published Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Toms making a charge

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- David Toms became famous for laying up on the 18th hole at the Atlanta Athletic Club only to make par and win the 2001 PGA Championship.

He didn't lay up on Saturday.

The 44-year-old birdied the final hole to complete the best round of the day, a 5-under 65 which has him at 1 under for the tournament and seven shots behind leader Brendan Steele.

"Obviously it will take a great round tomorrow, but you never know," Toms said. "The goal of the day was to have a good round. I didn't know it would be a great round."

Toms eagled the par-5 12th, then followed with two birdies before adding one on the last hole.

It was almost as memorable as scoring a hole-in-one on No. 15 back in 2001, a memory that popped back into his head on Saturday.

"I walk up to 15 and there's a plaque standing right next to where we were teeing off and people were saying, 'Do it again,'" Toms said. "This place has a lot of good memories for sure."

Americans on top

International players have won the last six major championships and Phil Mickelson was the last American to win when he claimed the green jacket at the Masters in April 2010.

The top five -- and six of the top seven -- spots at the PGA Championship after three rounds all belong to golfers from the states.

Could one of them break the streak?

Rory's realization

Rory McIlroy came the realization Saturday afternoon that he wouldn't win a second major in 2011.

But he'd still like to accomplish something in what has essentially been a wasted week due to a busted wrist.

"I'm disappointed that I have not been able to play my best, but I'm optimistic," said McIlroy who sprained his wrist on a tree root on the third hole of the tournament. "I haven't shot under par all week, so I think it will be a good effort to go out and do that tomorrow."

McIlroy double-bogeyed his first hole on Saturday and finished at 4 over for the round which has him tied for 64th at 7 over.

"When my wrist hurt the most was on Thursday and I shot the best score," McIlroy joked. "Maybe I shouldn't have went and got it taped up."

Gilliland's goof

Council Fire director of golf Hunt Gilliland announced arrivals on the green during the first two days. As part of his duties as a PGA board of directors member, he was the starter for most of Saturday.

"I did pretty good," Gilliland said. "I only screwed up one name -- Charles Howell III. But I got it right the second time."

Tap-ins

Illinois coach Mike Small was the only club professional to make the cut and he is 4 over after an even-par round... Security ordered young fans to back away from a guard rail that almost tipped as they attempted to get signatures from Rickie Fowler who spent a good 10 minutes signing. ... Paul Casey shot 8 over as the first one off in the morning while playing with a marker...

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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