'You might not see me until next year' warns injured Rory McIlroy

PGA Championship- Round Three

While Aiken's own was able to reclaim a share of the top spot in a five-way tie on the back nine at Quail Hollow Club, Justin Thomas rose to the challenge to claim his first and golf's final major championship on the calendar.

Thomas' 8-foot birdie putt on the 10th green hung on the left lip for almost 10 seconds before dropping into the hole.

At one stage Thomas, Molinari, Matsuyama, Kisner and Chris Stroud were tied for the lead on the back nine.

Thomas started the round on five under but two bogeys in his opening three holes saw him slip to three shots behind leader Kisner, reports the BBC.

Thomas finished two shots ahead of fellow American Patrick Reed, Italy's Francesco Molinari and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who finished tied for second at six-under.

Matsuyama, looking to become the first Japanese player to win a major, got through the front nine in a one-under 34 to be seven under overall. His birdie on the 10th hole and chip shot on the 13th gave him a two-shot lead.

Playing in the penultimate group, 25-year-old Matsuyama and Thomas traded blows, and the lead, during a thrilling finish to the year's final major.

"Obviously you play to win and I had a great opportunity to win today, but I just knew no matter where my game was at on the first tee I just had to be patient", said Thomas, one of the United States' top young golfers at 24 years old.

Thomas' putt on the par-4 10th hole rolled up to the left side of the cup, hanging over the edge.

Thomas was positive from the get go, and even though there were times his aggression got him into trouble, his level head took over to keep his card well clear of any blow outs.

He had one blemish - a double bogey on the seventh hole - in an otherwise bogey-free round that included three birdies.

"I kind of acted like a child and threw a little tantrum, but then it went in and I didn't look so dumb".

It's a pity Jason Day hasn't the same mindset, piling on a quadruple bogey eight on the final hole yesterday which killed his chances of victory when he was well in the mix.

"I started coughing and I was like, am I really going to choke?" Kisner lipped out a six-foot par putt at 11 to fall back, his first miss inside seven feet all week after 53 such putts. "You might not see me until next year".

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