Koepka leads, Tiger lurks as PGA final-round drama begins

On top Kevin Kisner at the 18th hole on Friday

You need only to see the tail to understand why.

Then there was Adam Scott, an unlikely contender entering the week.

The third round was due to begin about 30 minutes after the end of the second round on Saturday, with players going out in groups of three - instead of the traditional two - off the first and 10th tees. This marked Woods's highest major finish since being runner-up in the same tournament, nine years ago. But he, too, rallied through the turn at Bellerive.

But then the golfing gods gifted this marathon Saturday out of left field and left us all with a Sunday at colorless and faceless Bellerive that could be the most memorable golf event of the year, and of many years to come.

Sunday's play will decide the victor of the fourth and final major of the golfing season with the PGA Championship itself moving to a May date for the 2019 season.

But a couple of loose swings led to consecutive bogeys and suddenly it was game on, a four-under-par 66 not exactly what Koepka had in mind a couple of hours earlier at Bellerive.

Woods lurked a single shot back.

"Crowds are incredible", said Italian golfer Francesco Molinari. But nothing was resolved.

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After birdieing five of his first eight holes and playing the front side in 31 strokes, Woods stalled on the back nine, failing to convert any birdie opportunities and squandering a attractive chance at the par-5 17th, where he three-putted for par. Scott hardly faltered, gritted out pars from poor position at 15 and 16.

For the second major in a row the reports of the Woods resurrection proved to be somewhat exaggerated. His birdie putt on the 11th green seemed certain to drop in but stopped, impossibly close, on the front edge.

More than anything, this is just a guy flailing when he knows he can do better. He drained his longest putt of the tournament, a 19-footer putt for birdie, and pumped his fist to celebrate.

Stewart Cink enjoyed his first top 10 finish in a major since denying Tom Watson at The Open in 2009 as he birdied the final two holes to return a 67 and close on 11 under alongside Jon Rahm, whose slim hopes were ended by a bogey-six at the 17th.

But Koepka would not be denied. "I didn't do that, I rapped it past the hole and missed the putt".

Ob being a three-time major champion?

It was a similar story at the Players Championship in May as Woods again shone on Sunday, only to falter over the closing holes. The two were paired together in the final round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, though neither contended. "So I had to kind of figure this out on my own and it's been really hard, it's a lot harder than people think. So I knew this was going to be a struggle to try and piece together a round and I did".

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