10 Notes to know: PGA Championsip, Round Three

May 19, 2019
Justin Ray
  1. Brooks Koepka leads the PGA Championship by seven shots after three rounds, the largest 54-hole lead in the history of the event. Koepka is the tenth man since 1900 to lead a major championship by seven strokes or more. Each of the previous nine went on to win.
  1. Brooks’ blistering pace slowed slightly Saturday, as Koepka carded three birdies and three bogeys en route to an even-par round of 70. Even so, Koepka’s 54-hole total score of 198 is tied for the third-best in PGA Championship history. If Koepka would have shot 67 or lower on Saturday, he would have held the 18, 36, 54 and 72-hole scoring records at the PGA Championship.
  1. Koepka is looking for his first wire-to-wire major win. The last major champion to win wire-to-wire (with no ties at the end of any round) was Jordan Spieth at the 2015 Masters. The last player to win the PGA Championship wire-to-wire (no ties) was Hal Sutton in 1983.
  1. A win for Koepka would give him four victories in his last eight major championship starts. The only men in the modern era to win four or more majors in a span of eight starts are Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
  1. Koepka’s tee-to-green dominance has been staggering: through three rounds, Brooks leads the PGA Championship field in strokes gained tee-to-green, strokes gained approach, greens in regulation, average proximity to the hole and scrambling percentage. How good is Brooks’ ball-striking? He ranked 74th of 82 players on Saturday in strokes gained putting and still shot even par.
  1. Koepka has gained a staggering 17.3 strokes on the field this week tee-to-green. Dustin Johnson is second in that statistic at 10.4. Only four players – DJ, Erik Van Rooyen, Gary Woodland and Patrick Cantlay – have half as many strokes gained tee to green this week as Koepka does.
  1. Harold Varner III will be in the final pairing on Sunday of a major for the first time in his career. Varner III has made just four bogeys this week, fewest of any player in the field. Before this week, HV3 had never broken par in any major championship round. He will enter tomorrow having shot 67 each of the last two days.
  1. For those chasing, a sliver of hope: the largest 54-hole deficit overcome to win the PGA Championship is seven shots by John Mahaffey in 1978. The largest 54-hole deficit overcome to win any major championship is ten shots by Paul Lawrie at The Open in 1999.
  1. Only four men have won multiple professional major championships in the state of New York: Jim Barnes, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen. Koepka can join them with a win tomorrow. The most recent to win his second title in New York, Gene Sarazen, did so at the 1932 U.S. Open.
  1. One name many golf fans were reading for the first time this week is Jazz Janewattananond. The 23-year-old from Bangkok won the Singapore Open earlier this year, finishing two shots ahead of Paul Casey. Jazz is tied for second through 54 holes – through three rounds he is ranked third in the field in strokes gained putting.