• US PGA Championship, Round Three

Hitting a brick wall

ESPN staff
August 13, 2011
Ricke Fowler's putter let him down on the eighth hole © Getty Images

What They Said

David Toms rolling back the years and Rory McIlroy hitting a brick wall feature in Plays of the Day

Sand save
David Toms has fond memories of the Atlanta Athletic Club, having won the US PGA Championship a decade ago, and he made a rapid start on moving day. An eagle on 12 and birdie on 13 were followed with another at 14, although it did not appear likely when his approach found sand. It was one of those horrible 40-yard bunker shots. Well they're horrible to your club golfer, but like taking candy from a baby for Toms who threw the ball high in the air, allowing the ball to land softly before releasing and dropping gently into the cup.

One roll from an ace
Ian Poulter's season has been one of disappointment, aside from his win in the World Match Play, and his major quest never caught fire. But he came within about an inch and a half of a hole in one on 17. A pure strike had Poulter telling his ball to 'get down'. He may have come to regret those words as the ball pitched six feet shy of the hole and roll forward about five feet, 11 inches.

The mean 18 Luke Donald found water on 18 to card a double bogey and Phil Mickelson was another who found the closing hole too hot to handle. While Donald paid the price for trying to be too greedy with his approach, it was simply a lapse with the short stick from Mickelson. Stood over his approach at one-under, he played safe in a bid to protect his score. He did that by finding the middle of the green and lagged his putt to two feet. Inexplicably, he left the putt on the high side and was forced to accept a bogey.

Up and down stuff
Rickie Fowler made a surge up the leaderboard with a run of three birdies in his first five holes, but his chance was frittered away on the eighth when he hit a triple-bogey seven. The youngster is nothing if not exciting and he whipped up the crowd with a brilliant chip in from the rough on 12 for an eagle. But the round ended on a sour note as he carded a triple-bogey on 18.

Solid with the short stick
Francesco Molinari was a major mover on Saturday, helped by some brilliant putting. His play with the short still has not always been the best, but when it mattered he came up with some brilliant play - the highlight being a stunning birdie on 12. His approach into the green was not the best, leaving him hoping for a two-putter for a par. Despite needing a GPS signal to plot his way to the cup, he picked his line and sent the ball tacking into the cup.

A little help from the wall
Rory McIlroy struck what looked a fine tee shot on 17. He eyed it up and down as if it was good. Well it hit the wall at the front of the green. The ball bounced high in the air and player and crowd alike took a breath waiting to see where it would go. Would it be wet? Would it be miles through the back? No, it went 60 feet in the air before coming down and resting within ten feet of the cup. Praise goes to the cameraman who followed the flight throughout to give a spectacular view to armchair fans. It was a shame he missed the putt.

A watery grave
Jim Furyk has had a torrid season, having pocketed nearly $12 million the previous year, but he had the chance to set things straight by putting himself in contention mid-way through the third round. But a sloppy three-putt on the 15th set him on the back foot - but it was nothing compared to what happened on 18. He surprisingly took driver off the tee and found water. In a bid to dig himself out of a hole, he put himself a bigger one by slapping his third into the water. A chip and a putt showed his strength of character, but a six proved very costly.

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