PGA Championship 2019: Brooks Koepka Shoots 70, Leads by 7 Strokes After Round 3

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2019

FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Brooks Koepka of the United States plays a shot from the eighth tee during the second round of the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course on May 18, 2019 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka takes a commanding seven-shot lead into the final round after posting an even 70 at Bethpage State Park in New York on Saturday.

Koepka entered Day 3 with the largest 36-hole lead (seven strokes) in PGA Championship history. According to the PGA Championship, he now owns the record for biggest 54-hole lead.

Below is a look at the latest action from Bethpage Black.

     

2019 PGA Championship Leaderboard—Third Round

1. Brooks Koepka 70 (-12)

T2. Harold Varner III 67 (-5)

T2. Jazz Janewattananond 67 (-5)

T2. Luke List 69 (-5)

T2. Dustin Johnson 69 (-5)

T6. Hideki Matsuyama 68 (-4)

T6. Matt Wallace 70 (-4)

T8. Xander Schauffele 68 (-3)

T8. Patrick Cantlay 68 (-3)

T8. Adam Scott 72 (-3)

T8. Jordan Spieth 72 (-3)

*Full leaderboard available on the PGA Tour's official website

     

Riding the momentum from the first two rounds, Koepka continued to put himself in position for his second consecutive PGA Championship title.

Koepka wasted very little time in letting the field know that he was still in a groove. A birdie on the second hole got his day off to a strong start.

He notched another one on the fifth to extend his lead:

Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, he finished the front nine by showing he was human. A bogey on the ninth gave him a front-nine score of 34, his highest of the tournament. It also marked the first time in three rounds he did not log four birdies on the front nine.

Koepka's back nine would start the same way he ended the front nine—with a bogey. But even as he endured some struggles, the rest of the field was unable to capitalize on the moment.

The 29-year-old got back on track on the 13th:

That helped him overcome a rough 10-hole stretch, one that featured three bogeys, to close the day. Ultimately, a 70 was more than enough to give him breathing room entering the final day.

Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth seemingly lost any chance he had of completing the career Grand Slam this year with a rough front nine Saturday.

After starting the day seven strokes back of the lead in second place, the 25-year-old Texan opened the day with four straight pars before picking up a bogey on the fifth hole. He would continue to tread water until a double bogey on nine dropped him even further down the leaderboard.

Spieth shook off a rough start and found a rhythm with birdies on 12 and 13.

At the end of Day 3, Spieth was three-under for the tournament following a 72. Both he and Adam Scott started the day in a tie for second but wound up finishing in a four-way logjam in eighth.

Dustin Johnson did his best to make some noise by recording birdies on three of the first four holes of the day:

While he had five birdies through 12 holes, three bogeys prevented him from ever truly putting pressure on Koepka. He sits seven strokes back of the lead at five under.

Of note, Rory McIlroy shot below par for the first time in the tournament Saturday thanks to a one-under 69. He currently sits in a tie for 26th place at two over for the tournament.

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