PGA Championship 2012 Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy Will Outgun Hard-Charging Field

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IAugust 12, 2012

KIAWAH ISLAND, SC - AUGUST 12:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits off the 15th tee during Round Three of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on August 12, 2012 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The field is closing on him quickly, but Rory McIlroy will hang on to secure his second major championship at the PGA.

McIlroy secured the lead with a blistering five-under (67) in the third round, which he finished this morning after bad weather put a halt to many of the leaders' rounds on Saturday.

Now, he's sitting on a three-shot lead over the flamboyant Englishman Ian Poulter, who already has six birdies on the front nine.

Plus, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods are lurking behind McIlroy, just waiting for the young Irishman to make a big mistake.

However, McIlroy has learned his lessons from previous collapses, including his tragic performance on the back nine at Augusta in 2011.

Now, he's primed to have success in the pressure-packed environment that comes with being the leader on Sunday at a major. He's experienced it before, and he has the confidence to deal with it. He told ESPN:

I learned a lot from the Masters last year, and that's definitely something that I can think back to and draw on some of those memories and some of the feelings I had at Congressional as well.

You realize that you might not feel the same or your anxiety level is a little bit higher, and at least being in that position before, I'll know what to do again. I think Augusta last year will stand me in great stead this afternoon.

It also doesn't hurt that he's striking the ball beautifully.

He already has one of the prettiest swings on tour, but over the last two rounds, it's been in perfect rhythm.

McIlroy has rarely missed a fairway over the last two days, and he's been putting on the perfect spot on the green nearly every time.

It's a good thing, too, because he's still not putting all of that well.

However, when he's hitting the ball like this, he really doesn't have to.

McIlroy has had plenty of success this season. He's become the No. 1 ranked player in the world, won a tournament and, to boot, is still dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

But, it hasn't been all good for him. He missed cuts in four out of five events earlier this season, struggled at all three majors and has been notoriously inconsistent on the course. 

Still, no one can deny his talent.

Right now, he's playing to his full abilities, and with a lead, no one will catch him.

Not even Woods.

With a win today, he takes over the No. 1 ranking in the world once again, and, more importantly, captures his second major title.

Expect him to be lifting the trophy later today at the Ocean Course at Kiawah.

Place Golfer Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Today Total
1 Rory McIlroy 67 75 67 -2 209
2 Ian Poulter 70 71 74 -5 215
3 Carl Petterson 66 74 72 -1 212
T4 Jimmy Walker 73 75 67 -3 215
T4 Peter Hanson 69 75 70 -2 214
T4 Tiger Woods 69 71 74 -2 214

For a full leaderboard check out


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