PGA Championship Round 3 grades

— -- When Rory McIlroy appeared on Saturday as though he was ready to come back to the field or lose a share of the lead, he made birdies. His three birdies over his last four holes should give him some momentum as he takes a 1-shot lead into the final round at Valhalla Golf Club.

How will the players in contention on my board answer the challenge to stop the seeming inevitability of McIlroy winning his second PGA Championship and second consecutive major?

Rickie Fowler is this year's Mr. Major with his three top-5 finishes in the three completed majors of 2014. If there were a board for players who bring their A-games to the majors, he and Jason Day would be at the top of the list.

These two young guns and an elder statesman, Phil Mickelson, have the best chance of the players on my board to stop McIlroy from further cementing his dominance. As this bunched leaderboard at Valhalla proves, there are many great players in the game.

Rory McIlroy    World Ranking: No. 1 | Scores: 66-67-67

When is he going to have his A-game in this tournament? He still has one more round to find perfection. In his 67 on Saturday, he finished his day with birdies on three of his last four holes to grab a 1-shot lead heading into Sunday. He now has 18 birdies and an eagle through 54 holes. In his best years, Tiger never put on the driving show that we've seen over the past few weeks from McIlroy.

Adam Scott    World Ranking: No. 2 | Scores: 71-69-66

Sergio Garcia    World Ranking: No. 3 | Scores: 70-72-66

A bogey at the par-4 16th hole was the only blemish in Garcia's 66 on Saturday that included six birdies. At 5-under for the championship, he is a long shot to win his first major this week, but another 66 can't hurt his chances.

Henrik Stenson    World Ranking: No. 4 | Scores: 66-71-67

Justin Rose    World Ranking: No. 5 | Scores: 70-72-67

Bubba Watson    World Ranking: No. 7 | Scores: 70-72-73

Jim Furyk    World Ranking: No. 8 | Scores: 66-68-72

Jason Day    World Ranking: No. 9 | Scores: 69-65-69

Day struggled on Saturday with his ballstriking, but he stayed patient enough to stay in the tournament through a gritty 2-under 69. In the final round, he can't have the errant drives that he had on Saturday if he wants to beat McIlroy.

Phil Mickelson    World Ranking: No. 13 | Scores: 69-67-67

Rickie Fowler    World Ranking: No. 18 | Scores: 69-66-67