Fowler, Woods and McIlroy make moves as US PGA resumes


Tiger Woods at Bellerive

Tiger Woods birdied his first hole on resumption and went on to finish on four under overall

Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all made gains as a rain-delayed second round concluded at the US PGA Championship on Saturday.

American Gary Woodland led after a four-under 66 helped him set a record 36-hole score at the tournament.

At 10 under, the American was one clear of Kevin Kisner, who carded a 64.

After resuming, Fowler joined Brooks Koepka in a share of third on eight under, while Woods, McIlroy and Shane Lowry all moved up the standings.

American Fowler, who is still searching for his first major, birdied the 11th and 17th, but a bogey on the par-three 13th meant he signed for 67 and will start the third round two shots off the lead.

Defending champion Justin Thomas is also in contention after moving to six under par with a second-round 65.

He watched playing partners McIlroy and Woods immediately birdie the par-five eighth on resumption, with the Northern Irishman picking up two further birdies to move to three under, seven shots off the lead.

Woods’ back nine was more mixed as he suffered bogeys on 10 and 12, but the 14-time major winner countered that with two further birdies after hitting four on the front nine for a 66, which took him to four under overall.

Ireland’s Lowry restarted on four under, but joined world number one Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Pieters on seven under after birdies on 12, 13 and 17 for a six-under 64.

The third round was due to begin about 30 minutes after the end of the second round on Saturday, with players going out in groups of three – instead of the traditional two – off the first and 10th tees.

Who else shone on Friday?

US Open champion Koepka and Schwartzel both missed putts on the last for 62s that would have equalled the lowest round in a major.

American Koepka moved to eight under for the tournament with seven birdies in his bogey-free 63, missing a 20-foot putt on the ninth that would have seen him match Branden Grace’s 62 set at the 2017 Open Championship.

South African Schwartzel, who holed eight birdies, is a shot behind after climbing 44 places up the leaderboard on Friday.

It is only the second time that two players have shot 63 on the same day at a major, after Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf at the 1980 US Open.

Johnson and Belgium’s Pieters are level with Schwartzel after carding 66s.

Woodland and Kisner jostle for clubhouse lead

Woodland, who has never finished inside the top 10 at a major in 27 previous attempts, led after the first round on six under and extended his advantage with a birdie on the 11th after starting on the back nine.

However, the 34-year-old American saw playing partner Kisner surge ahead in a blistering start.

Open Championship runner-up Kisner holed six birdies as he played his first nine holes in 29 shots to move into the lead on nine under, while Woodland avenged a bogey on the 14th with an eagle three on the par-five 17th.

That left Woodland a shot behind Kisner going into the front nine – where the pair continued to exchange the lead in a thrilling battle.

Successive birdies for Woodland on the second and third moved him back in front at 10 under, a bogey on the fourth dropping him back alongside Kisner who strung together six consecutive pars.

Kisner birdied the seventh to move clear at 10 under but Woodland picked up a shot on the next to join him before Kisner bogeyed the ninth.

That meant the 34-year-old American missed out on a record-equalling round of 63 like Koepka and Schwartzel.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/45157302

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