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Home » Sports » Golf » Koepka seeks fifth major: Hovland, Conners, DeChambeau, McIlroy, and club pro Block in contention at Oak Hill

Koepka seeks fifth major: Hovland, Conners, DeChambeau, McIlroy, and club pro Block in contention at Oak Hill

The final round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club will feature established names, as well as some newcomers to the elite level of professional golf.

Brooks Koepka had a dominant performance in Saturday’s third round, which frankly, appeared at times like it could have been two or three strokes better. On a day when most were just trying to survive Oak Hill as periods of moderate rain turned into torrential downpours, Koepka fired a low round of 4-under.

Viktor Hovland sits in a tie for second with Canadian Corey Conners. Both shot even par rounds on moving day- leaving themselves in good position heading into a Sunday where the weather will be a significant improvement. They will start Sunday one shot back of Koepka at 5-under.

Bryson DeChambeau was another player who managed to keep it level despite not having his best stuff. He enters the final round in solo fourth at 3-under overall.

The top-5 rounds out with Justin Rose and Scottie Scheffler at 2-under. The world’s No. 2 golfer int he world struggled on Sunday playing the front nine 4-over par before getting things under control on the back. He would card a birdie on 14, but not make any more ground up before the day ended.

Not to be forgotten is Rory McIlroy, who despite all of the ups and downs of the last three days (and three weeks!) is 1-under and still in contention.

Perhaps though one of the most compelling stories of this PGA Championship is the performance of PGA Professional Michael Block. Remember that shank near the end of his first round? Neither do we. His incredible run continued on Saturday, with Block firing an even par 70. It was his third consecutive even par performance at Oak Hill.

Block and McIlroy will be paired together on Sunday. That will surely setup for a fun afternoon as the PGA professional completes a dream weekend.

What were they saying after their rounds on Saturday?

Speaking of Block, he talked about how he’s approached the last couple days. Obviously, reporters had plenty of questions for him at his post-round presser, which all centered around the enormity of the moment. “I pretty much am putting my head down,” he explained of the situation. “I didn’t look at Rosey’s face for the first three holes because I’m a big fan and I’ve watched him my whole life, and I knew it could get a little too intimidating, the fact that, holy crap, I’m sitting here playing with Justin Rose. So literally just kind of looked down, looked at his shoes the first couple holes, and got off to a decent start and went on from there.”

He credited his caddie for making some ‘really smart’ calls down the stretch. John Jackson is on the bag for Block this weekend. “He had me take an extra club [on 14], which was just enough. I made a birdie there, and along with the next hole, I took another club because of him and made another birdie. He was huge.”

Rory McIlroy, the man Block will be paired with on Sunday, said his game isn’t where he’d like it to be. “I still don’t feel like my game is in great shape,” he said after round three. “I’ve held it together well. I’ve holed some good putts. I’ve scored well. I probably hit it a little better off the tee today than I did the first couple days, but I think this tournament and especially in these conditions and on this golf course, the non-physical parts of the game I think are way more important than the physical parts.”

He also pointed out that Oak Hill handled the rain well. While it looked like play could be suspended- the course took the water- and play never stopped. “The greens aren’t that soft,” he continued. “The course held up incredibly well over the past 13 hours since the rain started.”

Brooks Koepka gave New Yorkers another shoutout after his third round. Obviously, the galleries around Oak Hill were behind him- and he shared that appreciation. “I love New York. It’s always fun,” he said. “You do something really well, they are going to let you know; and if you do something pretty poor, they are going to let you know, and I just love that. I love when the fans are on you, cheering for you, or you know, giving you the crap if you screw up. That’s the beauty of it. You want that, or at least I want that atmosphere.”

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