Plate full of stars headlining at PGA


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Not much going on here at the PGA Championship, otherwise known as The Land of Red Numbers.

First of all, you've got a leaderboard with so much pedigree that it ought to be entered into the Westminster Dog Show. It's a golf calzone, filled with your 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy, along with Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen and Henrik Stenson all stuffed into the top 10. Yum.

And Adam Scott, Jim Furyk and Lee Westwood are lingering just outside that top 10.

If you're keeping track, that's four players in world-ranking single digits (No. 2 Scott, No. 4 Stenson, No. 8 Furyk and No. 9 Day) and four players with majors (Scott, Furyk, Mickelson and Oosthuizen) all within a half dozen shots of world No. 1 McIlroy. And Fowler (world No. 18) can't fall out of bed this year without landing on a top-five finish in a major. Now he'd like to actually win one.

Everybody is going low at Valhalla Golf Club. It's a negative integers convention. Of the 74 players who slogged through the Philippines-like humidity on Saturday, 46 of them shot below par 71. I'm pretty sure CBS's Jim Nantz carded a 67.

The PGA Championship is the fun major. Unlike the U.S. Open or the Open Championship, it doesn't want to hold your still-beating heart in front of you after ripping it from your chest. It wants to hear roars, not whimpers.

Everybody knows who McIlroy is. He's going for his third victory in a row, his second major in a row. He's a brand. His watch commercial has run 11,000 times during the telecasts.

Bernd Wiesberger is not a brand. He's an IPA you order at Octoberfest -- or so I heard someone say in the gallery.

I'm going to be honest with you: Wiesberger wasn't on my short list of possible winners this week. The Austrian wasn't on my long list. I'm not sure the Wiesberger family took him in their PGA Championship pool.

"I didn't really expect any of this coming into this week," Wiesberger said.

But that's the cool thing about golf and this major: It has a soft spot for unknowns ( John Daly, Mark Brooks, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel and Y.E. Yang) and weird endings.

Wiesberger is known, sort of, in the golf world (ranked a respectable 70th in the world) and in his hometown of Oberwart, Austria, but until this week he was a nonfactor in the biggies. He had made one cut in his previous five majors, including two PGA Championship MCs in 2013 and 2012. His best-ever major finish: T-64 at the 2013 Open Championship.

But here he is, fresh off a bogey-free 65 on Saturday. One day a semi-nobody, the next a contender for a major.

"Well, you know, I have it in me," he said. "I know I can perform on the big stage."

Eighteen holes separate the 28-year-old Wiesberger from a Wanamaker and instant fame. His two favorite players are Mickelson and Ernie Els. Win on Sunday and he joins them as major winners. Oberwart will be hopping.

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