JASON Day survived a late double-bogey to seize a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the PGA Championship on Saturday.
The Australian carded a six-under par 66 at Whistling Straits, his 15-under total of 201 putting him two strokes in front of Masters and US Open winner Jordan Spieth.
The 22-year-old Texan - who could join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only men to win three Major titles in the same year - birdied six of his last eight holes in a seven-under 65 for 203.
"Just to try to get my name on the Wanamaker Trophy... that's the only history I'll be thinking of," said Spieth, who could also seize the No. 1 ranking from Rory McIlroy, who carded a 68 for a total of 210.
In contrast, Day is looking for a major breakthrough after finishing with at least a share of second in three Majors, with nine top-10 finishes in six years on the game's biggest stages.
An unusually yielding Straits course made for a chaotic leaderboard as player after player surged upwards on Saturday.
When the dust settled, South African Branden Grace had the lowest round of the day, a bogey-free 64 for a share of third on 204 alongside England's Justin Rose, who dropped into the tie with a bogey at No. 18 to cap a 68.
Germany's Martin Kaymer, trying to reprise his 2010 PGA Championship victory at Whistling Straits, the 7,501-yard course hugging the shore of Lake Michigan, fired seven birdies in a 65 for 205.
Matt Jones, the unheralded Australian who took a two-stroke lead into the third round, kept pace early. He salvaged a bogey after hitting into a hospitality suite at the ninth, but dropped four shots in three holes going bogey-bogey-double bogey at No.s 15, 16 and 17, en route to a 73 for 206.
He was joined on 10 under by American Tony Finau (69).
"I'm very pleased with how I'm putting," Day said. "There were some mistakes here and there, but overall I hit a lot of good quality iron shots, hit a lot of great drives out there, drove the ball really well."
Spieth was slow to join the day's birdie blitz, following his opening birdie with nine straight pars before lighting up the back nine with two bursts of three birdies - from No.s 11 through 13 and from No.s 16 through 18.
After missing a putt at No. 10, Spieth said he told himself "it's now or never".
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