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LIV rebel Herbies goes bananas as other Aussies falter to be within striking distance at PGA

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19th May, 2024
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Lucas Herbert has earned a fighter’s chance of snatching the Wanamaker Trophy after digging deep to stay in the PGA Championship title hunt in Kentucky.

As the challenges from his more-fancied countrymen stalled during a rollercoaster third round at Valhalla, Herbert ground out a three-under-par 68 to remain within striking distance of the leaders.

One of eight LIV Golf rebels surprisingly invited to play the season’s second major championship, Herbert mixed four birdies with his lone bogey of the day on the par-4 sixth hole when he was unable to save par from a greenside bunker.

He holed a series of clutch par putts down the stretch, including one at the last hole, to sign for a third-straight steely sub-70 round.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 18: Lucas Herbert of Australia plays a shot from a bunker on the first hole during the third round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 18, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Lucas Herbert plays a shot from a bunker. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Herbert is six shots behind American leaders Xander Schauffele (68) and 2020 champion Collin Morikawa (67).

Jason Day, the 2015 winner and 2016 runner-up, was the next best Australian in a tie for 29th at six under following a third-round 69.

 After starting with two bogeys, Day rallied with four birdies without any more blemishes but still looks too far back, nine shots behind, to mount a serious Sunday challenge.

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Cameron Smith and Min Woo Lee are a further stroke adrift after posting matching third-round 70s.

Schauffele and Morikawa share the PGA Championship third-round lead despite Shane Lowry making an epic charge in Louisville.

Schauffele, who held the solo lead after the first two rounds, birdied the final two holes at Valhalla Golf Club en route to a three-under-par 68 that left him at 15 under on the week and level with twice major winner Morikawa (67).

Six players are within two strokes of the leaders entering the final round, including Sahith Theegala, who made five back-nine birdies and sits alone in third place following a 67.

Former British Open winner Lowry, whose 62 matched the lowest score in major championship history, LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau (67) and Viktor Hovland (66) are sitting two shots back.

Schauffele, in search of his first major, was fresh off draining a 29-foot birdie putt at the 14th to open a two-shot cushion before encountering trouble at the par-four 15th where his second shot found the long rough, leading to a double-bogey.

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Moments later, Morikawa’s birdie putt from five feet at the same hole circled right around the cup before dropping in and giving him a one-shot lead.

But Schauffele refused to back down and went on to tap in for birdie at the par-four 17th after his brilliant approach shot from 141 yards settled two feet from the cup before he and Morikawa both birdied the last.

Englishman Justin Rose, who has recorded five consecutive top-15 finishes at the PGA Championship, also moved into the mix with five front-nine birdies en route to a 64 that left him three shots back of the leaders and in a share of seventh place with Robert MacIntyre (66).

Lucas Herbert (68) is the leading Australian six shots off the pace.

World No.1 Scheffler, who began the day at Valhalla three shots off the lead and having shot even par or better in each of his last 42 official rounds on the PGA Tour, fell back with a two-over-par 73 that left him eight shots adrift.

The reigning Masters champion, chasing a fifth win in six starts, was playing a day after being arrested on four counts, including second-degree assault of a police officer, after what he said called a “big misunderstanding” outside Valhalla.

© AAP

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