Tiger Woods could be leading the PGA Championship, but he's not

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Tiger Woods in his Sunday red is creating some more major championship magic at Bellerive.

After birdieing five of his first eight holes and playing the front side in 31 strokes, Woods stalled on the back nine, failing to convert any birdie opportunities and squandering a attractive chance at the par-5 17th, where he three-putted for par.

Looking to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to win the US Open and US PGA in the same season, Koepka had raced to the turn in 30 and briefly enjoyed a five-shot lead at Bellerive Country Club.

Then he drilled his tee shot at the 10th right down the middle.

US-based Aussie Craig Hocknull is one over to sit +3 through 12 holes, while Cameron Smith is square through seven and four over, both chasing a projected even-par cut line.

But for all the buzz Woods generated on Saturday, the reality is that capturing a 15th major from four shots back of the front-running Brooks Koepka will require something special.

The 14-time major victor has suffered years of injuries but now, at the age of 42, looks to be heading back to form 11 years after his last taste of major success.

He is four strokes behind leader Brooks Koepka and in a tie for sixth.

"You're going to have to keep firing". "But I've got a shot going into tomorrow".

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"I made a couple of extra putts for par to keep the momentum going, and that's probably the difference between most of my golf generally over the last 12 months".

Three-time major victor Jordan Spieth, needing only the PGA to complete a career Grand Slam, opened birdie-birdie but took a double bogey at the par-3 sixth then followed that with three consecutive birdies.

Shane Lowry was one of a multitude of golfers up at the crack of dawn in St Louis to finish out his second round in the USPGA Championships.

"I played hard", Woods said. 17 was just, I left every putt short. Players try to downplay it, and I've downplayed it over the years myself because you're trying to downplay it yourself a little bit, but it's a pretty intense environment out there.

His 10-under-par 130 score matched the lowest halfway total in major championship history, and he enjoyed a one-shot halfway lead over Kevin Kisner, and a two-shot cushion over Koepka.

There were to be no more gains for Tiger, though, and a wild drive out of bounds at the par-five 16th resulted in the first of two successive bogeys that dropped him into a tie for fifth as Rory McIlroy charged to an emphatic victory.

Of course, the story of the tournament for Woods has been his play on the front nine over the first three days.

"I don't really feel from memory that I was ever really in contention on a Sunday at the PGA, although I've had some good results", Scott said. After his third straight birdie, at the eighth hole, that was it.