Thursday and Friday of a major championship week is a marathon for all involved. Just ask Haotong Li, who bookended said marathon with sprints, gassers and extra laps in the form of a long late-night, post second-round practice session on Friday at TPC Harding Park.
It’s impossible to forecast how the 25-year-old Li, who hails from China, will play on Saturday evening, when he will begin the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship with the solo lead. What we do know is that he’s taken the preparation for it very seriously, understandable given who is chasing him on the leader board.
Among the names breathing down Li’s neck include his playing partner Tommy Fleetwood (looking for his first major), Jason Day (looking for his second PGA Championship), Brooks Koepka (looking to three-peat), Daniel Berger (one of the hottest players in the world) and Justin Rose (looking for his second major title). That’s before even getting to the long-hitting Cameron Champ, who is sneakily sitting at five under, Paul Casey, who, at 43, only has so many major opportunities left, the scorching hot Brendon Todd, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and potential party-spoiler Mike Lorenzo-Vera. No wonder Li was grinding away well into the San Francisco evening. Saturday will be war.
While the leaders don’t go off until 5 p.m. ET, we’ll have all the coverage right here in our Day 3 live blog. There are still plenty of storylines to follow in the early groups, like whether or not Tiger Woods can make a move (Woods is off at 1 p.m. ET alongside Keith Mitchell). Other intriguing pairings to watch include Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (11:40 a.m. ET), Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter (12:30 p.m. ET), Rory McIlroy and Victor Perez (2:30 p.m. ET) and Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau (3:40 p.m. ET). Golf Digest editors will be here with you throughout Saturday’s coverage of the 2020 PGA Championship to keep you informed with what’s going on in San Fran.
12:25 p.m.: Spieth’s bunker shot at the par-5 fourth flies past the pin and into the heavy stuff. Birdie opportunity just turned into a touchy up-and-down for par.
Meanwhile Thomas, who reaches the green in two, makes a sensible lag from 50 feet for his birdie to go to two under through four. Through four holes Thomas is up four on Spieth.
12:01 p.m.: David Duval dropping some bombs on Jordan Spieth: “I believe he needs to let go of Cameron McCormick’s hand and start digging it out of the dirt himself.”
Spieth follows up a nice drive by sailing his approach into the cypress pines.
11:50 a.m.: Tiger Woods has arrived to the property. The cameras catch Woods changing shoes in the parking lot, a scene that will never not be cool.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have teed off, with Thomas taking par on the first and Spieth taking bogey.