If Austrian golfer Bernd Wiesberger can sustain the most stunning week of his career for one more day, he might continue a history of fairy-tale winners at the PGA Championship.
The unheralded 28-year-old from Vienna, twice a winner on the European Tour, matched Saturday`s low round with a shocking six-under par 65 to stand one stroke off the pace of top-ranked Rory McIlroy entering Sunday`s final round of the year`s last major tournament.
Wiesberger, ranked 70th in the world, had never cracked par at a major in his career until this week and only at last year`s British Open did he make the cut.
But Wiesberger opened with back-to-back 68s and stands on 12-under 201, good enough to play alongside three-time major winner McIlroy in Sunday`s final group.
"I`ve not been in contention in a major championship, so I don`t know how it`s going to turn out," Wiesberger said. "I`m just trying to enjoy as I did today. I was in a great situation and I felt quite calm. From now on, it`s just a bonus, really."
Markus Brier`s share of 12th at the 2007 British Open is the best major result for an Austrian, a distinction he might be about to lose.
But more than that, Wiesberger could follow a legacy of surprise champions offered up at the PGA.
Since the event went to stroke play in 1958, only three players with one or fewer made cuts in a major were as high on the leaderboard as Wiesberger -- eventual winners Shaun Micheel in 2003, Rich Beem in 2002 and John Daly in 1991.
"I`ve never played well in the Majors," Wiesberger said. "I`ve played well in the other bigger events in Europe and won a couple. It`s not the same, but you kind of get a feeling for what you have to do, how you have to handle yourself. It`s just on a different level. But things are still the same. You`re still out there with your caddie trying to do the best you can."
Wiesberger, who shared 64th at last year`s British Open in his only prior made cut at a major, won the 2012 Lyoness Open and Ballantine`s Championship. This year on the European Tour his best showings were runner-up efforts at the Malaysian Open and Lyoness Open.
"I know what I`m capable of doing," Wiesberger said. "I know if I drive the ball well and don`t get ahead of myself, I can play good golf. I was kind of surprised that I was really calm out on the first tee box. We had great crowds there. And hitting the first tee shot down the center obviously was a bit of a relief."
Wiesberger hopes his run might spark greater interest in golf in his homeland, and in watching his efforts.
"We have around a 100,000 golfers in the golf clubs, so I would reckon about 90,000 would be (watching) on the TV by now," he said. "At least I hope so."