By Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent, Rochester
Brooks Koepka vowed there would be no repeat of his Masters mistakes as he looked to emulate Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus by claiming a third US PGA Championship title.
Koepka held a one-shot lead over Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland heading into the final round at Oak Hill, six weeks after enjoying double that advantage following 54 holes of the year’s first major.
The four-time major winner carded a closing 75 at Augusta National to finish second to Jon Rahm, but looks primed to claim his first major since the 2019 US PGA at Bethpage.
Asked what were the main lessons he had learned from Augusta, the former world number one said: “To just never think the way I thought going into the final round. I think that was a big thing for me.
“I won’t do it again the rest of my career. I promise I won’t show up like that on Sunday.
“I was just told that I think only Tiger and Jack have won three (US PGA titles), so that would be pretty special to be in a list or category with them.”
Four major champions were within five shots of Koepka’s lead, with fellow LIV player Bryson DeChambeau three behind on three under and Justin Rose and Scottie Scheffler both two under.
Rory McIlroy, who is a member of Oak Hill, was another stroke back on one under.
Quote of the day
“I love when the fans are on you, cheering for you, or you know, giving you crap if you screw up” – Koepka had no problem with the raucous crowds in upstate New York.
Shot of the day
A little luck goes a long way.#PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/OR7VbsKoXB
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 20, 2023
Arguably the luckiest shot of the day at least, Scottie Scheffler saw his second shot on the seventh hole skip through Allen’s Creek and on to dry land.
Round of the day
Brooks 👏 Koepka 👏 Low round for the second-straight day. Solo leader by one stroke heading into Sunday. #PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/vRhiuXOQ9n
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) May 20, 2023
Koepka carded a second consecutive 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.
Statistic of the day
36 of the last 37 men’s major winners were within 4 of the lead entering the final round.
The only exception in that span was Justin Thomas at last year’s PGA Championship (7 back).
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 20, 2023
Good news for everyone within four shots of Koepka’s lead, although recent evidence suggests all is not lost for the likes of McIlroy either.
The short par-four 14th again played as the easiest hole, yielding 30 birdies and just three bogeys for an average of 3.645.
There was not a single birdie recorded on the 485-yard ninth hole, with 33 players making bogey and four making a double bogey for a scoring average of 4.539.
Mostly sunny skies and breezy conditions return for the final round with highs warming into the low 70s. A west to northwest wind of 10-15mph, gusting to 20mph, will help with the drying and make it feel cooler at times as well.
Key tee times (all BST)
1850 – Justin Suh, Tommy Fleetwood
1900 – Rory McIlroy, Michael Block
1910 – Justin Rose, Scottie Scheffler
1920 – Corey Conners, Bryson DeChambeau
1930 – Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland