Defending champion Brooks Koepka has no doubts he will win the US PGA Championship after claiming a record seven-shot lead heading into the final round.
Back-to-back US PGA titles appear to be a foregone conclusion for record-setting Koepka, who earned the largest 54-hole lead in tournament history on Saturday.
Relentless in his pursuit of a fourth major trophy, two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Koepka carded an even-par 70 to improve to 12 under at Bethpage Black.
Asked if there were any doubts in his mind about retaining his crown in New York on Sunday, Koepka replied: “No.
“I feel confident. I feel good. I feel excited. I’m excited. I was excited just to get to the course today, and then try to build that lead, but didn’t happen. It’s a tough day. It would have been really hard to shoot four or five under. I don’t know if anybody did that today or not, but it was a difficult day, and any time the wind’s going to be blowing 15 at Bethpage Black, you’re in for a real test.
“I feel confident going into tomorrow. I don’t know what the forecast is. But if I can hit a few fairways, there’s really a couple key holes out here, you know, you play seven well, play 10 and 12 well, and then from there, you just hit the centre of the greens and try to par this place to death.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 18, 2019
The field has been powerless to stop Koepka, who is on track to become the first man to win back-to-back U.S. Open and US PGA titles.
World number one Dustin Johnson (69), Harold Varner III (67), Jazz Janewattananond (67) and Luke List (69) are Koepka’s nearest challengers ahead of the fourth round.
“I’m definitely not going to let up; I promise you that,” Koepka told reporters. “I’m just trying to hit the best possible shot I can at the time.
“I feel like when I’m over the shot, I’m very confident. I feel good about it, and if I’m not, I’m going to back off.
“Most of the time, I’m pretty anxious to hit while the guy’s ball’s in the air. I’ve got to wait on the crowd to calm down a little bit. I enjoy the confidence I have and what I’m playing with right now.”
Brooks Koepka has the largest 54-hole lead for in PGA Championship history.
Up by 7 going into Sunday’s final round. pic.twitter.com/6ZY8uvll8H
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 18, 2019
“I’d love to force it on the field and I can make it where it’s as big as a lead as I possibly can get,” Koepka said. “I mean, it would be nice to be able to make a 10 on the last hole and be okay. But I’m just playing to play good golf, and wherever that puts me, I’ll be satisfied if I just go play one more good round.”