Commentary

Gripping finish awaits Sunday at PGA

Updated: August 11, 2012, 11:23 PM ET
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- It isn't a leaderboard, it's a psychiatrist's couch, a second chance and, let's face it, a drama club.

This rain-soaked and wind-swept PGA Championship resumes Sunday after a weather system forced Glory's Last Shot to find an umbrella and a bath towel during the third round. But once the storylines dry off, we're going to have some fun.

There are all sorts of scenarios. There's the Tiger Woods Wins Scenario. But before that happens, we'll first need the Tiger Woods Quits Bogeying Holes Scenario. As good as Woods was Friday, when he shot 71 in the howling winds, he was the opposite during his seven holes of play Saturday.

Woods began the third round tied for the lead. Seven holes and a rain suspension later, he was 5 shots behind. This is a bit of a problem when you're trying to win your first major since 2008.

At some point, Woods is going to close out one of these things. He was in contention at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, but didn't win. So does he twist himself in mental knots, or does he have a breakthrough?

Anyway, Woods is still in it. Lots of guys are, which brings us to the Young Phenom Scenario and the Fijian Codger Scenario.

Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh return to the Ocean Course on Sunday morning tied for the lead at 6 under. Singh is 49 years old and has visors older than the 23-year-old McIlroy. But they do have one thing in common: majors. McIlroy has one, Singh three.

Fourteen months ago, McIlroy won the U.S. Open, was anointed The Next Great Thing and then basically did a majors belly flop. His critics have even questioned if he is -- wait for it -- too much in love (he dates tennis star Caroline Wozniacki). As if that's a bad thing.

McIlroy played Saturday like he was in love with the PGA's Wanamaker Trophy. He birdied his first two holes, three of his first five and five of his first eight. He even saved par after his tee shot on No. 3 somehow found a home in the hollow of a tree branch.

"I'm like, 'How can it be stuck in this thing?'" said McIlroy, who couldn't find the ball until a TV official told him where it was.

McIlroy pulled the ball from between the bark and the branch, took a drop and a penalty stroke and still managed to get up and down. If he wins this thing, they'll name the leafless tree after him.

"The way I'm looking at it, I'm going into the final day of the final major of the season tied for the lead," McIlroy said. "I mean, I can't ask for much more."

Neither can Singh, who was nobody's choice to win this championship. But apparently 49 is the new 29.

[+] EnlargeRory McIlroy
AP Photo/Evan VucciWith a little help from television cameras, Rory McIlroy was able to find his ball lodged inside a tree on the third hole at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course on Saturday.

Singh hasn't won a major since 2004, which just happened to be a PGA Championship. But he's allergic to beer bellies, works at his game like few other players on tour and finished T-9 in the last month's Open Championship and T-7 in the RBC Canadian Open a week later.

A victory would make him the oldest major winner in history. It would be a hellacious story, partly because of Singh's age and partly because he can hold a grudge.

There's also the Good Guy Wins Scenario in which Adam Scott leaves Kiawah Island with his first major championship.

Scott, who was a stroke back when play was suspended Saturday, could have/should have won the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. But that was before he suffered oxygen loss down the stretch.

Now comes a rare second chance. Scott handled last month's collapse with grace and dignity, so maybe golf gives him a mulligan? Plus, it's not like he's asking for favors. He shot a 4-under-par 32 in his opening nine Saturday.

I'd also have no objection to watching Padraig Harrington (1 under to start Sunday) make a run at this thing. Harrington apparently isn't on the European Ryder Cup short list, but that would change with a second PGA Championship title.

And you can never go wrong with Graeme McDowell (2 under) or, for the fun of it, Ian Poulter (2 under) or even Steve Stricker (2 under).

"I'm looking forward to it," said McDowell, who had to stop Saturday after 11 holes. "I got ready today, was feeling up for it and it's wide open. What's the lead, 6?"

For now it is. But that's before the mini-marathon starts early Sunday. That's before the drama club convenes.

Gene Wojciechowski | email

Columnist / College Football reporter