Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
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Koepka leads by two strokes after third round at PGA Championship

Koepka leads by two strokes after third round at PGA Championship

But it was hard afterward to not wonder if Woods left a few opportunities on the Bellerive Country Club course Saturday afternoon that would have made the task a tad easier during the final round of the PGA Championship.

"I'm exhausted. I am definitely exhausted", said Woods, who sweated through four shirts in his opening five holes.

Shane Lowry had an early start on Saturday morning to complete his second round at the weather-affected PGA Championship in St Louis, and the in-form Offaly man picked up where he left off on Friday. He went on to pull his birdie putt, settling with par; he'd go on to par the 18th hole as well, capping off a back nine where he left several strokes on the greens-which Woods was mildly critical of after his round.

"For 29 holes I made three bogeys and played pretty clean - two of those were three putts".

"I wish my score was closer to the lead but not many guys are up there".

Through three rounds, Woods is 10 under on the front nine, but he's 2 over on the back. He knows he needs a more consistent final round to capture his 15th major title.

It didn't take long for Woods to rebound.

The two Utah club professionals in the field each ended up at 5 over par, missing the cut. It's soft, it's plugging, we're able to hold 4-irons, 5-irons, whatever we want, at the flags. For most of the time he was winning his 14 majors, Tiger was a supreme player who got out front and didn't make mistakes.

"I came right back out and made birdie from 69 yards so it was a nice way to start the morning, but missed two putts at 10 and 12 that I've been been making and that stemmed the momentum a little bit", Woods said.

If Woods can keep his driver under control and manage to shoot under par on the back nine, it's possible. I said to my caddie a couple of holes before it was the most fun I'd ever had and then that happened. As the 42-year-old walked up the 17th fairway, eyeing an eagle putt, a fan scrambled up the cart path in a T-shirt screen-printed with dozens of images of Woods's head: looking every which direction, in the various phases of a smile, always affixed to shoulders clothed in red. I got to give it a rap up the hill, it's steep, I know that -- there wasn't a whole lot of grass over there on the right side of the green and I thought that I should have played it faster than what I was thinking.

In nearly 40 years as a sportswriter, I can't recall any organization doing as through a job supplying information as the PGA does for the fourth major.

Three weeks ago, Woods trailed the leaders by four strokes heading into the final round at Carnoustie, and found himself atop the leaderboard with eight holes to go before finishing in a tie for sixth.

"I wasn't working the right things", he said. "Not only supportive, but just so positive". They have been on -- they have been supportive of all of my playing partners and myself these first three rounds and it's been a pleasure to play in front of them, it really has.

"It's been such a hard thing I think for us to get our heads around because we have been removed from Jarrod and his family back in Australia and everything happening so suddenly last week and then this week".

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