Johnson finishes strong, set for FedEx playoffs

AP
Published 1:26 p.m. ET Aug. 13, 2017 | Updated 3:01 p.m. ET Aug. 13, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on final round of the PGA Championship (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Dustin Johnson, the world’s top-ranked player, finished strong at the PGA Championship with a 4-under 67 in the final round. He finished the tournament at even par.

Johnson made seven birdies on the day and shot 32 on the front nine. The key for Johnson was making some of the shorter putts that he had been missing all week at Quail Hollow.

Johnson says his back is still a little tight, but he’s not in any pain and plans to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs that start in two weeks as well as the President’s Cup.

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2:45 p.m.

Rory McIlroy finished the final round of the PGA Championship with a 3-under 68 and was not sure when he is going to play again.

McIlroy ended another season without a major by revealing he has felt spasms from a muscle in his upper back the last few weeks. He says he has been practicing more than usual the last few weeks to get ready for the PGA Championship.

Now, he’s not sure what he’s going to do.

McIlroy said he might be in the FedEx Cup playoffs that start in two weeks. Or he might not play until next year. He wants time off to make sure it is fully healed. McIlroy says the only tournament that really means anything to him is in April — the Masters, the only major he hasn’t won.

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2:15 p.m.

Hit fairway, win salad?

Chris Stroud says he prepared for the final round of the PGA Championship by watching one of his favorite movies, “Bull Durham,” about a baseball team whose stadium had a wooden bull that snorted and a the sign that read, “Hit bull, win steak.”

Stroud, the last player to qualify, was in the final pairing Sunday with leader Kevin Kisner and began the round one stroke back.

Stroud said before his round that he watched “Bull Durham” on Sunday morning. A day earlier, he paraphrased a line from the movie when describing how he didn’t want to tinker with a hot streak.

The Durham Bulls, the real minor-league team portrayed in the movie, noticed and tweeted one of the cliche-packed lines delivered by Tim Robbins’ character, “Nuke” LaLoosh, “I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.”

No word on whether Stroud also would try to breathe through his eyelids, as LaLoosh was instructed.

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1:45 p.m.

Jason Day has made up one of the strokes he gave away during his confounding quadruple bogey.

Day began his final round of the PGA Championship on Sunday with a birdie on the par-4 first hole. He holed out a 45-foot escape from a greenside bunker.

The birdie moved him to 1 under for the tournament, six strokes behind leader Kevin Kisner.

The world’s former No. 1 player ended his round Saturday with an eight on the par-4 18th after a risky hook shot from behind a tree wound up in a flower bed.

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1:15 p.m.

It’s becoming clear that No. 15 at Quail Hollow is going to be a pivotal swing hole coming down the stretch in the final round of the PGA Championship.

Players are destroying the par 5 so far today.

Of the 23 players who have played the hole, there have been two eagles, 15 birdies, five pars and only one bogey. The scoring average is 4.21.

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12:40 p.m.

Kevin Kisner sets out to try to claim his first major at the PGA Championship on a Quail Hollow course that appears to be set up for scoring.

Kisner had a one-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama and Chris Stroud, two players coming off victories last week. Matsuyama shot a 61 in the final round at Firestone for his second World Golf Championship title. Stroud won the Barracuda Championship for his first PGA Tour victory in 290 tries.

In early action Sunday, K.T. Kim has recorded two eagles. Dustin Johnson, whose year most likely will end without a major, was already 4 under through 11 holes. Jordan Spieth, who will have to wait until next year to try to complete the career Grand Slam, opened with six consecutive pars.

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