Morikawa mows down Schauffele on moving day at Valhalla

Frank Pingue and Jodie Demling |

A day after being detained in jail, Scottie Scheffler was out, hunting the PGA lead in Valhalla.
A day after being detained in jail, Scottie Scheffler was out, hunting the PGA lead in Valhalla.

It was moving day at the PGA Championship and plenty of players made moves up the leaderboard during the third round at a sun-drenched at Valhalla Golf Club.

Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa are atop the leaderboard at 15 under par, but six players are within two shots while 15 will begin Sunday’s round at 10 under or better.

Schauffele overcame a double-bogey at No.15 and finished with back-to-back birdies to post a three-under-par 68. Morikawa shot 67.

“A lot of guys took it low to climb their way up,” Morikawa said. “I assume tomorrow is going to be the same.”

Sahith Theegala shot 67 and is one back at 14 under, while Shane Lowry tied the course and PGA record with a 62 and is 13 under along with Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland.

Another shot back at 12 under are Justin Rose and Robert MacIntyre.

“There’s blood in the water,” said Schauffele, who led after his opening round 62 and after the second round.

Xander Schauffele
Co-leader Xander Schauffele has a posse of challengers hunting him down at the PGA Championship. (AP PHOTO)

It marks just the second time since 2005 that six players are within two shots of the lead at the PGA. There were also six players within two shots after 54 holes during the 2020 event at TPC Harding.

And, according to Elias Sports Bureau, it will mark the most players to start the final round of a major that are double digits under par.

The previous record was seven, which was done three times, the latest at the 2022 Open Championship at St Andrews when Australian Cameron Smith emerged triumphant.

“Look, I’ve played against all these guys; it’s not like any of these guys are new,” Morikawa said. “They all have their accolades within themselves, and really anyone can go low.

“The goal for me tonight before my tee time is just to be as mentally sharp by that first hole.

“Tomorrow is just going to put everything I have out there and see how it plays out.”

Theegala made bogey at five and six but recovered brilliantly with six birdies in his final 10 holes.

Lowry, the 2019 British Open champion, matched the lowest round ever in any of the four majors. Four players had previously posted 62s in the majors, including Schauffele, who did it in the US Open last year and the first round this week.

Lowry was 29th heading into the third round and quickly jumped up the leaderboard. He shot a 29 on the front nine, reeling off four straight birdies from the second hole.

It was the first time anyone had shot a 29 over nine holes at Valhalla during four PGAs.

But the round could have been better. He had three birdies on the back nine and could have added another at 18. Lowry hit his drive into the right rough at the par-5 hole and then his second shot went to the left rough. He then missed an 11-foot putt for a birdie that would have given him a 61.

“Probably the most disappointed anyone can ever be shooting 62. I knew what was at stake (at 18),” he said.

“Just didn’t hit the ball hard enough. Had it on a good read and just broke away from the hole.”

Lucas Herbert (68) is the leading Australian, six shots off the pace at nine under.

Reuters