We’re through Day 2 — well, technically through Day 1.75, thanks to a rain delay — at the PGA Championship, and here’s what we know: there are some big names at the top of the leaderboard, and some big names still out on the course. Let’s run down the specifics.
Gary Woodland really do this?
Admit it. You had no idea who Gary Woodland was coming into this tournament. That’s OK! Most folks didn’t. But all you need to know now is that he’s posted a 10-under score at the halfway mark of the PGA Championship, tying the 36-hole record, and he’s done everything he can to put himself in position to win one of these bad boys. They say you have to lose a major to win one, and Woodland hasn’t placed higher than T12 at any major, so it’s not like he’s playing with a lot of experience.
Who else can make a run?
Jordan Spieth grumbled about the easy course conditions after his round: “You just fire in and you get away with more, like you don’t have to be as precise. That’s frustrating in a major championship,” he said. The leaderboard has multiple major winners within close striking distance, including Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka. If Woodland wins this one, he’ll have earned it.
What impact will the rain have on the field?
A late-afternoon rain delay could cause havoc for anyone trying to catch the leaders, who got a very British Open-style favorable weather draw of late Thursday-early Friday. It’s not that the course is difficult, it’s just logic; when you end Thursday a couple strokes off the lead and start Friday needing to shoot a record-low score just to keep pace, well, that tends to thin the field. Play begins again at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday, and we won’t know how the course will play until then.
Who had the best round Friday?
Kevin Kisner was six-under through nine and appeared on his way to demolishing the major-championship scoring record of 62, which would have required only three birdies on the back nine, but he couldn’t close the deal and ended with “only” a 64.
Tiger Woods faring?
Not bad! Certainly much better than Thursday, when he went double bogey-bogey to start his first nine. Woods was three under through his first seven holes prior to the rain delay, making him three under overall, well ahead of the projected cut line of even. How the rain delay will impact Woods’ back overnight is anyone’s guess, but he certainly lost a lot of momentum that he’d built up over the first seven holes.
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