2024 PGA Championship - Round Three
Credit: Getty Images

Six men, all bunched within two shots of each other. Three of those men are major champions, three are searching for their first.

The final round of the PGA Championship has all the makings of another epic Sunday at Valhalla, a storied club that has delivered drama each of the previous three times its hosted the strongest field in golf.

At the top are Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele, who shot 67 and 68 respectively Saturday and are tied at 15 under par. Morikawa is the 2020 PGA Champion and 2021 Open Championship winner. Schauffele is the reigning Olympic gold medalist but has not yet captured a major championship. He’s ranked No. 3 in the world.

Sahith Theegala is a shot behind and looking for his first major in only his ninth major appearance. Another shot back are major champions Shane Lowry and Bryson DeChambeau. Viktor Hovland, who tied for second place last year at the PGA at Oak Hill, is tied with them and still looking for his first major.

With Schauffele, Morikawa and Theegala grouped together, the 15th hole late Saturday changed the entire trajectory of the Championship and brought more players into the mix. Schauffele held a two-shot lead over Morikawa and a three-shot lead over Theegala. But Schauffele hit his approach over the back of the green and into nasty rough. He didn’t reach the green with his first chip, then chipped onto the green and two-putted for double bogey. When Theegala chipped in for birdie and Morikawa made his 6-footer for birdie there immediately was a three-shot swing and Morikawa held the lead.

More: 5 Interesting Stats From The Third Round Of The 2024 PGA Championship

Schauffele battled back to birdie the last two holes, Morikawa and Theegala made birdie on 18 and the bunched leaderboard was official.

“Second shot, 162 yards, wind was sort of swirling, it was into the wind,” Schauffele said of his approach shot that altered the Championship. “The flags were kind of showing down. I tried to hit like kind of a soft sort of low draw 9-iron. Got a little bit on top of it. Didn't feel like I was trying to hit it hard. I have no idea how it went that far to be completely honest.”

Said Morikawa: “I've just got to be focused on myself. Look, I've played against all these guys. It's not like any of these guys are new. They all have their accolades within themselves, and really anyone can go low. But I'm going to put everything I have. I learned a lot over this past month, over these past two years, over the past five years of being a pro, and we're going to really just – going to have a talk with myself.”

PGA Championship
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 18: Collin Morikawa and Sahith Theegala stand together on the 16th green during the third round of PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 18, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Credit: PGA TOUR

Theegala said earlier in the week that, although he was ranked 12th in the world, he thought there were considerably more than 11 other players in the world who are better than him. That debate can be saved for another day, but right now, the 26-year-old is playing as well as anyone. He was seemingly out of the championship after making bogey on Nos. 5 and 6 but made six birdies over the last 10 holes to shoot a second consecutive 67 and vault into contention again.

The trio two shots off the lead provided fireworks on Saturday to give themselves a chance to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday. Lowry had a putt for a major championship record 61 and settled for 62. He started the day eight shots back and now has a chance to win another major crown to go with his 2019 Claret Jug. DeChambeau already has a U.S. Open on his resume and chipped in for eagle on the 18th hole to shoot 67 and sneak closer to the top. And after spending most of the year searching, Hovland seems to have quickly found form that made him the best player in the world last fall. He shot 66 for the second straight day.

“I've got a good chance,” DeChambeau said. “I'm not executing to the level that I know I can, but playing well enough to give myself a chance, obviously.”

Hovland said: Obviously these are – this is one of the big four that we try to win. It's cool history, cool trophy. Everything about it is super special. It's a great field. You just want to be a part of having a name on that trophy.

“My life is going to be pretty good if I don't win tomorrow, and I'm going to have a few more chances after this, as well. All I'm going to do is just show up, do the best I can, and we'll see how it goes.”

With 18 holes remaining, we know one thing is for certain – that Valhalla will deliver. Which one of these men, or someone from further down the list, will do the same?

Check out the leaderboard from the 106th PGA Championship here

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