It is no surprise that there has been a trending toward youth over the past few years on the PGA Tour. After Saturday’s third round at the PGA Championship, all on needs to do is take a look at the leaderboard for evidence to back this up. Five of the six who are leading at Whistling Straits are in their 20′s. But none of those five have ever won a major.
The one who finds himself all alone in first is Nick Watney. The 29-year old made the course look easy on Saturday as he shot a 6-under 66 to take a thee shot lead. He got off to a hot start and scored birdies on five of his first seven holes. Now, he looks to hold on to his lead and become the first of the top five in their 20′s to win a major.
“There’s some really good players that haven’t won a major,” Watney said. “And all the guys that have, at one point they hadn’t won, either. So you’ve got to start somewhere. And hopefully, tomorrow will be my day.”
The only time Watney had any problems on Saturday was at the end of his round on the 18th. He went from one patch of deep rough to another on the left side of the green. He managed to eke out a bogey that left him at 13-under for the tournament.
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy were paired together on Saturday and both shot a 67 which puts them in a tie for second. Now in a great position to get the win, Johnson must find away to avoid a collapse like he did at the U.S. Open where he had the lead, but fell apart on the second hole. He figures that experience can only help him this time around.
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“Any time you can be in that situation and know what to expect, you’ve definitely got a leg up on the other people,” Johnson said. “Because not everyone has been in that situation of being in the lead in a major. So I’m pretty confident. And I’ve been playing really well this week. I’m looking forward going into tomorrow.”
There are three tied for fourth who sit at 9-under and have legitimate shot of getting a win on Sunday. They include Jason Day, Wenchong Liang, and Martin Kaymer. Tiger Woods finds himself 10 shots behind after shooting a 72 on Saturday. The Ryder Cup is at stake for Woods and he will probably need to finish at least in seventh place to land a spot.
“I just want to play a good round and see where that puts me,” Woods said.
Watney will enter the final round as the favorite to win the 2010 PGA Championship according to PGA sportsbooks with odds set a 11/8. McIlroy has his set at 11/4 while Johnson is at 9/2. Kaymer is the most highly favored of those in the fourth place tie with his odds at 10/1.