Midway through the 2014 PGA Championship, there are more questions than answers as several elite golfers enter the weekend within striking distance of the lead.
The Valhalla Golf Club course has played quite favorably over the first two rounds, which means that the probability of some low numbers being put up in the third round is quite high. That means even those laying several shots off the lead will have an opportunity to make a run and make things interesting if they can close strong.
Here is all the information you need to view the live updating PGA Championship leaderboard along with a look at some of the golfers who figure to be in the mix in the third and fourth rounds.
Day 3 Leaderboard
Golfers to Watch
After winning the Open Championship and Bridgestone Invitational, expectations have never been higher for Rory McIlroy.
The Northern Irish star has been playing so well that he is viewed as the clear favorite in each and every tournament. That is once again true at the PGA Championship, and McIlroy managed to get off to a very solid start.
He was especially good in the first round, as he fired a five-under 66 to sit just one shot behind the leaders. McIlroy had his ups and downs Thursday, but he managed to find his comfort zone and reel off four consecutive birdies at one point.
That prompted Masters winner Bubba Watson to compliment McIlroy's form, according to ESPN.com's Bob Harig:
Obviously he's playing great right now. He's probably playing the best of anybody, as the record shows the last few weeks. Very solid, in control of everything.
Even the shots where he made bogey, he didn't get too upset. He just knew that he was playing good enough to make birdies. Then he made four in a row. Pretty good.
One of the biggest reasons behind Rory's recent success has been his increased distance off the tee. That puts him in better position to hit approach shots and gives him a much better chance of turning pars into birdies.
Per Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman, McIlroy's improvement in that regard relates to his focus on adding muscle to his frame:
Rory McIlroy said he's gained 6.6 lbs of muscle mass in the last 8 weeks. By the way, he won a major & a WGC in that stretch.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) August 5, 2014
That has helped immensely at the past few tournaments and continues to pay dividends at Valhalla.
If McIlroy maintains distance and accuracy off the tee this weekend, he will most definitely be a factor.
With so many big names in the PGA Championship field it is easy to forget about some high-quality golfers. It didn't take long for observers to take notice of Ryan Palmer, however.
He earned a share of the lead after the first round by shooting a six-under 65 and followed it up with another solid showing Friday.
The 37-year-old American is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, although he hasn't triumphed since 2010. He does have a few top-five finishes to his credit in 2014, though, which suggests that he is perfectly capable of stringing some great rounds together at any time.
GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel provided a quirky and intriguing stat that Palmer could change if he wins this tournament:
No player named Palmer has ever won a PGA Championship. Ryan Palmer tied for the lead right now.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 8, 2014
Sobel was, of course, referring to the legendary Arnold Palmer. He finished second at the PGA Championship on three occasions but was never able to finish the job.
If Palmer can play two more solid rounds of golf, he has an opportunity to do something "The King" never could.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson has easily been among the most consistent golfers in the world over the past year.
He has recorded his best career finish in all four majors since the start of the 2013 season and is constantly on the verge of breaking through with a victory. Perhaps it will finally come at the PGA Championship.
Stenson finished third in this tournament just one year ago and is looking to improve upon that.
He came flying out of the gates with a five-under 66 in the first round and carried that momentum into the second round. This is despite the fact that there is one glaring deficiency in his game.
According to Golf Channel, Stenson is one of the worst putters on tour statistically:
If he can be at least adequate in that regard over the weekend, though, he is a true threat.
He is good enough off the tee and on approach shots that he can make up for mediocre putting. He will have to sink some timely putts in the process, but he is definitely capable of doing that when he is at his best.
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