Tiger Woods roars back into contention at USPGA Championship

Justin Thomas reacts to his shot from the fourth tee during the first round of the PGA Championship on Aug. 9.
Stuart Franklin  
Getty Images

That greatly shortens the golf course.

Woods, who changed his sweat-soaked shot after four holes, lost ground with a three-putt bogey on the fifth, but bounced back in style with birdies on the sixth and seventh. Koepka's mammoth size belies his touch, which leads to what we've gotten so far this week - a golfer who leads the field in driving distance but is also top 10 in putting.

The biggest buzz, as always, belonged to Woods.

Whether it's a byproduct of a personality that can at times come off as aloof, or his disinterest in the modern trappings of social media, in a game filled with stars Koepka is still searching for his place among the world-beater set. Three over par after two holes on Thursday, lest we forget, Tiger has fought back so hard and so well he now lies just three shots off the lead going into the final round. That includes a 4-foot miss after missing a 20-footer for eagle on No. 17.

In the third round, Finau made four birdies and three bogeys.

"It was kind of a shocker with how good everything was going for the first five holes, it was like I nearly felt like I couldn't do anything wrong", Finau said.

Woods, ranked 51st, won his most recent major title at the 2008 US Open and has not won any event since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational but showed solid form last month by leading on the back nine Sunday at last month's British Open.

Brooks Koepka had his rivals on the ropes but could not deliver a knockout punch and had his lead whittled to two strokes over Adam Scott after the third round at the PGA Championship on Saturday.

"To hole in one on a Saturday at a major was really special". Fowler overcame an early bogey with three birdies through 10 holes.

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"I've watched Tiger win 14 of these things hanging around a lot of the time, " Scott said. "They really get my attention".

The good news? There's still another round, and he's only four strokes off the lead. All of the other nuances of playing the year's final major have been washed away by downpours on Tuesday and Friday.

Woods was 3 over through seven holes of this championship, and he is 6 under over his next 18 holes and appeared to be gaining momentum.

The five-time major victor has also been on every U.S. Presidents Cup team dating to 1994.

"After this week I could just retire, it's been so incredible". Woodland is among the most powerful players in golf. Yeah, there's a lot of star power, and it should be.

A crowd of reporters laughed at Koepka's retelling, but it's clear this is one golfer who doesn't often find real or imagined slights amusing. "They were like, 'Did you see that, No. 1 player in the world was here.' It's like, yeah, OK". The 2005 victor of the event had made 21 straight cuts prior to that going back to 1995. "A few of us are trying to jump on that train and take advantage of it this afternoon". Woodland is among the most powerful players in golf. That marks four years now since his last major win.

Koepka normally cuts against that commonality.

Or not. We've seen this before, too. Koepka's sturdy frame seems ready to shoulder the load, but if he falters at all, it should be absolutely bananas at Bellerive with the 100th PGA Championship at stake.

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