The morning wave is out on The Ocean Course for the third round of the 2012 PGA Championship, and conditions appear to be much more favorable than they were during a brutal second round. The PGA also put the pins 12 paces from the edge after the dramatically high scores in the wind on Friday.
While it's still early, only six players are over par as the field tackles the front nine at Pete Dye's seaside classic. Luke Donald briefly held the low mark of the day, moving to 3-under in the third round. But a bogey at No. 11 dropped him back to a host of players who are at 2-under on Saturday. He's still eight shots back of the leaders at 4-over for the championship.
There are certainly plenty of birdie chances coming out of the gate. The scorecard of Thomas Bjorn exemplifies the gettable pin placements that the PGA of America set up. The veteran Dane started his round with four straight red numbers. Unfortunately for Bjorn, he also bogeyed four holes before making the turn after a front nine that remarkably did not include a par.
The conditions on Friday led to a bunching of the field, and with two rounds to play and the forecast calling for less wind, anyone can make a move up the leaderboard into contention. Louis Oosthuizen is trying to make that move and is 3-under through his first 10 holes. Oosthuizen was a trendy pick at the beginning of the week, coming off a solid showing in Akron and possessing one of the sweetest swings in the game. He has yet to make a bogey in the third round, but he now enters the teeth of the course, particularly at No. 13 and No. 14, where there's plenty of opportunities for a big number.
Justin Rose, another trendy pick at Kiawah, is also 3-under through his first seven holes. He is now just 1-over for the week and could be positioning himself for a late Sunday tee time.
The conditions on Kiawah can always promptly change, so it's important for the early tee times to try and post a number while the wind is relatively calm.
For a live leaderboard, visit Golf.com.