KIAWAH ISLAND – Finally, the final round is here and with something for everybody.
Saturday showers made for a full-bloom Sunday, a morning full of PGA Championship third-round drama. Contenders, pretenders, two CBS microphones lost to an apparent alligator attack and Tiger Woods limping out of prickly cactus scrub in the 15th hole rough.
Now the Ocean Course fun part.
It’s an afternoon worthy of prime-time, and might spill over if there’s a three-hole playoff.
The leaderboard has appeal to various continents, age groups and body types.
Young: Rory McIlroy, 23 and leading by three strokes at 7 under.
“I am treating this day like it’s a 27-hole tournament,” McIlroy said today after completing his third-round 67.
Old: Vijay Singh, 49, seeks to break Julius Boros’ record for Oldest Guy Ever to Win a Major Championship (Boros was 48 when he won the PGA in 1968).
New: Jimmy Walker, David Lynn and Jamie Donaldson seek a breakthrough coup.
Plump: It will be interesting to see how Carl Pettersson, who advocated a diet of beer and ice cream after winning the RBC Heritage in April, gets through the long day at Kiawah. He is lodged in second-place at 4 under.
Seeking history: Woods badly wants that 14th major.
“I battled. I gave myself a chance,” Tiger said this morning after scratching out an odd 74 to go 2 under and five shots back into the fourth round.
The cactus bite?
“Both legs,” Tiger said. “Left shoe and right shoe.”
Seeking redemption: Adam Scott, a heartbreaker who had his heart broken at the British Open.
Repeat candidate: 16 different winners in the last 16 majors, but how about going back-to-back at the PGA? Keegan Bradley got back to even by completing a third-round 71 this morning.
Re-introduction: Remember Trevor Immelman? He won the 2008 Masters but hasn’t had a top 10 finish in a major since.
Meanwhile, Steve Sticker spent the morning in the clubhouse or on the range, pondering 2 under.
Not in this crowd.
But today’s Kiawah Marathon has barely started.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff