Stroud moves nearer but Matsuyama, Kisner keep PGA lead
Aug 14 2017
The same could also be said of Open champion Jordan Spieth, who had already admitted his bid to become the youngest victor of the career grand slam was effectively over. Italy's Francesco Molinari and South Africa's Louis Oosthiuzen are tied for fourth place three strokes back back of the co-leaders at five under through two days of action.
England's Paul Casey finished bogey, bogey, double bogey to drop back to level par but remains the highest placed British player.
Former World number one and US PGA victor two years ago Jason Day was another who was moving into contention. The seventh hole, a birdie gave him slight reprieve as he added another birdie on the 10th hole. American Chris Stroud is best placed among those yet to complete the round, five-under with five holes left.
But on 16 - the first of Quail Hollow's fearsome closing stretch nicknamed the 'Green Mile - he found the water and made double bogey. 17 and 18 and is tied for second at 6 under.
"I played nine holes with Rory on a practice day and they saw me almost hole a shot going into one of the par fives and they were chatting about me".
Matsuyama, 25, was three shots behind Kisner at the start of play but raced up the leaderboard with consecutive birdies on 12, 13 and 14 before the threat of thunderstorms caused a suspension in play, with many players now having to complete their rounds on Saturday morning (12 August). "Then you're four back. maybe three".
That's because the Aiken, S.C., native didn't have to worry about the inclement weather that suspended play on Friday afternoon at the PGA Championship.
McIlroy admitted his situation could easily have been a lot worse, especially after he carved his second shot on the 591-yard 10th over the crowd and saw it bound down a cart path which runs along the side of the 11th. Instead of pitching out to the fairway, he tried hooking it around the tree and the gallery but the shot hit the pine and the ball went into a bush. His shot from that thick grass stopped 65 feet shy of the stick, and he three-putted.
"Anything under 71 today is a good score", McIlroy said.
Starting the proceedings at six-under, Day even went to seven-under with a birdie, but by the time the front nine ended, he was five-under.
On Friday, Matsuyama shot a bogey-free 64 which had seven birdies, five of which came in the last seven holes. The 28-year-old Californian won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012 at Quail Hollow for the first of his four career PGA Tour victories.
"I didn't have it written in a diary from when I was young that I need to win a career grand slam as the youngest ever, " he said.
"It was more gettable after the rain delay than it was before, no doubt about it", Spieth said.