Adam Scott's US PGA hopes faded in the third round. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Adam Scott's US PGA hopes faded in the third round. Picture: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Scott slumps as PGA becomes a Koepka procession

ADAM Scott believes Brooks Koepka is transforming golf at the major championship level after the big-hitting American secured the largest 54-hole lead in US PGA Championship history.

Australian Scott was among those left in defending PGA champion Koepka's wake on day three as he maintained his seven-shot cushion atop the leaderboard at New York's Bethpage Black course.

No player has ever relinquished a seven-shot lead after 54 holes at the majors - or even on the US PGA Tour - and Koepka seemingly has one hand on a fourth major trophy in less than two years.

The man himself had no doubt he'd go on to victory on Long Island.

"No," Koepka said when asked if he had any doubts. "I feel confident. I feel good." Scott was seemingly paralysed on moving day.

He started Saturday seven adrift of Koepka, in a share of second, but finished nine behind after a lacklustre two-over par 72 dropped him to three under.

On a tough day of scoring, Koepka still salvaged an even-par 70 and, at 12 under, leads by seven from world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (69), Luke List (69), Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond (67) and Harold Varner (67).

Koepka has made a mockery of Bethpage Black's reputation as a brute test, bludgeoning the course with raw power and pinpoint accuracy.

Brooks Koepka blasts an iron shot. AP/Martin Dokoupil
Brooks Koepka blasts an iron shot. AP/Martin Dokoupil

He has averaged 304 yards in driving distance while hitting 61 per cent of fairways. The Florida native also leads the field in greens in regulation, finding 80 per cent with approach shots.

The burly Koepka is gunning for his fourth major victory in less than two years, having won last year's PGA Championship and the past two US Opens.

Scott said Koepka had moved the goalposts on what was required at majors. "Driving it in the fairway, at his length, for a whole week is a huge advantage," Scott said.

"If he can be that driving machine, then maybe he is pushing the boundaries to another level for what has to happen (at majors). No one can keep up."

Koepka has only won twice in the US outside the majors.

Jason Day is 14 shots off the pace. Picture: Kevin C Cox/Getty
Jason Day is 14 shots off the pace. Picture: Kevin C Cox/Getty

The 29-year-old has figured out how to treat golf's four biggest events like any others, and is already assured of a Hall of Fame career.

"I don't need a sports psychologist. I know what I'm doing," Koepka said.

"It's simpler than what guys think. (They) make the mistake of trying to figure out what's different at a major.

"It's just about focus, grinding it out and sucking it up."

Jason Day, the 2015 PGA Champion, shot 69 and was next best of the Australians at two over. Day's countrymen Cameron Smith (74) and Lucas Herbert (73) are at seven over.

US PGA LEADERBOARD

198: Brooks Koepka (USA) 63 65 70

205: Luke List (USA) 68 68 69, Harold Varner III (USA) 71 67 67, Dustin Johnson (USA) 69 67 69, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 70 68 67

206: Matt Wallace (ENG) 69 67 70, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70 68 68

207: Adam Scott (AUS) 71 64 72, Jordan Spieth (USA) 69 66 72, Patrick Cantlay (USA) 69 70 68, Xander Schauffele (USA) 70 69 68

208: Kang Sunghoon (KOR) 68 70 70, Erik van Rooyen (RSA) 70 68 70

209: Rickie Fowler (USA) 69 69 71, Danny Lee (NZL) 64 74 71

210: Lucas Glover (USA) 72 69 69, Danny Willett (ENG) 71 70 69, Justin Rose (ENG) 70 67 73, Chez Reavie (USA) 68 71 71, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 71 69 70, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 67 71 72

211: Jimmy Walker (USA) 70 70 71, Scott Piercy (USA) 72 67 72, Sam Burns (USA) 70 72 69, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 70 68 73

212: Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 71 69 72, Li Haotong (CHN) 73 69 70, Charles Howell III (USA) 72 67 73, Aaron Wise (USA) 70 71 71, Abraham Ancer (MEX) 73 70 69, Adam Long (USA) 73 70 69, Adam Hadwin (CAN) 72 70 70, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 76 68 68, Shane Lowry (IRL) 75 69 68, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72 71 69, Jason Day (AUS) 69 74 69, Matt Kuchar (USA) 70 70 72, Tony Finau (USA) 70 73 69

News Corp Australia


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