August 11, 2013

Furyk steps up to lead at PGA

Jim Furyk sinks two big putts on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Jason Dufner.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Jim Furyk
click image to enlarge

Leader Jim Furyk lines up a putt during the third round of the PGA Championship at Pittsford, N.Y., on Saturday. Tiger Woods, seeking a 15th major, shot a 73 to fall 13 shots back.

The Associated Press

LEADERBOARD

TOP OF THE HEAP

J. Furyk 65-68-68–201

SO CLOSE

J. Dufner 68-63-71–202

TWO BACK

H. Stenson 68-66-69–203

STRIKING DISTANCE

J. Blixt 68-70-66–204

S. Stricker 68-67–70–205

TV TODAY: TNT, 11 a.m.; CBS, 2 p.m.

Woods has made only seven birdies in 54 holes -- four of them on par 3s.

British Open champion Phil Mickelson was even worse. He sprayed the ball all over Oak Hill on his way to a 78, matching his highest score ever in the PGA Championship.

Furyk wasn't overly excited when he opened this championship with a 65 to share the lead with Scott, and he has kept his eyes in front of him since then. He wasn't even sure what the leaderboard looked like, except that his name was at the top.

"I'm comfortable with where I'm at," Furyk said. "There's a crowded leaderboard at the top, and instead of really viewing it as who is leading and who is not, I'm really viewing it as I need to go out there tomorrow and put together a good, solid round of golf. Fire a good number and hope it stacks up well."

No one looked terribly comfortable at the start, not with the swirling wind and water hazard that winds its way along the front nine.

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose fell apart early with back-to-back double bogeys that sent him to a 42. He wound up with a 77. Scott opened with a 20-foot birdie putt, only to follow with back-to-back bogeys. And when Dufner ended his string of pars by driving into the creek on No. 5 for double bogey, it appeared that this tournament was wide open.

The leaders steadied themselves, leaving the Sunday still up for grabs but likely among fewer players.

Furyk spoke earlier in the week about the sting of losing in the big events, and he's had a share of them, such as his runner-up finish in the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont near where he grew up, and last year at Olympic Club when he lost the lead on the 70th hole by snap-hooking his tee shot on a par 5.

Scott knows well how unpredictable a final round can be.

He was four shots up with four holes to play at the British Open last year and watched Ernie Els win the claret jug. At Muirfield last month, Mickelson came from five shots behind on the final day and won by three.

"I would like to be leading," Scott said. "Four back is well within reach. Anything can happen in a major. We just saw the pin spots get tough today, and scoring in the final groups was very difficult. With so much danger around, it's hard to be completely free where major pressure is on the line. Tomorrow is going to be similar."

 

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