PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka's resurgence, an underdog story and more storylines from Round 3

·5 min read
Brooks Koepka has put himself in position to win his third PGA Championship title with a strong third round at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka has put himself in position to win his third PGA Championship title with a strong third round at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Major championships are where stars are made, legacies established and redemption is achieved.

The PGA Championship is bringing a little bit of everything for fans who braved a steady downpour at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York.

After Saturday's third round, the top of the leaderboard is chock-full of intrigue. Everything from Brooks Koepka surging to the lead to the No. 2 player in the world stumbling and a previously unheard of local club pro becoming a fan favorite.

Here are the best storylines to watch going into Sunday's final round.

Is Brooks Koepka back?

Koepka has never been shy about the extra emphasis he places on majors over other tournaments.

He won four of them between 2017-19, but multiple knee injuries, including one that required surgery in 2021, has held him back from contending in golf's biggest events for a few years.

Now that he's feeling healthy and as confident as ever, Koepka is back in familiar territory leading a major entering the last round.

After an opening round of 2-over 72, Koepka has responded with back-to-back 66s on Friday and Saturday to put him at 6-under and in the outright lead.

Koepka was in the same position last month at the Masters, but saw his 54-hole lead evaporate in the final round and had to settle for second.

Will he learn from his mistakes and finish off Sunday by hoisting his third Wanamaker Trophy?

"I promise I won't show up like [the Masters] tomorrow," he told CBS after Saturday's round. "I won't have that thought process. It'll be completely different and we'll see where it puts me."

Will Canada end its major drought? Will Norway get its first?

Two men chasing Koepka are international players looking to take their first major titles home: Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.

Conners, of Canada, led the field for most of the day until a bunker mishap on the 16th led to a double bogey. He and Hovland are both one shot behind Koepka.

Conners has plenty of support in town with Rochester only about 90 miles from the Canadian border and 214 miles from Conners' hometown of Listowel, Ontario.

Canadian fans will be watching closely as he tries to become just the second major champion from the country, joining 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir.

Hovland, meanwhile, could become the first Norwegian to win a major.

He already made history as the first player from Norway to win a PGA Tour event with his victory at the 2020 Puerto Rico Open. He's since won two more PGA events.

Hovland has been a rising star for a few years and it wouldn't be much of a surprise to see him break through for the biggest win of his career.

Scottie Scheffler's surprising stumble

No one was shocked to see Scheffler co-leading the PGA Championship after 36 holes.

He's the No. 2 player in the world and has been on an absolute tear, winning six PGA Tour titles, including the 2022 Masters, in the last 16 months.

But Saturday was not Scheffler's day. He bogeyed his first two holes and never recovered, finishing with a 75 to put him four shots back.

At four back, it's not as if he has no chance of a comeback win, but it was unusual to see one of the hottest golfers in the world completely out of rhythm all day.

Bryson DeChambeau out for his own redemption

DeChambeau was paired with Koepka in one of the more interesting Saturday groupings, and both players were apparently unfazed by both the weather and the boos.

DeChambeau finished the day exactly where he started, in fourth place and 3-under after his round of 70.

Simply being in contention is a big step forward for the 29-year-old who has dealt with his own injury and health issues after he famously bulked up a few years ago in an attempt to maximize his power off the tee.

Like Koepka, he left the PGA Tour to join the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf tour last year. It's been a struggle for DeChambeau in recent months, but he's lost a significant amount of weight and is looking closer to his old self.

After winning the 2020 U.S. Open, he'll be going for his second major title.

Don't forget about Rory

Bad weather doesn't seem to bother the Northern Irishman.

Rory McIlroy has won two PGA Championship titles, both amid brutal conditions, in 2012 at Kiawah Island in South Carolina and 2014 at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.

McIlroy said earlier this week he's been fighting an illness, but he managed to fire a 69 on Saturday to get him to 1-under, good for seventh place.

He's going for his fifth major title and first since 2014.

Block party

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the best feel-good story of the week: Michael Block.

The club pro from Southern California captured fan attention by playing surprisingly well in his first two rounds at Oak Hill.

Just making the cut is a big deal for a guy who typically spends his days instructing students at his local golf course. But firing three straight rounds of 70 and entering the final round tied for eighth place is just another level.

Fans cheered for him as loud as anyone and CBS actually talked to him mid-round Saturday. Block seems to be taking it all in stride and having a good time.

No club pro has ever finished higher than T11 in a PGA Championship. Block, who is tied for eighth, will go for history Sunday.