PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth ready to start 'fourth quarter'

PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth ready to start 'fourth quarter'

Fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy shared 29th on 144, 10 strokes adrift but hopeful of a weekend fightback.

Jordan Spieth, who goes for the career grand slam this week, is two over par with two holes left to play.

He is tied with American Kevin Kisner on eight-under par and the duo are two shots clear of third-placed Jason Day.

In the back-nine, he corrected his mistakes and played flawlessly. The PGA Championship victor at Whistling Straits two years ago shot a 66 and was two shots behind.

Day was 2-over for the day and 4-under for the tournament when he stood on the 18th tee and walked off the green even-par and seven shots out of the lead.

But sandwiched in-between them all is Chris Stroud, a 35-year-old journeyman with a real shot of stealing the major away from all of them.

Par-5, 494-yard No. 18: Not everyone experienced Day's nightmare finish, but Quail Hollow's finishing hole - water left, thick trees right - spoiled several scorecards. He is three strokes under par after rounds of 69 and 70 but knows he will be at least five strokes out of the lead starting his third round Saturday.

I had a bit of shaky start with a bogey on 10th, a par-5 and that was a disappointment, as you don't want to let go of the par-5s and certainly not drop a shot there.

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He didn't make a bogey after the sixth hole and saved his momentum several times from poor positions off the tee.

McIlroy admitted his situation could easily have been a lot worse, especially after he carved his second shot on the 591-yard 10th over the crowd and saw it bound down a cart path which runs along the side of the 11th.

From there he attempted a risky second around the tree but only succeeded in hitting the ball further right and into more bushes. Earlier I had three-putted the 14th from around 25 feet. Ranked third in the world behind Americans Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, Matsuyama hails from Japan, a country that has never had a male victor of a major championship.

McIlroy twice won the Wells Fargo event at Quail Hollow, but the course was made considerably more hard for the PGA.

Neither had threatened the top of the leaderboard in the opening rounds but day three was where their challenges ended.

"Anything under 71 today is a good score", McIlroy said. "I didn't think it was going to take this long, but I'm glad I'm here".

A thunderstorm that halted play for almost an hour and 45 minutes came after Matsuyama had made three consecutive birdies starting at the 12th hole, but he took advantage of wet conditions when play resumed and added birdies at the par-five 15th and par-three 17th. "I think that's why I feel like I'm ready to win a major championship now versus a year ago, when I probably didn't have that."That's what Tiger [Woods] did so well".

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