The Latest: Low scores for the taking at PGA Championship
Aug. 10, 2018
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the PGA Championship, golf's final major of the year (all times local):
As expected, low scores are there for the taking in the second round of the PGA Championship.
Kevin Kisner and Brooks Koepka are each 6 under for their round, and first-round leader Gary Woodland is 3 under for the day and 9 under for the championship.
Andrew Landry bounced back from an opening 73 to string together five birdies in his first six holes Friday. Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott were among those 4 under for the day.
Bellerive was playing shorter Friday than for the opening round. Throw in greens that players have figured out and still conditions and it's no surprise that guys are going low.
Kevin Kisner made six birdies and shot 29 on his opening nine of Friday's second round at the PGA Championship, moving him to the top of the leaderboard at 9 under for the tournament.
Now, the record-watching begins.
The only 62 in a major championship came from Branden Grace at the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale. The record relative to par is 9 under, most recently by Justin Thomas at least year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Hiroshi Iwata also had a 9-under round at the 2015 PGA at Whistling Straits.
Jordan Spieth's ball found the hazard to the right of the 17th hole. Twice.
Spieth had just made birdie at the par-3 16th when he faced his tee shot into the creek running along the next hole. The ball hung up in a bush and a marshal politely pointed it out to Spieth, who picked it up and then promptly chucked it into the water.
Spieth has struggled to keep any momentum going as he pursues the career grand slam. He fought for a 1-over 71 in the first round but had gotten it to 1 under before his struggles at the 17th.
Kevin Kisner has charged into the lead at the PGA Championship, the straight-as-an-arrow Georgian making four birdies in his first six holes to reach 7 under for the tournament.
There could be quite a few low scores Friday at Bellerive.
The course is playing shorter than it did in the opening round, including a driveable par-4 on the back nine. The greens are also rolling more quickly, and more to the players' liking, after they were a touch slow Thursday from rain early in the week.
Adam Scott and Matt Wallace each were 4 under through their first nine Friday.
The total purse for the PGA Championship has increased to $11 million, matching the Masters and The Players Championship for the second-biggest on the PGA Tour this year.
Only the U.S. Open at $12 million had more on the line.
The $500,000 bump from last year means the winner's share Sunday at Bellerive will be $1,980,000. Second is worth $1,880,000 and the rest of the top 24 are guaranteed six-figure paydays.
Even those failing to make Friday's 36-hole cut will walk away with $3,100.
Dustin Johnson has been dodging trouble all morning at the PGA Championship.
The world's top-ranked player opened his second round by driving so far right that he needed to take a penalty drop, but hit his approach shot from 208 yards close and managed to salvage par.
Two holes later, Johnson drove into a fairway bunker but got up-and-down from 86 yards for par.
Those wayward tee shots caught up to him at the par-4 15th, his sixth hole, when he drove it into the thick rough. Johnson could only hack his way out and wound up making bogey.
Another poor tee shot the following hole had him in more trouble.
Satoshi Kodaira delivered the first eagle of the PGA Championship when he put his drive at the short, par-4 11th within 5 feet of the hole and rolled in his putt.
The hole could see a couple more eagles during the second round, too.
It was the fourth-easiest hole in the opening round when it played 362 yards, but playing from a forward tee Friday makes it a reachable 298 yards — and a tantalizing risk-reward opportunity.
Kodaira was rewarded for his perfect drive with an eagle. But a wayward tee shot by someone going for the green could end up in the water guarding the right front.
Gary Woodland was one putt away from tying the 18-hole record at the PGA Championship. He missed the birdie and signed for a 6-under 64.
That gives him a one-shot lead going into the second round, and not much else.
Woodland had the lead for the first time after any round in a major, but the top 15 players were separated by a mere three shots.
Woodland is among those playing Friday morning.
That group includes Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Johnson made two late bogeys for a 67. Spieth needs to win the PGA to complete a career Grand Slam.
The first step for Spieth is making it to the weekend. He opened with 71. It's the third straight major he failed to break par in the first round.