There are many great things about a west coast major – beautiful scenery, prime time viewing on the East Coast, accessibility of herbal medicines to help keep the golfers calm in stressful moments, In and Out Burger to stave off the munchies and we can write a Saturday update on Sunday morning long before they tee off in the final found. Everyone wins!
Let’s take a quick look at where things stand for our 10 heading into Sunday:
Berger – 6-under, T7: An even-par third round for Berger kept him in the mix. He’ll need to go low on Sunday to pull off his first major victory.
Casey – 7-under, T4: A strong 2-under on Saturday sets Casey up to finally win a major. Apparently, no Englishman has won a PGA Championship since the early 1900s, which was a shocking stat. He’ll be playing with Koepka on Sunday, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep pace.
Hovland – 3-over, T59: The unrelenting pressure of a major may have ultimately beat Hovland, who had a long Saturday. Good learning experience for someone who has the game to be in the mix for years to come.
Johnson – 9-under, 1: DJ shot a 65 with a double bogey mixed in. Is that good? He’s led going in to the final round of a major three times, and never won from that position. Can he close the deal and validate his US Open win with a second major? Can he erase the demons from his rules infraction 10 years ago that cost him a PGA Championship?
Koepka – 7-under, T4: If anyone can chase down DJ and win, it’s Koepka. After three straight bogeys on 13-15 Saturday, he promptly went birdie-par-birdie to close with flourish and put himself 2 behind. Koepka’s wink to the cameras after holing the birdie on 18, coupled with his post-round interview where he said “I’m the only one on the leaderboard with any stones,” shows he’s not lacking confidence heading into the final round.
McIlroy – Even, T43: A non-descript day follows a non-descript week. Hard to believe it’s been six years since he won a major. Despite what he did early in his career, it’s not actually easy to win these things.
Rahm – 3-under, T21: He’s probably a little too far out of it to win, but if he could go out early and throw down a 65 to get to 8-under, he certainly should stick around just to make sure.
Schauffele – 5-under, T13: The Hangover pre-tournament favorite is still in the mix, but will need something better than his 1-under third round. We’re not giving up on our horse at this point, but there are some thoroughbreds between him and the finish line.
Thomas – 1-under, T34: A nice Saturday for JT, but it wasn’t enough to put him in contention. To even have a chance, he’s going to need to shoot something in the ballpark of 63. Good luck with all that.
Fleetwood* – Our mid-tournament alternate to replace the huge embarrassing failure that was Corey Conners shot even par, thanks to a strong finish on Saturday. He’s three back heading into Sunday, so certainly still in the mix. In 2018, Fleetwood shot a final round 63 at the US Open, only to finish one shot behind Koepka. He won’t need a 63 on Sunday, but very well may still finish behind Koepka, as 99% of golfers over the last few years have done at majors.
To recap, our Hangover Ten contains the 54-hole leader, with four players in the top seven heading into Sunday. In a tie for second is Scottie Scheffler, who was very high in the driving and ball-striking stats that we studied, but we figured the rookie couldn’t handle the pressure of a major just yet. Good call.
Sunday’s final round is shaping up to be a great one, with the following names within three shots of DJ: Casey, Koepka, Morikawa, Berger, Fleetwood, Rose, Day, Finau and DeChambeau. Pretty, pretty good.
While our heart is still with our boy Xander, if you’re asking us to put some of our hard-earned money on the table today, we’re going with Brooks. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, we don’t actually earn any money for this, so you’ll get nothing and like it.
Bring on the final round!