CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Hideki Matsuyama bogeyed the first hole to slip one shot behind American Kevin Kisner after the overnight co-leaders finished their first hole of Saturday’s third round of the PGA Championship.
World number three Matsuyama, seeking to become the first Japanese male to win a major golf championship, came out of a greenside bunker to within five feet of the cup but needed two putts to get down.
Kisner, looking for his first major title, burned the right edge of the hole with a birdie attempt before tapping in for par.
Australian Jason Day, the 2015 champion, also in the final threesome, parred the first to remain six under par, two strokes behind Kisner.
Tied with Day was American Chris Stroud, who also parred his first.
Moving in the wrong direction was Italian Francesco Molinari, who double-bogeyed the opening hole and bogeyed the second to slide from five-under to two under par.
Also starting the day on five-under was South African Louis Oosthuizen who parred the first two holes, but seemed to hurt himself on a swing standing awkwardly against a tree on the second.
He was carrying on while being attended to by a physio as he walked down the fairway.
Birdies were available in the early going as Friday’s rain seemed to have taken some of the fire out of the course, though the greens remained devilishly fast.
Early starter J.B. Holmes posted seven birdies along with three bogeys as he registered a four-under 67 to stand one-over.
As the day wore on the ground firmed up, and the chance of late afternoon thundershowers was in the forecast.
Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and England’s Paul Casey, who began the round on three-under, all bogeyed the first hole to slip to six shots off the pace.
Jordan Spieth’s quest to complete the grand slam was almost certainly over, at least for 12 months.
Starting the day 11 shots adrift, he made three bogeys in his first seven holes and, despite a rebound, he was 12 strokes behind Kisner through 13 holes.