September 20, 2014

McIlroy leads PGA, Stricker in the hunt

Steve Stricker

Steve Stricker

World #1 Rory McIlroy fired a 4-under par 67 and takes a one shot lead to the third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

The 25-year-old McIlroy is trying to win his third straight tournament.  He takes a one-stroke lead over Australian Jason Day and Jim Furyk into the third round and is two shots in front of Rickie Fowler, Ryan Palmer and Mikko Ilonen of Finland.

McIlroy said his goal for the weekend is to try to put as much distance between him and his pursuers as he possibly could.

It’s a crowded field though.  Fifteen players are within four shots of the lead, including 2005 PGA champion Phil Mickelson, who climbed into a tie for seventh with a 67.  Madison’s Steve Stricker shot a 3-under par 68 who stands with Mickelson at 5-under.

Day shot the low round of the day (65).  He’s looking for his first major victory.  Day’s tied for fourth at the U.S. Open in June.

Rickie Fowler is also looking for his first major victory.  He shot a 66.

Tiger Woods shot his second straight 74 and missed the cut.

Steve Stricker

Steve Stricker got off to a fast start on Friday, rolling in a 22-foot birdie putt on his first hole (No. 10) and followed that with birdie putts on No. 14, No. 15 and a 30-footer on No. 17.

Fellow Madison native Jerry Kelly made the cut to the weekend but struggled with a 3-over par 74.  He’s 1-under after two rounds, 8-shots off the lead.

Helminen misses cut

Menasha’s Ryan Helminen fell just short of his goal of making the cut at the PGA Championship.  After a 2-over-par 73 on Thursday, Helminen shot an even par 71 yesterday.  The cut line was at -1, as Helminen missed it by one shot.