(Reuters) - Brooks Koepka’s seven-stroke lead has placed one of his hands on the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy but the group of players chasing him are not ready to concede just yet, especially if the wind continues to blow.
Koepka’s even par round on Saturday left him at 12-under, seven ahead of Dustin Johnson, Harold Varner III, Luke List, and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond.
List, who had earlier said the pack may be fighting for a second place finish on Sunday, however changed tack a little and said he was still not ready to concede just yet.
“I feel like if we don’t get up trying to win a championship tomorrow, then all of us have no chance,” List said. “So it’s out there. I mean, there’s been some low rounds this week.
“I don’t know what the wind is supposed to do tomorrow, but if you go out there and shoot five or six-under, you never know what (might) happen.
“That’s in my head. I can’t control what Brooks is doing. He’s been playing tremendous golf and I just hope that I have a good day and that he doesn’t have his best day.”
The wind was a factor in Saturday’s round in New York with several players commenting on the blustery conditions.
“It blew from every direction you can think of throughout the round,” said the world number one Johnson.
“It wasn’t like it was just a little breeze. It was blowing pretty hard and it definitely picked up in the last (hour) we were playing.”
List added that the back nine could be tough to negotiate on the already challenging course, if they end up playing into a head wind.
“I thought it was challenging, the whole back nine to have the wind, on 12, 13 — 11, 12, 13, and 14,” he said.
“When the wind is in your face on those holes, you have to be in the fairway and if you don’t, you scramble to make par. It was challenging to say the least.”
Varner III, who is 174th in the rankings and yet to win a PGA event, however, was not too worried about what conditions might be thrown at them on Sunday.
“According to my scorecard, they were awesome,” Varner III laughed when asked about the wind. “It’s a great opportunity. It’s going to be a great day no matter what happens.
“This is what you practice for, and obviously I’m super excited. Just need to go home and eat and do it again.”
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury