- Associated Press - Saturday, August 11, 2012

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - David Lynn had a feeling he’d have a good week, even if few others gave him a chance to make it this far in his first PGA Championship.

Lynn, a veteran with one career win on the European Tour, hadn’t played since finishing 36th at the Scottish Open four weeks ago. Now, he’s 1 under at The Ocean Course after a stellar 68 that left him five shots behind leaders Vijay Singh and Rory McIlroy in the rain-delayed third round of the year’s final major.

The 38-year-old Lynn found out last week he’d gotten an invite from the PGA of America to play. He’d been practicing well the past few weeks and thought maybe he’d have some surprises in store in his first career PGA. His round moved him up 26 spots into a tie for 11th and within sight of the leaders.

“My game has sort of turned a corner a few weeks ago,” said Lynn, who finished well ahead of the bad weather. “Practice has felt good. I feel like I’m hitting it well. Yeah, I came here this week thinking my game feels pretty good, so why not?”

Lynn turned pro in 1995 and struggled for several years before finally finding his footing on the European Tour. His best season as a pro came in 2004 when he won the KLM Open and finished a career-best 26th on the money list. He credited that victory to an 1891 “Queen’s Shilling” that his father gave him to use as a ball marker after he lost his longtime Wedgwood China marker a week earlier.

This season, Lynn’s had two fourth place finishes in 14 events and got an invite by the PGA of America last week to play on Kiawah Island.

Lynn’s been in contention many times during his 14 years on the European Tour. “But obviously it’s a different kettle of fish at the bigger events,” he said.

He’s enjoyed his tme on the island, staying at a villa near water filled with alligators. There’s one Lynn’s nicknamed “Big Dude.”

It would be a fitting nickname for 6-foot-3 Lynn if he could put together an even better round Sunday. Lynn just hopes to stay as relaxed as he was on Saturday. “I’d love to go out there and sort of feel that way tomorrow,” he said.


RYDER CUP HOPES: Maybe Padraig Harrington’s got a shot at the European Ryder Cup team after all.

Harrington, put on notice by captain Jose Maria Olazabal that he needed something special to happen to be selected to Europe’s team, had resigned himself to missing next month’s matches when he followed an opening-round 70 with a 76 on Friday at the PGA Championship.

But Harrington rebounded in the third round with a 69, moving five shots off the lead in the rain-suspended major. And Harrington knows something about contending at the PGA Championship.

Harrington shot back-to-back 66s on the weekend in 2008 to take the PGA title at Oakland Hills. It was his third major title in little more than a season’s worth of golf after winning the 2007 British Open and defending that title a month before his PGA win.

“Who knows what’s going to happen now,” Harrington said.

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