We’re finally here. The final major championship Sunday of the year is upon us. And while it’s been something of a sleepy start to the week with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy well out of contention, we’re still set for an awesome finish. And it could be one that could perhaps have the biggest impact on international golf in decades.
With a few holes to go on Saturday, Kevin Kisner seemed set to possibly run away from the pack heading into Sunday’s final round at the 99th PGA Championship. But Quail Hollow’s famed three-hole difficult closing stretch named the Green Mile reeled the Georgia back into the rest of the back. Kisner, the world’s 25th-ranked player, will start Sunday in the final pairing with a one-shot lead alongside journeyman Chris Stroud. But it’s those just ahead of Kisner on the tee sheet and behind him on the leaderboard that will grab the day’s major attention.
Hideki Matsuyama will start the day one shot behind Kisner, and he’ll likely be your favorite to take home the title if you’re making bets on Sunday afternoon. The world’s number three player stands with a chance to take home Japan’s first ever major championship, an accomplishment that would have a massive impact on the golf-crazed nation that’s come up just short so many times over the past decade. Matsuyama isn’t the first Japanese golf star — Isao Aoki had enough near-misses to make the Hall of Fame, Shingo Katayama flirted with Masters and PGA wins, and Hideki’s the superstar Ryo Ishikawa was supposed to be just a few years ago. For a nation with an outsized share of golf heartbreak, a major breakthrough would be massive.
But that’s not the only big-name storyline.
Hideki will play alongside Justin Thomas, another young American star with plenty of game to win multiple major championships in his future. Just two behind Kisner, Thomas was in this position before earlier this year at the U.S. Open after his record-setting third round, and he’ll be looking to cast aside memories of a subpar finish at Erin Hills today. Major winner Louis Oosthuizen’s two behind and tied with Thomas as well. Rickie Fowler (-2) and Jason Day (E) might still be within striking distance to start the day, too.
Oh, and Patrick Reed might pick up his first major championship top-10! Glory’s last shot, indeed.
We’ll have updates throughout the day on the action below.
You can find a live leaderboard update at the PGA of America’s website.
2:00pm: Strap in! We’re here for our final major championship of the year. Hop in, grab some food, and let’s hope this thing finishes today. We’ve got a significant chance of storms toward the late afternoon and evening. Not great for 2:45 starting times!
If you’re just settling in for the broadcast, don’t worry: you’ve missed nothing. There’s been little in the way of vertical movement on the leaderboard. Dustin Johnson is the only player on the golf course or finished yet today to be at 4-under or better on Sunday — and only a small handful of players sit worse than 3-over for the day. Translation: There’s very little movement. No one’s taking it deep, but there’s little carnage. It’s a NASCAR race without any passing, which might tip the hand for a boring day here in Charlotte. Not good!
We’re flipping to CBS for coverage now, and the leaders get going in about a half an hour. You’ve still got time to go grab some food, or, like, do something outside.
How to watch Sunday
Tune in to TNT beginning at 11 a.m. ET. At 2 p.m., coverage moves over to CBS for the duration of the day. You can also watch the live stream from the PGA site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or go to CBSSports.com after 2 p.m.
Sunday tee times (for the leaders)
12:05 p.m. — Zach Johnson, Brian Harman
12:15 p.m. — Jordan L. Smith, Matt Kuchar
12:25 p.m. — Pat Perez, Richard Sterne
12:35 p.m. — Ben An, Billy Horschel
12:45 p.m. — James Hahn, Tony Finau
12:55 p.m. — Robert Streb, Chris Wood
1:05 p.m. — Satoshi Kodaira, Henrik Stenson
1:15 p.m. — Jason Day, J.B. Holmes
1:25 p.m. — Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey
1:45 p.m. — Sung Kang, Ryan Fox
1:55 p.m. — Francesco Molinari, Chez Reavie
2:05 p.m. — Gary Woodland, Scott Brown
2:15 p.m. — Graham DeLaet, Patrick Reed
2:25 p.m. — Louis Oosthuizen, Grayson Murray
2:35 p.m. — Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas
2:45 p.m. — Chris Stroud, Kevin Kisner
Some assorted other highlights from the week
Joost Luiten recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole Thursday, for the 40th ace at the PGA Championship since 1970.