Kevin Kisner continued his strong run this week at Quail Hollow Club, taking a one-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship.
Kisner shot 1-over-par Saturday after a bogey on No. 18, resulting from his hitting the rough to the left of green on the final hole. Kisner, from Aiken, S.C., is 7-under for the first three rounds.
Houston’s Chris Stroud and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama share second at 6-under.
Stroud bogeyed his last two holes Saturday after tying Kisner for the lead. Matsuyama, who was tied with Kisner for the lead entering the third round, shot 2-over Saturday.
Kisner made a double-bogey on the No. 16 par 4. That negated the two birdies Kisner shot on holes 14 and 15.
Kisner has taken a particularly measured approach to Quail Hollow’s latest layout: He focuses on four holes – Nos. 7, 8, 14 and 15 – as prime birdie opportunities.
For the rest of the course, he considers par a victory. The rough at Quail Hollow is now a gnarly Bermuda grass, and Kisner is willing to give up some length to keep more shots on the fairway.
He stuck to that plan Saturday with pars on the course’s first six holes. Then, he shot birdie on No. 7, a par 5. Kisner bogeyed No. 12, but that was commonplace Saturday: Five of the six players in the third round’s final two groups couldn’t make par on that hole.
Stroud made four birdies in his first 14 holes, briefly tying Kisner for the lead before Kisner shot birdie on No. 14 to lead by a stroke.
Matsuyama, the third-ranked player in the world, had a spectacular round Friday, shooting 64 to rise up the leaderboard. He bogeyed immediately Saturday on No. 1, one of the holes that was remodeled by course designer Tom Fazio about a year ago. Quail Hollow used land previously for hole No. 2 to reshape hole No. 1, building a new second hole.
Matsuyama has won three tournaments this year, tied for most on the PGA Tour. He won last week at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. At 25, Matsuyama is still pursuing his first major.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell