Rory McIlroy has been clutch all weekend, and he's alone atop the leaderboard and 18 holes away from winning the 2014 PGA Championship.
McIlroy takes a slim one-stroke lead into the final round at Valhalla Golf Club. He allowed golfers like Bernd Wiesberger to catch up with him at times on Saturday, but a birdie on the 18th hole ensured that he will be in control of his destiny on Sunday as he looks to win his fourth major championship.
There are several notable names near the top of the crowded leaderboard, including Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen. The glut of talent at the top should make for a finish worthy of the year's final major.
Here are the tee times and pairings for the final round, followed by a prediction of the top-10 finishers.
|Predicted Finish||Golfer||Score after Round 3|
PGATour.com, Nate Loop's predictions
|9:15 a.m.||Graeme McDowell||Marc Leishman|
|9:55 a.m.||Vijay Singh||Hideki Matsuyama|
|11:45 a.m.||Charl Schwartzel||J.B. Holmes|
|12:15 p.m.||Nick Watney||Justin Rose|
|12:35 p.m.||Jimmy Walker||Ernie Els|
|12:45 p.m.||Sergio Garcia||Ryan Moore|
|1:25 p.m.||Jim Furyk||Joost Luiten|
|1:45 p.m.||Kevin Chappell||Lee Westwood|
|1:55 p.m.||Hunter Mahan||Adam Scott|
|2:05 p.m.||Graham DeLaet||Steve Stricker|
|2:15 p.m.||Ryan Palmer||Jamie Donaldson|
|2:25 p.m.||Henrik Stenson||Mikko Ilonen|
|2:35 p.m.||Jason Day||Louis Oosthuizen|
|2:45 p.m.||Rickie Fowler||Phil Mickelson|
|2:55 p.m.||Rory McIlroy||Brend Wiesberger|
Note: A full list of tee times and pairings can be found at PGATour.com.
McIlroy's on the verge of an historic performance. He could win back-to-back majors at Valhalla after dominating The Open Championship in July. If he does so, it could be a huge boon for the sport of golf thanks to McIlroy's young age and strong media presence.
The 25-year-old has been seemingly immune to the pressure that he faces. He bogeyed twice on Saturday but finished up with three birdies on his final four holes.
Adam Scott is at seven-under for the tournament, and it doesn't look like he will be able to regain his world No. 1 ranking anytime soon, let alone pull out a victory on Sunday.
"I'm probably too far back," he said, per ESPN's Ian Scott, "unless there's something special in there tomorrow."
Wiesberger's stunning score of 65 on Day 3 vaulted him into trophy contention. He birdied his last three holes and didn't register a single bogey on the day. He's been driving the ball well this tournament, notching an 80.95 driving-accuracy percentage, per PGATour.com.
It's also a bit of a surprise to see him at the top of the leaderboard. The 28-year-old Austrian is ranked No. 70 in the world and has hardly played on the PGA Tour this year.
His performances in majors have been disappointing to say the least; Wiesberger missed the cut at both the U.S. Open and Open Championship this year.
Fowler, who seems to save his best performances for majors, has another great opportunity to win his first major on Sunday. He sits just two strokes back of McIlroy and can take comfort in the fact that he avoided bogeying a single hole in the third round.
GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel couldn't help but comment on Fowler's performance this weekend:
Rickie Fowler is starting to get pretty good at these major championship things...— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 9, 2014
Mickelson proved that he's still a classy golfer despite zero top-10 finishes on the year. After bogeying two straight holes on the back nine, Lefty immediately knocked in three birdies in a row and then narrowly missed an eagle on the No. 18 hole.
GolfChannel.com's Jay Coffin praised his performance on the day:
Phil Mickelson rarely disappoints. Dude puts on a show like no other. #PGAChamp— Jay Coffin (@JayCoffinGC) August 9, 2014
ESPN Stats & Info couldn't help but point out that Mickelson is the old-man out in the top two pairings for Sunday:
Ages in the final 2 groups at #PGAChampionship: Rory McIlroy: 25 Bernd Wiesberger: 28 Rickie Fowler: 25 Phil Mickelson: 44— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 9, 2014
Jim Furyk dropped off on Saturday, finishing one-over for the day. He still has a fighting chance at seven-under for the tournament, but the field ahead of him is so talented that a top-10 finish would be a remarkable feat on its own.