Three-peat? 3 straight bogeys leave Koepka in neutral at PGA

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Brooks Koepka lines up a putt on the 13th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Bogey, bogey, bogey.

This was not what Brooks Koepka had in mind when he was thinking about three in a row at the PGA Championship.

Now, if he's going to become the first player to three-peat at the PGA since Walter Hagen did it in the 1920s, he'll have to win his first in come-from-behind fashion. It's all because of those three straight 5s he made — on the par-4 13th, 14th and 15th holes Saturday at chilly Harding Park.

“I thought I played a lot better than the score reflected,” Koepka said. “I made one bad swing.”

One bad swing and a couple of bad breaks led to the bogeys that undermined what was an otherwise solid day. He bounced back with a pair of birdies down the stretch to shoot 1-under 69 and finish at 7 under. He's in the same spot he was coming into the day — two shots out of the lead. But instead of tied for second, he's tied for fourth. And instead of chasing Li Haotong, he's trying to catch his workout buddy, 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, who shot 65.

“I've been in this position before and capitalized,” said Koepka, who overcame a one-shot deficit for his first major victory, the 2017 U.S. Open. “DJ's only won once. I'm playing good, so we'll see.”

Also in the group of 17 players within four shots of the lead are Justin Rose (6 under) and Jason Day (6 under), who have won one major apiece. Koepka has won four. Nobody else in that bunch has any.

“A lot of experience is what I can bring to it,” Koepka said.