KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Standing on the tee of the twelfth gap on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in Saturday’s third spherical of the 103rd PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka was 5 photographs behind chief Phil Mickelson.
Think Koepka was nervous?
Yeah, that will be a convincing no.
The large, unhealthy man fears nothing, sweats nothing and treats coping with ache in each his knees this week as principally no large deal.
He seemingly hasn’t even executed a double take seeing the numerous alligators lurking in the waters all through Pete Dye’s masterpiece by the ocean.
As for urgency, that’s actually not a phrase in his vocabulary. The native Floridian is aware of main championships are marathons to grind by way of as a substitute of sprints to high-step by way of. So a five-shot deficit? No biggie.
“I saw Phil was at 10 (under) and I was at 5, but just go about my business,” he mentioned. “I can’t control what he’s doing, I just need to play better. Simple.”
It’s that matter-of-fact method – united together with his monumental bodily abilities and supreme confidence – that has served Koepka effectively in the sport’s four largest tournaments. Come Sunday’s remaining spherical, he’ll be gunning for his fifth main for the reason that calendar turned to 2017 and his third PGA title in four years.
While Mickelson – who has shocked the golf world together with his star flip when few folks anticipated the 200-1 shot to have any likelihood – got here again to the sphere a bit, Koepka turned in a back-nine 34 and regardless of three-putting from simply off the inexperienced on the ultimate gap for bogey, signed for a 2-under-par 70.
At 6 beneath after rounds of 69-71-70, he’ll begin the ultimate 18 alongside Mickelson in the ultimate group, the 2 separated by one shot.
“At least I can see what Phil is doing and then I don’t have to turn back and look and see what he’s up to,” Koepka mentioned. “Looking forward to it. Got a chance, and everybody will be in front of me, so I know what I’ve got to do.”
One factor he is aware of he’s has obtained to do is putt higher.
“I left a lot out there. I’ve got a chance to win, so that’s all I wanted to do today is not give back any shots and be there tomorrow with a chance, and I’ve got that,” he mentioned. “But that was the worst putting performance I’ve ever had in my career. Can’t get much worse. I thought 70 was about the highest I could have shot.
“I’m right where I want to be, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Just be within three of the lead going into the back nine and you’ve got a chance.”
As for his knees that have been bandaged in the third spherical, he hasn’t had many issues. He’s toned again his exercises and mentioned the power in each knees, particularly his surgically repaired proper knee, has elevated. He hasn’t had any problem pushing off the knee when hitting driver, one thing that, whereas he didn’t worry it, was a little bit of a priority.
What isn’t a priority is the forecast for the ultimate spherical, which requires a totally completely different wind path than the gamers have seen all week. You guess it; wind doesn’t hassle him a lot, both.
“It doesn’t matter. Just got to go out and go play good golf,” he mentioned. “Doesn’t matter what direction the wind is going. The goal is still the same. Just need to putt better. Simple. If I strike it anything like I did the last three days, I’ll have a chance.
“It’s a tough golf course. I thought it definitely played easier for sure, but this golf course you can make one little mistake and it can be costly. That’s why it’s a major championship. I think this place is perfect for it, and it will be fun to watch.”