Odds and Ends From Saturday at the PGA Championship

Notes & observations from the third round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla


The third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla saw plenty of leaderboard movement and even more birdies made. The setup this week is very soft, which can be blamed slightly on the rain and weather and even more on the course itself, which just doesn’t have the ability to truly test the world’s best. (More on that below.)

The leaderboard, though, is certainly stacked, which should hopefully make for compelling competition on Sunday. Xander Schauffele has a real shot at his first major, as does Sahith Theegala. Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, and Shane Lowry are also all right there, respectively seeking another major win themselves. And Scottie Scheffler shot over par for the first time since last August.

Notable Performances

Xander was eaten up by the rough on 15, leading to a double. Other than that he was pretty much flawless, carding a 68 and putting himself once again in position to win a major.

Scottie Scheffler saw his streak of under-par rounds end with a 73, and generally looked like a man playing through the hangover of his wild Friday. In other words, he appeared human on the course for the first time in a long time.

Similar to Schauffele, Collin Morikawa had just one blemish on the scorecard, a bogey at No. 2. He made five birdies after that and will play in the final group as he seeks his third major win.

Playing in the final threesome, Sahith Theegala seemed poised to shrink back on Saturday, going out in 36. He came home in 31, however, good for solo third heading to the final round.

Bryson chipped in for eagle on 18, shooting 67 to move to -13 and ensure he goes out late tomorrow. Valhalla is his kind of course setup, and he could absolutely win this tournament.

Viktor Hovland shot a bogey-free 66, putting himself in great position to take a run at his first career major.

Jordan Spieth: just a guy who has quietly posted three rounds in the 60s at Valhalla and sits at nine-under par.

Justin Rose, sitting near the top of a major leaderboard after a round of 64, in this economy? Impressive work.

Feeding a bit off the home fans, Justin Thomas shot a 67 and has an outside chance tomorrow. He’ll need to do something crazy, but he’s certainly capable.

It wasn’t a bad round for Rory McIlroy, who shot a 68 to move to eight-under par. Rory birdied all three par 5s, but also had three bogeys on the card. Given this week’s setup and Rory’s form entering the event, he’s likely kicking himself for Friday’s disappointing 71.

At one point Tony Finau reeled off four straight birdies. Unfortunately for the Finau-heads out there, he also made four bogeys on the day, finishing with a two-under par 69 after briefly flirting with front-page contention.

When it comes to Valhalla, Brooks was there, but we certainly wouldn’t have known it on Saturday as he put up a very out-of-character 73.

Sahith Theegala, en route to holing out (CBS)

Saturday Notes

According to the mayor of Louisville, the police officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler on Friday morning either was not wearing a body camera or failed to turn it on during the incident. Consequently, no footage of the initial encounter between the officer and Scheffler exists. Cool cool.

This chip-in from Bryson DeChambeau on the 18th hole was highly impressive and entertaining, as was the ensuing celebration.

It’s a week of hole-outs at Valhalla, and while we’ve covered plenty of dunks already, we should also note the pleasure of a pitch-and-run shot executed to perfection. Cam Smith provided an excellent example today on 7.

Speaking of hole-outs, Patrick Reed provided one of the dunk variety.

Shane Lowry shot 29 on the front and didn’t have the honor until the ninth tee thanks to Justin Rose also going very low.

At some point this week, a spectator stripped down to retrieve a club for Adam Hadwin, which had somehow ended up in a pond. He didn’t have to swim far, so maybe Hadwin merely meant to slam it on the ground and saw it bounce into the water? It’s also hard to say when this was even captured. Either way, this is a golf story that ended up on the homepage of CNN.com.

The Golf Channel PR X account decided that today was the day to get in No Laying Up’s grill about criticism of Golf Channel’s failure to cover Scottie Scheffler’s arrest on air in a timely manner. Putting aside the merits of Golf Channel’s self-defense, this wasn’t a good idea!

Jim Nantz describing the origin story of “Hello, friends” is impossibly wholesome.

Shot of the Day

Sahith Theegala attempted to will his tee shot into the fairway on 15 with plenty of body English, something every weekend hack can probably identify with. He then proceeded to hole a ridiculous flop shot from the rough for birdie to (briefly) tie the lead at the PGA Championship, something with which every weekend hack is slightly less familiar. What a shot.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For more coverage of the PGA Championship, visit our PGA hub here.