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PGA Championship Notebook: Johnson misses chance to go head-to-head against Koepka in final round

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Dustin Johnson drives off the 11th tee during the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. [AP Photo/Seth Wenig]
Dustin Johnson drives off the 11th tee during the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. [AP Photo/Seth Wenig]

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — It would have made the perfect pairing: Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, close friends and workout buddies, ranked first and third in the world, in the final group of the fourth round of a major.

Didn't happen. And the way Koepka is playing, it might not matter if Johnson — or Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in their prime — was in the same twosome at the PGA Championship.

Johnson bogeyed the 18th hole Saturday to fall into a four-way tie for second place, seven shots behind defending champ Koepka. Johnson recognized how much lower his 1-under 69 could have been at Bethpage Black. He also knew he'd blown a chance to close the gap on Koepka, who shot even par after rounds of 63 and 65.

"I'm going to need some help from him, and then I'm going to have to play very, very well," Johnson said, bemoaning five bogeys that pretty much offset his six birdies. "I've played a lot of golf with him. I see a lot of myself, we both hit it long and straight. He's a really good player."

As is Johnson, of course. But when it comes to majors, Koepka is well ahead of his pal. Should he hold on this weekend, Koepka will own back-to-back wins in the U.S. Open and the PGA. Johnson's lone major victory came in the 2016 U.S. Open, though he's contended in a bunch of majors.

Johnson, owner of 20 PGA Tour victories and two on the European Tour, with wins in Saudi Arabia and Mexico this season, would be replaced by Koepka at No. 1 if Koekpa wins.

Glover again showing a liking for Bethpage Black

Majors at Bethpage Black seem to bring out the best in Lucas Glover.

The 39-year-old won the U.S. Open in 2009 by two shots on the Long Island public course and is playing on the weekend in the PGA Championship.

Glover shot his second straight 1-under 69 on Saturday and finished 54 holes at even par. Not bad for a guy who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after missing the cut at the U.S. Open at the start of last summer.

The hard part for many, Glover included, is remembering it's been 10 years since he won the national title.

"Somedays, it feels like yesterday and other times it feels like 20 years," Glover said after his third round. "I was back for The Barclays in '16 and here this week. It's always fun to be here and I got a lot of cheers, so it's nice."

Wire reports

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