Day 4 at Oak Hill
Keep that card
Rory McIlroy is happy with his golf game after the PGA Championship, and one unfortunate shot won’t change that. The defending champion tied for eighth, seven strokes behind the winner, by far his best showing at a major this year. In a season without any titles, he gave himself an outside shot at victory with two late birdies Saturday, but that chance passed with one swing of the club Sunday on the fifth hole. McIlroy’s second shot hit the green, but it trickled back down the slope and onto the rocks. In a hazard, McIlroy had to take a penalty drop, and things didn’t get any better from there. His fourth shot from 80 yards sailed over the green. His chip reached only the collar. His putt from 20 feet just missed, and when McIlroy tapped in, he had a triple-bogey 7 and had tumbled back to 1 under. “I hit a good shot,” he said. “I did exactly what I wanted to do, but it was in the exact wrong place. But everything else feels pretty good.” McIlroy finished with a 70 to close the tournament at 3 under.
Toss that card
Three weeks ago, Phil Mickelson was introduced as the “champion golfer of the year” after winning the British Open. On Sunday, he finished the PGA Championship with little fanfare after rallying for a 72 to finish at the bottom of the weekend pack. He played off any concern. “I didn’t play very well the last two weeks,” he said. “I’m not going to worry about it.” Mickelson was thrilling as always. During a six-hole stretch on the front nine, he had one par, one bogey, one double bogey, one triple bogey and two birdies. He played the back nine with two birdies and no bogeys.
“I put together four good rounds last week. Unfortunately, it wasn’t this week.” — Tiger Woods, who won the PGA Tour event at Bridgestone leading up to the PGA Championship.
PGA Championship moment
Brooks Koepka lives down the road from Woods, though the two don’t usually run into each other on the course. The 23-year-old American chose Europe’s Challenge Tour as his route to golf’s top levels. He earned promotion to the European Tour in June. With a special exemption from the PGA of America, he teed off in this week’s PGA Championship and made the cut at a major for the first time in three tries. And sure enough, Koepka wound up meeting Woods for the first time when they played together Sunday. Koepka shot a 77, Woods a 70. “I think everyone my age admired him growing up,” said Koepka, who went to Florida State. “He’s the reason I’m playing. It was a bunch of fun to play with him. Nice guy. Hell of a player.” New to the experience of the large crowds around Woods’ group, Koepka bogeyed three of his first four holes, then made a triple bogey on No. 5. “It’s hard, that first tee,” he said.
• Tim Clark had the only hole-in-one of the tournament. At the 11th on Sunday, he knocked it in from 220 yards with a hybrid.
• CBS Sports said its third-round coverage had an overnight rating of 3.0 with an 8 share, compared with a 2.3/5 for the round last year, when play at Kiawah Island was interrupted by rain.