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Jason Day holds two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth at PGA Championship

Jason Day holds two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth at PGA Championship
Jason Day reacts to a birdie on the 17th green Saturday during the third round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. (Andrew Redington / Getty Images)

In an instant Saturday, Matt Jones became a man of the people at the PGA Championship.

After hooking his drive on No. 9 at Whistling Straits into a hospitality area, Jones charged through the gallery to discover the ball resting on blue carpet near bar stools.

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"This never happened to Ben Hogan," David Feherty commented during the coverage on CBS.

Jones hit the ball off the mat and high-fived spectators on his way to the green.

However, Jones was trumped by fellow Australian Jason Day, who has the lead in the the tournament at 15 under after firing a six-under-par 66 in the third round.

Day, in turn, nearly got trumped by Jordan Spieth, who birdied six of his last eight holes to get within two shots of Day's lead.

Spieth can join Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only men to win three professional majors in a year.

Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open, is 50 under in the four majors this year but was merely one under Saturday until sinking a 16-foot putt on No. 12.

"That one was nice," Spieth said. "And then we're off to the races. The holes started to look bigger. A lot of times it just takes one to go for me to really find that extra confidence, that extra little pop in my stroke."

This is the third consecutive major with Day having at least a share of the lead heading into Sunday.

"I saw Jason [get to] at 16 under and I said, 'You've got to be kidding me,' " Spieth said. "When is he going to slow down?"

Day did need two swipes to escape a bunker left of the 15th green but eagled the 11th with a 374-yard drive and 160-yard approach shot to 13 feet. He birdied 17 with a curling 27-foot putt, pumping his fist in delight.

Day has six top-five finishes in majors since 2011, including a tie for fourth at the British Open last month. He left a putt inches short on the 72nd green that would have landed him in a playoff.

In June, he finished tied for ninth at the U.S. Open despite suffering from vertigo. He told a confidante it felt like "the worst hangover you've ever had — times 10."

Said Day: "I'm willing to put my body on the line to get a taste of that greatness."

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Saturday's conditions at Whistling Straits led to outstanding scores, as gentles breezes off Lake Michigan, combined with greens that Phil Mickelson described as "pristine, beautiful, large and receptive," produced a festival of birdies.

The Branden Grace-Martin Kaymer pairing combined for 15 under and surged into the top five, joining Justin Rose (12 under).

Like so many fellow competitors, Kaymer raved about Whistling Straits.

"It's such an interesting golf course," said Kaymer, who won the 2010 PGA Championship on the course in a playoff. "If you don't hit the ball well, you can easily shoot 75 or 76. It's very tricky these days to build a golf course that's exciting for four to 4 1/2 hours. It's very fun to play and a beautiful spot. It's the best course in America that I've played."

No one complained about the storm that tore through the property Friday afternoon, forcing 57 players into a 7 a.m. Saturday restart.

"I can't remember the last time I had a 4:50 alarm," Grace said. "That was a killer this morning. But it's all worth it now."

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