2015 PGA Championship: Five Takeaways From Saturday’s Third Round

August 16, 2015

Things shook into place nicely Saturday at Whistling Straits, providing a stacked leaderboard and plenty of storylines heading into Sunday.

Although things didn’t go so great for Matt Jones.

The 35-year-old Aussie held the lead after the completion of 36 holes Saturday morning, but of the players who finished 54 holes in the top 23, Jones’s 73 was the worst third-round score by two shots. He sits T6 at 10-under, five back of Jason Day.

If you missed any of the action from a long day at Whistling, look no further. Here’s our five takeaways from Saturday.

1. Jason Day is hungry
If you couldn’t tell by how far he was hitting the ball, how many flags his approach shots danced around or simply the look of determination on his face, Jason Day wants a major more than anyone in this field. He’s been right there in each of the last two majors, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to let this one slip away, unless…

2. Jordan Spieth is just getting hot
Anyone who discounted the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion at any point during the first two rounds is deeply regretting it. His third-round 65 is his lowest round in a major since he opened the Masters with 64, and it came after two days of fairly mediocre play. Day probably needs something no worse than 67 Sunday to win, but Spieth’s capable of going well lower than he did today. Man, Sunday’s going to be fun.

3. Justin Rose won’t go away
Despite a bogey on 18 Saturday, Rose found his way into the second-to-last pairing. Rose made seven birdies during the third round, which was partially marred by an early double bogey. Nevertheless, Rose sits just three back and has something on his resume that the outright leader does not: a major championship.

4. Branden Grace is once again lurking
The South African contended at the U.S. Open until he was undone by a wide-right tee ball late at Chambers Bay. Grace shot the low round of the day Saturday, an 8-under 64, which included this dramatic birdie (that you can watch below) on the 18th hole. He’ll play alongside Rose in the second-to-last pairing Sunday, also three back.

5. Whistling Straits was vulnerable Saturday
The storm that whipped through Sheboygan Friday night left a soft course behind. With wind not much of a factor, 30 players shot in the 60s Saturday. Only five holes played to an average score above par; even No. 18, a bear of a finishing hole (520-yard par-4), allowed nine birdies in the third round, more than each of the first two rounds when the field was considerably larger. The forecast for Sunday is hot and with a light breeze, so expect more of the same.

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