The 2014 PGA Championship is the final major of the season, and the fierce competition over the first three days of the tournament proves the final run to the victory will not be easy for any of the players at the top of the leaderboard.
While 2014 British Open champion Rory McIlroy has a lead heading into Day 4, top contenders such as Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Henrik Stenson are all within striking distance and could easily steal the show Sunday.
Here is the updated leaderboard with scores and standings and the player to watch in Round 4.
Player to Watch: Rickie Fowler
Several players are in contention at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, but few have the consistency and talent that American star Rickie Fowler has showcased during the 2014 season.
Fowler currently sits at 11 under par and third on the overall leaderboard. While leader McIlroy has momentum on his side and second-place golfer Bernd Wiesberger is capturing lightning in a bottle, this is just another major tournament for Fowler.
Not only did Fowler finish fifth at the Masters in April, but he also managed to finish second in both the U.S. Open and the British Open. With another solid finish expected for the California native, he has the potential to make history on Sunday.
According to the ESPN Stats and Info Twitter account, another top-five finish would put Fowler in elite company:
Even ESPN NFL analyst Trey Wingo is pulling for Fowler after his 2014 performance:
When asked about playing with a veteran and previous tournament winner like Mickelson on Day 4, Fowler told Hank Gola of the New York Daily News that he should be more comfortable and actually have some fun:
I’m expecting to be more comfortable tomorrow than I have in the past two final rounds playing alongside Phil. We’re going to have some fun. If we get off to a good start we're going to be able to feed off each other quite a bit. It’s going to be a fun walk and there’s a possibility if we get things going, it could come down to the two of us at the end.
Over the first two days, Fowler was unable to separate himself from the pack but managed to stay out of trouble and play smart golf. Taking Valhalla hole-by-hole is the only way to conquer it, and Fowler maintained a steady pace.
Entering the weekend, Fowler found himself at seven under par and in a favorable position heading into moving day. On Saturday, he came out playing smart and made four birdies and no bogeys to put himself in sole possession of third place.
Fowler has taken advantage of the course by using his driver and irons, but he must be sharp on the final day with his putter. Top-five finishes are great for a player’s wallet, but Fowler will be looking to take home his first major victory of his career.
With a final-round scoring average of 69.42, the always calm and collected Fowler will look to take another step toward greatness by collecting the PGA Championship win on Sunday.
*Stats via PGATour.com.
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