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Viktor Hovland sets up chance of glory at US PGA Championship

Viktor Hovland sets up chance of glory at US PGA Championship

Viktor Hovland will go into the final day of the 2023 US PGA Championship one shot off the lead after a hard-fought third round at Oak Hill Country Club.

Hovland 2005

A level-par 70 in rain-soaked conditions left the Norwegian five under par, behind only Brooks Koepka, with a fascinating Sunday in prospect as the pair play in the final group.

Fellow overnight leader Corey Conners stayed alongside Hovland at five under while Scottie Scheffler dropped back to two under, with Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy joining them among only seven players under par.

Hovland said: "Any chance you have to play in the final group in a Sunday on a major, that's pretty special.

"The mindset is just going to be, I play my own game, and obviously I want to win, but I am just going to play what I think is the right play on every single shot, and if I get beat, I get beat, but the plan is to not give it away.

"I don't think this is a course where you can kind of get too crazy. You have to, you know, play smart, play for middle of the greens and give yourself a lot of looks and hopefully get that putter hot."

Conners made serene progress throughout much of the day, with just a solitary birdie at the eighth breaking a run of uninterrupted pars through the first 14 holes.

Hovland dropped off the lead early in the day with consecutive bogeys after finding sand at the fourth and three-putting the fifth.

He responded well by escaping from the rough to birdie the eighth - coinciding with the removal of his rain gear to reveal the orange trousers that have been his trademark this week in honour of his alma mater, Oklahoma State University - and further birdies at the 11th and 12th, the latter after a scorching backspin approach, took him back alongside the Canadian.

Conners finally got aggressive at the par-three 15th, sending his tee-shot just over the pin before holing the birdie putt, but found trouble in a fairway bunker on the next and needed a relief ruling after embedding his ball in the face of the hazard.

A double-bogey was the eventual outcome but he recovered to card two closing pars while Hovland bogeyed the last.


Meanwhile, Koepka came through the field with a second successive 66 featuring five birdies and a solitary bogey.

He went out in 34, picking up shots at the fourth and fifth before giving one back at the seventh, and three more birdies on the way home including a 47-foot putt at the 17th took him to the summit.

He said: "Felt like it was a bit more aggressive today. Especially in the back nine and putts started banging in the back of the hole, especially the one on 17 - that doesn't go in, that's probably six, eight feet by.

"But it's tough, man, with the rain."

Bryson DeChambeau was three under while Rose continued his calm progress through the tournament, a 69 meaning the Englishman has shot par or better in all three rounds despite the testing conditions.

He responded to an early bogey at the second with birdies at the fourth, seventh and eighth to turn in 33 and added another at the short 11th.

At four under he was briefly alongside Hovland and despite bogeys at the 13th and the difficult 17th, he will go into Sunday just four shots off the lead alongside Scheffler, the World Number Two keeping himself in contention despite four bogeys on his front nine.

McIlroy was one under after a second successive 69 and will play his final round with Michael Block, the PGA club professional from California who shot a third straight level-par round.

Tommy Fleetwood finished one over after a 68 bettered on the day by only Koepka.

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