The now 42-year old is a four-time PGA Championship victor having won the event in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.
But after the turn the 29-year-old American turned hotter than the weather and carded four more birdies to top the leaderboard, two shots clear of a chasing pack including Australian Jason Day, the 2015 PGA champion, and Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open victor.
"I had a lot of stretching". He looked as if he might be turning the corner at the British Open last month when he shot 65 on Saturday to surge into contention, but a birdie-less Sunday and final-round 76 dropped him to the wayside.
But he is yet to win a major - or a tournament in the United States. The last player to repeat was Tiger Woods 11 years ago.
Only three players are exempt from that - Patrick Reed, who won the Masters, Brooks Koepka, who won the U.S. Open and Francesco Molinari, who won the British Open last week. Inflammation where? "Everywhere", Woods said. I didn't really have those issues when I was early in my career because I didn't have a fixed point in my back.
The flamboyant American burst on to the golf scene as a 20-year-old, instantly identifiable by his fluorescent kit and becoming the darling of the young fan demographic the golf industry coveted. But Nantz says it's tough to predict who will win. "Trying to take pressure off yourself, trying to treat it like any normal week, just trying to win the golf tournament that week, sort of put it out of your head that what winning this golf tournament would mean in terms of your legacy and your place in the game".
'It doesn't make sense': Met Éireann rejects UK Met Office forecast
However, by the start of September, the weather pattern is expected to slow, resulting in "settled" conditions. Leeds has been sweltering in the summer sun for weeks now, with temperatures frequently pushing 30C.
"It's heart breaking; I've known Jarrod for a long time and my thoughts and prayers go out to (Lyle's wife) Briony and the two kids".
His beloved grandfather, Bob Julius, and most of his mother's side of the family was raised in the St. Louis area.
"A lot of careers are defined on major championships".
It would be even more fun to make history in front of them.
"I feel like I'm just showing up to catch Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, I wouldn't do that. It's going to be hot, it's going to be wet, and fortunately I'm one of the guys who hit the ball high and get the ball up in the air, and you just need to get the ball out there".
"And as the year has progressed, I've learned some of those things".
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