Three rounds are in the books at the 2019 PGA Championship. While Brooks Koepka still sits atop the leaderboard by seven strokes, let's take a look back at what happened Saturday from Bethpage Black.
Brooks Koepka recorded a third-round, even-par 70 today and leads the 2019 PGA Championship by seven shots over Jazz Janewattananond, Dustin Johnson, Luke List and Harold Varner III. Although his string of consecutive sub-par rounds in the PGA ended at seven, Koepka maintained the seven-shot advantage he entered play with on Saturday.
Koepka now owns the PGA Championship record for the largest 54-hole lead at seven strokes. Raymond Floyd (1969, ‘82) and Tom Watson (1978) held the previous mark at five.
BROOKS IS NOT DONE
With a 7-shot buffer in hand, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes shy of becoming just the second player in the PGA Championship's stroke-play era (1958-present) to win back-to-back PGA Championships. Tiger Woods won consecutive PGAs on two separate occasions: 2006/Medinah & 2007/Southern Hills; and 1999/Medinah & 2000/Valhalla.
NOTE: Five players won consecutive titles during the PGA's match-play era (1916-57): Denny Shute (1936 & '37), Leo Diegel (1928 & '29), Walter Hagen (1924, '25, '26 & '27), Gene Sarazen (1922 & '23) and James M. Barnes (1916 & '19, no Championships were played in 1917-18 due to WWI).
CHASING KOPEKA: Meet Jazz Janewattananond who's tied for second after Round 3
If Brooks Koepka lifts the Wanamaker Trophy tomorrow, he’d be the first player to be a current two-time defending champion in two of the four majors at the same time (2018 & '19 PGA, 2017 & '18 U.S. Open). Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.
NOT SINCE 1983
If Koepka hangs on for the victory, he would become the fifth PGA Champion to go wire-to-wire. Hal Sutton is the most recent — 36 years ago in 1983. Raymond Floyd (1982), Jack Nicklaus (1971) and Bobby Nichols (1964) also accomplished the feat.
In his four previous major championship appearances, Harold Varner III failed to post a sub-par scorecard in his 10 total rounds. A first round 1-over 71 extended the streak to 11, but Varner put a halt to this tally by posting a 3-under 67 in round two. Varner followed up with a second consecutive 67 in the third round and is in position to post his best finish in a major.
Xander Schauffele (T-8) is seeking his fourth top-10 finish in his past five major championship appearances. If he can seal the deal tomorrow, Schauffele will own top 10s in each of the four major championships in his young career.