PGA Championship 2014 Leaderboard: Updating Results and Standings for Day 3

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PGA Championship 2014 Leaderboard: Updating Results and Standings for Day 3
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The 2014 PGA Championship is set up for an exciting second half thanks to a leaderboard full of many high-profile players.

Rory McIlroy leads the way entering Day 3 thanks to his consistent play in the first two rounds. He is seeking to win his third tournament in a row after earning titles at the Open Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational.

However, he will face a number of challengers Friday like Jim Furyk and Jason Day, who each begin the round just one stroke back.

Here is a look at the updated leaderboard for Saturday's action and a breakdown of the top storylines to watch:

 

How Much Better Can Rory McIlroy Get?

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It was a long time between wins for McIlroy, but now it is hard to imagine a leaderboard without him. The 25-year-old player always had the talent to succeed on the course, but he had struggled to remain focused for four days in a row.

However, he is now much more relaxed on the course. He spoke about his mentality during the day after his round, per Brian Wacker of PGATour.com:

It's fun. It was a little more stressful today than it was yesterday, just because of some of the positions I put myself in on the course, having to get up-and-down a few times on that front nine, but the last month has been fun.

When I'm playing like this, it's obviously very enjoyable, and you know, I can't wait to get back out on the course again tomorrow and do the same thing all over again.

Jason Sobel of Golf Channel points out how focused he was on Friday:

If he can continue this level of play, he should be able to pull away from the field and come away with his second major of the year.

 

Can the Young Players Catch the Leader?

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jason Day had the best showing in Round 2 to make a huge jump in the standings, as noted by Taylor Made Golf:

Day was nearly flawless in his round, totaling just one bogey to go with five birdies and an impressive eagle. Although he was forced to withdraw last week's tournament due to a thumb injury, he is playing as well as ever to remain in contention.

Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler had an eventful day that led to a 66 on Friday. He only had a single par on the front nine to go with three bogeys and five birdies. However, he came back strong on the back nine to post one of the lowest scores in the field.

These types of shots showed how well he was striking the ball in the second round:

The two young players have played extremely well in majors in their careers and have the talent to give McIlroy a run for his money. If they perform to their ability, the current leader could be in trouble.

 

Will the Old Veterans Stay in the Hunt?

John Locher/Associated Press

While McIlroy, Fowler and Day might be having a good start to the week, there are quite a few players in the hunt who know what it takes to have success at big tournaments.

One of those men is Jim Furyk, who has been playing his usual game to perfection. According to PGATour.com, he has totaled 75 percent greens in regulation thanks to nailing 78.57 percent of his fairways off the tee.

He has been performing extremely well in recent weeks:

Furyk has finished in the top 15 in each of the last four majors and appears to be on his way toward making it five in a row.

Also in the hunt is Phil Mickelson, who ended his day with an eagle on No. 18 to finish in a tie for seventh. ESPN's Rick Reilly thinks this could be his tournament to win:

Mickelson has been putting extremely well so far this week and could carry this over into more success and a possible win at Valhalla.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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