Day - US PGA victor in 2015 - started the day on six under putting him in the final group alongside Kisner and Matsuyama. He was two shots behind, along with Jason Day. Stroud has five holes to play on the front nine after five birdies and three bogeys left him at 5-under par, three behind the leaders.
That disappointment though was quickly erased, at least giving the 35-year-old a driver's-chance entering play on the final day at Quail Hollow Club on Sunday.
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama shot a 2-over-par 73 on Saturday and gave up his share of the overnight lead after the third round of the PGA Championship, but remains in contention toward claiming his first major golf title one shot off the pace. As did Paul Casey, whose two-under for the tournament turned into even-par. His second shot rolled down a small road near the 11th tee. Fowler was five under for the tournament heading into the 16th, but he finished bogey-double bogey-bogey to fall back to one under.
Day shot a six-over 77, virtually ending his chances of winning a second major this week.
Kisner, too, had a roller-coaster final five holes.
Els has been grouped with Matsuyama many times, but was still surprised when he watched his fellow competitor blow a drive over a fairway bunker guarding the left side of the slight dogleg at the 10th hole. It did not work.
Except for two swings and a cruel lip-out, Kisner could be in total command instead of clinging to the lead.
"I didn't even know what he made".
Kisner was not watching Day carefully because he had his own problems.
The birdie on 18th was a good feeling to carry into the second nine. When he finished, none of the other early starters on Friday were within five shots of the lead. "It was the worst lie I had seen all week, a downhill lie. The last kind of stinks because it sets me back there - 18 is just a ridiculously hard hole today". I probably didn't quite hit it as well off the tee as I did yesterday and wasn't putting myself in positions where I could go at a lot of pins. He credits a new attitude, in which he stopped pressuring himself for victories.
"The greens were a lot slower than what I expected, but they were firmer as they had dried up".
Hideki Matsuyama has broad shoulders but is not finding it easy to carry the weight of an entire nation as he seeks to become the first Japanese man to win a major. Last week, he won the prestigious WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a final-round 61.
"I'm disappointed with the day I played today".
The build-up to this year's event was heavily focussed on McIlroy and Spieth with the Northern Ireland player favourite at Quail Hollow - where he holds the course record - and the American bidding to beat that record held by compatriot Woods.