Anirban Lahiri’s woes with his putter continued as he slipped from T-43rd to T-68th at the end of the third day of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow on Saturday.
Lahiri shot five-over 76 and his total went to eight-over 221. Now only things left for him on Sunday is to try and gain some confidence for the coming weeks, including the FedExCup play-offs.
At the top, Kevin Kisner (72) stayed ahead but only just by a shot over Hideki Matsuyama (73), whose own game seemed to have left him for the day. Also tied-second was the World No 203, Chris Stroud (71), who got in only because he won last week.
Justin Thomas (69) and Louis Oosthuizen (71) were tied-fourth at five-under, while Grayson Murray (73) was sixth at 3-under.
Lahiri missed a bunch of putts and messed a couple of chips, but he did have a great day off the tees, from where he was very accurate. Lahiri said, “I would be putting things mildly if I said I was only disappointed. It was one of those days, when nothing went my way. And to think it happened on a day when I hit the ball of the tee so well. I think I hit it the best this season and it was on this day that putting and chipping let me down.”
Lahiri finished the day with three birdies, four bogeys and two double bogeys but what hurt even more was the small tap-ins that did not fall and the chips that were way below his own standards.
Once again, just as it was in the first two rounds, it was a shaky start. But this time it was worse with a double bogey and a bogey on first two holes. From there it was a fight to hang and in control the damage. He had a bogey and a birdie on sixth and seventh, as he turned in three-over. Birdies on 10th and 15th were neutralized by bogeys on 11th and 12th. On the 11th, a tap-in from less than three feet resulted in a bogey and on 12th, he went into the rough and got only to the fringe in three and ended with a second successive bogey.
The Green Mile, which was kinder to him on first two days, extracted a double as he missed a four-foot tap-in for bogey on the 16th.
The lead group, including co-leaders Kisner and Matsuyama, besides Jason Day (77) saw a lot of drama on the final stretch of three holes called the Green Mile.
Day starting the day at 6-under, even went to 7-under with a birdie, but by the time the front nine ended he was five-under. He parred 10th and 11th and over the next, his card had everything except a par. He doubled 12th, bogeyed 13th, birdied three in a row from 14th to 16th and then bogeyed 17th and then self-destructed with a quadruple bogey, where his shot selection came into question. He could have a got away with a bogey or worse a double but he went in for a shot that he expected to miss the tree and the bushes within hand-shaking distance. From four-under, he fell to even par in one single hole.
Kisner, too, had a roller-coaster final five holes. He birdied 14th and on 15th he had an eagle putt, which horse-shoed out but he did get a birdie and went into double figures at 10-under. At that stage he was two ahead of Chris Stroud (71) and four clear of Matsuyama.
But mental errors cost him a double bogey at the 16th, where he went into the water, and by the time he had the ball into the cup it was a double.
On 18th, Kisner hit into the hazard line on the creek; but he was lucky that the ball hit the stone bridge over the creek and bounced over, from where smartly took a bogey.
A group ahead Stroud, 8-under after 16, bogeyed 17th and 18th to fall to 6-under.
Matsuyama, who bogeyed 12th and 13th, missed a lot of putts but managed to keep pars for the last five holes to stay only one behind Kisner. That also gave him chance to become the first Japanese player to win a Major.
Graham Delaet (68) had a dramatic stretch from 13th to 16th, where birdied the 13th, had an eagle 2 on 14th and an eagle 3 on 15th and another birdie on 16th to be six-under for the four-hole stretch. He was tied-seventh.
Updated Date: Aug 13, 2017 12:05 PM