LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Forget that gnarly rough. Dismiss those precious protectors of par.
After setting up the par-4 fourth at 374 and 362 yards for the first two rounds, the PGA of America shortened it to 292 yards for Saturday's third round at the Valhalla Golf Club.
The fans loved the opportunity to see drives reach the green. So did the golfers.
"That hole is going to have a lot of fireworks," Kentucky native Kenny Perry said after eagling it early.
In all, the hole yielded a 3.31 scoring average with seven eagles. One of those eagles came from Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, whose tee shot rolled right over the edge of the cup. Lee Westwood's drive settled within 3 feet for another eagle.
Oddly, Rory McIlroy unleashed his worst drive of his round on the hole, pulling it way left into a hazard. He took a penalty, dropped and drained an 11-footer for par.
Bogey: With an early birdie, Jim Furyk dropped to 9-under and appeared to have momentum. But he bogeyed two of the final four holes and carded his last birdie on the par-5 10th. "I'm just disappointed," Furyk said. "I was one back on Saturday and now I'm five back and have at least a dozen guys ahead of me. Realistically, this isn't a golf course where a guy my length can fire a low enough number (Sunday) to win."
Birdie: The PGA of America honored writer Bill Fields and photographer David Cannon for covering their 100th major championship. That's a lot of bad media meals. "Waterproof socks are a brilliant invention," Cannon cracked. "Trust me."
Bogey: Graeme McDowell. The Northern Irishman will have nightmares of Valhalla's signature island green on the 13th hole. McDowell shot even-par 71 Saturday despite a quadruple bogey on the hole. After a perfect drive, McDowell put his approach in the hazard, dropped — and did it again. "It's a weekend wrecker," McDowell said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun