-72

206 - Ryan Fox (NZL) 68-70-68, Chris Kirk (USA) 68-70-68, Branden Grace (RSA) 68-70-68, Chez Reavie (USA) 71-68-67, Billy Horschel (USA) 68-69-69, Jordan Spieth (USA) 71-66-69, Jason Kokrak (USA) 68-67-71, Seungsu Han (USA) 74-66-66

207 - Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 70-68-69, Andrew Landry (USA) 73-65-69, Kevin Na (USA) 70-69-68, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 71-67-69, Ryan Moore (USA) 69-70-68, Zach Johnson (USA) 66-70-71, Ben Kern (USA) 71-69-67, Martin Kaymer (GER) 71-69-67, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 73-67-67, Cameron Smith (AUS) 74-66-73

208 - Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 73-65-70, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 69-70-69, Satoshi Kodaira (JPN) 71-68-69, Brice Garnett (USA) 71-68-69, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70-67-71, Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 68-69-71, Keegan Bradley (USA) 69-68-71, Russell Knox (SCO) 71-68-69, Austin Cook (USA) 67-72-69, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 72-67-69, Jimmy Walker (USA) 69-70-69, Ted Potter (USA) 74-66-68

209 - Im Sung-jae (KOR) 71-67-71, J.J. Spaun (USA) 69-68-72, Andrew Putnam (USA) 68-69-72, Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 73-67-69, Tony Finau (USA) 74-66-69, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 70-70-69

210 - Ollie Schniederjans (USA) 67-71-72, Russell Henley (USA) 74-65-71, Ross Fisher (ENG) 68-69-73, Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 68-71-71, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 68-69-73, Kevin Chappell (USA) 69-71-70, Nick Watney (USA) 75-65-70, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 70-70-70

211 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 68-71-72, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 70-68-73, Jim Furyk (USA) 69-71-71, Brian Harman (USA) 72-68-71, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 71-69-71

212 - Charles Howell (USA) 74-66-72

214 - Scott Brown (USA) 72-68-74

215 - Chris Stroud (USA) 69-70-76, Brian Gay (USA) 67-73-75

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