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Go low: Kiawah playing to shortest yardage of week

Kiawah Island The Ocean Course sign
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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Amateur Lion Kim of South Korea walks across a green during a practice round prior to the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)  - 

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – One of the reasons for the improving scoring Saturday at the PGA Championship: The longest course in major-championship history is playing to its shortest yardage of the week.

Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is playing 217 yards shorter than Thursday’s opening round (now 7,451 yards), and features a drivable par-4 third hole, which will play only 317 yards for the third round.

Other highlights for Day 3: The par-3 eighth hole is playing its shortest distance of the week (174 yards, down from 204 yards in Round 1), and the par-5 11th may now be reachable in two, at 571 yards.

Already there has been a 68 posted by Jason Dufner, and Bo Van Pelt, Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker have good rounds going.

Temperatures are in the mid-80s Saturday, with a heat index in the upper-90s and only a 10-mph wind. (The wind is expected to increase, however, to about 17 mph, by 5 p.m.) On Friday, the breeze gusted to 35 mph and led to the highest-scoring day in PGA Championship history (78.10).

“There’s not near as much wind today as yesterday,” Dufner said after his round.

The final group of Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh tees off at 3 p.m. EDT.