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Oak Hill Notebook: Moving Day at the PGA

2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill

2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill

It was a stunning day at Oak Hill for the third round of the 2013 PGA Championship. Moving day saw 2nd round leader Jason Dufner and veteran Jim Furyk trade the lead most of the day. Furyk (-9) takes a 1 stroke lead into the final round over Dufner (-8) who will play together in the final group on Sunday. In close pursuit are two Swedes in Henrik Stenson (-7) and Jonas Blixt (-6) who are looking to deliver Sweden its first ever major champion. Also within striking distance are Steve Stricker and Adam Scott who both sit at -5.

Rory McIlroy tees with driver on the short par-4 14th at Oak Hill.

Rory McIlroy tees with driver on the short par-4 14th at Oak Hill. The 2012 PGA champ got himself back into the tournament with a 3rd round 67, that was highlighted by back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18.

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy had solid 3rd rounds and got themselves back into position to make one final charge and sit at -3 going into the final round.

Canadian David Hearn gets in some extra putting after an up-and-down 3rd round of 1-over 71.

Canadian David Hearn gets in some extra putting after an up-and-down 3rd round of 1-over 71. Hearn sits at +3 for the tournament and a T-38.

Brantford, Ontario’s David Hearn continued an up and down week. After a sizzling opening round 66, Hearn has had trouble making putts, despite excellent ball striking, and has followed up with rounds of 76 and 71.

Adam Scott (-5) was the last player off the range as he played in the final group with Jason Dufner.

Adam Scott (-5) was the last player off the range as he played in the final group with Jason Dufner.

Conditions changed at Oak Hill on Saturday as breezy, dry weather quickly dried dried out greens and firmed up the golf course. The leaders gave shots away at the beginning of the third round but soon adjusted to the new conditions.

Oak Hill has once again proven to be a worthy major championship host. Players continued to rave about the venerable course as they have throughout the week.

13th hole at Oak Hill created a stunning amphitheatre for the players and gallery

13th hole at Oak Hill created a stunning amphitheatre for the players and gallery

England's Paul Casey hits his approach to the par-5 13th

England’s Paul Casey hits his approach to the par-5 13th

13th hole at Oak Hill

13th hole at Oak Hill

Stunning conditions have been on display all week at Oak Hill Country Club as evidenced by the 8th green on Saturday.

Stunning conditions have been on display all week at Oak Hill Country Club as evidenced by the 8th green on Saturday.

Some final thoughts from the weekend at Oak Hill:

+ Will be interested to watch Furyk on Sunday. Can he shake the memory of Olympic and his US Open collapse last year? He seems to have a solid gameplan and is sticking with it. If he continues to execute the way he has so far he could very well collect a second major on sunday.

+ Jason Dufner seemed to hold up very well on Saturday and just sitting one shot back is a great place to be sitting for him. One wonders how much he has taken from his experience holding the lead at the 2011 PGA.

+ Always interesting to see professional athletes in person. In following their group on Sunday I was struck that both Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose are much bigger and taller than I’d expected. They are both big kids.

+ Tiger Woods looks just as miserable in person than he does on television.

+ Steve Stricker can really putt the golf ball. Always a joy to watch his consistent stroke.

+ Watch out for Jonas Blixt on Sunday. He’s playing with a ton of confidence right now and as we saw on Saturday sometimes you need a little luck to go your way as well. After his tee shot landed in a spectator’s pocket on 18, he got a great drop and hit this magnificent shot into 18 to set up a closing birdie:

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Jeff Lancaster

Jeff Lancaster is the Publisher of CanadianGolfer.com.

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