Dustin Johnson looks at his putt on the first green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Latest: Leaders off in PGA Championship's final round

August 12, 2018 - 1:57 pm

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship, golf's final major of the year (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

The leaders have teed off at the PGA Championship, where Brooks Koepka entered the final round with a two-shot lead over Adam Scott and some of golf's biggest names close behind.

Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods lipped out early birdie chances but are within sight of the lead, while Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Tyrrell Hatton have the hot rounds going to reach 8-under par.

Both of them are 5 under for their rounds.

Zach Johnson and Kevin Na are 4 under on their day. Jordan Spieth is 3 under, leaving him 7 under for the championship as he tries to complete the career grand slam.


1:35 p.m.

Justin Thomas is off to a good start as he tries to defend his PGA Championship.

The winner last weekend at Firestone, Thomas and playing partner Shane Lowry each birdied the par-4 first at Bellerive. That got Thomas to 9 under for the championship, three back of leader Brooks Koepka, with more birdie holes coming up.

The last player to win back-to-back PGAs was Tiger Woods in 2006 and '07.

Koepka is schedule to tee off with Adam Scott in the final group at 1:55 p.m.


1:15 p.m.

Webb Simpson has two early birdies to get to 8 under at the PGA Championship, and that should essentially lock up his spot on the Ryder Cup team if he hadn't done it already.

Simpson was in the eighth and final spot to guarantee being part of captain Jim Furyk's team next month in France. Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, who were right behind him, failed to make the cut this weekend at Bellerive.

One intriguing situation involves Bubba Watson, who was fifth in the standings. He shot 78 on Friday and missed the cut while Xander Schauffele, who was 11th in the standings, was 6 under and in contention for a top-10 finish heading into the final round Sunday.


12:30 p.m.

Get ready for some fun at the par-4 11th in the final round of the PGA Championship.

Kerry Haigh of the PGA moved the tees to the forward box on Sunday, which means it plays 298 yards and offers an enticing risk-reward chance. There is a hazard to the right and a pond guards the green, while a steep embankment packed with fans skirts the green to the left.

The early split of layups and guys going for the green off the tee was about 50-50.

Marc Leishman went for the green and plunked a fan. Tommy Fleetwood also sent fans scattering when he drove it left. So did Rory McIlroy in the next group.

"It's very accessible for every player in the field if they want to go for it," Haigh said. "It will obviously depend on if you're going after the leader or you're leading."


11:55 a.m.

Ben Kern is making the most of his first PGA Championship experience.

The lone club professional to make the cut this week among the 20 that tee it up, Kern is 1 under for his final round and 4 under for the championship. That means the former Kansas State star and the club pro at Diamondback Golf Club in Abilene, Texas, could be headed to a nice payday.

Or rather, another nice payday.

Just before coming to Bellerive, Kern shot 14 under to win the Texas State Open. His third-round 62 showed that he was hitting the ball well, as did the $42,500 winner's check he took him.

"I've gotten so much response and enthusiasm and texts, just a lot of support," Kern said. "It's been a lot of fun going through that and replying to that and seeing everybody."


11:25 a.m.

The first two groups are done with their final rounds at the PGA Championship, and yes, there are good scoring opportunities available.

Chris Stroud and Cameron Smith each teed off early and buzzed through Bellerive at 4-under 66.

Tournament officials placed the tee box on the par-4 11th hole way up, at 294 yards, to make it drivable. Hideki Matsuyama drove to 18 feet and made the putt for eagle. He's at 3 under on his round with four holes left.

The leaders tee off Sunday afternoon.

Tiger Woods will try to make up a four-shot lead on Brooks Koepka, who is trying to become the fifth player in history to win the U.S. Open and PGA in the same year.

Adam Scott starts the day two shots behind Koepka.


9:55 a.m.

The final round of the final major of the year is buzzing with possibilities.

Brooks Koepka has a two-shot lead at the PGA Championship as he tries to become only the fifth player in history to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year. Right behind is Adam Scott, who suddenly has a chance to turn his worst season into a great one.

Of the 11 players within four shots of the lead at Bellerive, the spotlight shines brightest on Tiger Woods. Coming off two straight rounds of 66, he is four shots behind with only five players in front of him.

Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm are in range of their first major.

Also at stake: It is the last day to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

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