Saturday, 09 August 2014
Brooks Koepka  (Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)

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  • Marc Warren

So often referred to as Moving Day, the early stages of Saturday at the US PGA Championship certainly lived up to that moniker, as Brooks Koepka and Marc Warren shot five under par scores at Valhalla Golf Club.

It was not that long ago that Koepka was plying his trade on the European Challenge Tour, and a little over a year later he is amongst the elite in the game, and proving what a grounding on the second tier can do for a promising talent.

The third round was a mixed bag for the American, carding birdies and bogeys galore en route to a five under par 54 hole total, with nine gains and four dropped shots the makeup of an impressive third day.

It is clear he is now becoming comfortable in these kinds of surroundings, having played with Tiger Woods in the final round of this event 12 months ago, and he took advantage of the soft conditions early on Saturday to move up inside the top 20.

“I thought it was a little easier today, but just because it was soft,” said the 24 year old Floridian. “You could throw darts at the pin, they weren't spinning back or they weren't going to bounce forward.

“If you hit a good shot, controlled the spin, you were fine. Wherever they landed is pretty much where they stopped, which obviously made the fairways a little bigger just because of the rain, as you weren't going to run through.

“I don't know where I am right now, but I would assume it would be top 20, somewhere around 15th or 18th starting the day tomorrow. If it's better than that, I would be happy with it.

“I've just got to go fire another good one tomorrow and hopefully shoot seven or eight under to try to catch Rory, or whoever it may be.”

Warren finished on the same mark as the American, although he was a little steadier in his progress on Saturday thanks to seven birdies and just the two dropped shots, with three of his gains coming consecutively from the 16th to close out his round.

That will make lunch taste all the more sweeter for the Scot, who posted his best Major finish at this event last year, thanks to a 12th place finish. It was that result which earned him a return to the US PGA in 2014, and he has taken full advantage once again, as he looks to improve on what he achieved 12 months ago at Oak Hill.

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