PLAY SUSPENDED FOR THE DAY: The storms arenât going to clear … or at least not in time for it to be worth warming up and going out again before sundown. So the rest of the second round will be completed tomorrow morning: thatâs at 7am in St Louis, 1pm in the UK. Weâll be here for that, bright-eyed and bushy tailed as ever. You know us. As for the third round, thatâll be played in groups of three, with a split-tee start, beginning approximately 30 minutes after the end of the second round. The PGA approximate that the third-round tee times will be between 11.15am and 1.15pm (5.15pm and 7.15pm UK time). So itâll be a long one … but a good one. Hope to see you for a bumper Moving Day. Wherever you are: stay safe from the storm. Sweet dreams and nighty night!
PLAY SUSPENDED: The PGA of America are still monitoring conditions. Theyâll update us again at 5.30pm local time; thatâs just under 40 minutes from now. While weâre kicking our heels … compare and contrast.
The latest from the PGA: Play remains suspended, but there will be another update at 4.45pm local time … which is 25 minutes away. Fingers crossed.
PLAY SUSPENDED: Thunderstorm heading to Bellerive. Before the weather klaxon sounded, Rickie Fowler managed to make his birdie putt at 10. So as everyone troops back to the safety of the locker room, hereâs how the top of the leaderboard looks:
-10: Woodland (F)
-9: Kisner (F)
-8: Koepka (F)
-7: D Johnson (F), Schwartzel (F), Pieters (F), Fowler (10)
-6: Stone (F)
-5: Scott (F), Molinari (F), Cantlay (F), Rahm (F), Kokrak (F), Horschel (10*), Perez (9)
PLAY HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. Thereâs heavy rain coming to Bellerive, but more importantly, some electrical activity. So the hooter has gone, and the players are heading back to the clubhouse. Thatâs an awful shame. Hopefully the storm will pass soon enough; more when we have it.
Rickie Fowler reached the turn in 34. Heâs just slammed his second at 10 to five feet. Take nothing for granted: heâs missed one that length already today, and spurned a birdie chance from ten feet at 9. But that should take him to -7. Meanwhile the 2016 US Open runner-up is going very well: Shane Lowry has birdied 12, 13 and 17, playing the back nine in 32 strokes. Heâs -4.
Tiger takes an iron for safety off the tee at 7 … then sends his ball into the bunker down the right of the fairway. His second is whistled straight at the flag, but stops short of the green. Nevertheless he very nearly chips in for another birdie. Par will suffice. Meanwhile Yuta Ikeda of Japan is going well. He nearly holes out from the fairway at 18, but makes do with kicking in for his second birdie of the day instead. Heâs -4. And some good news of Danny Willett, who has struggled with form an injury since winning the 2016 Masters: birdies at 3, 7 and 8 today, and heâs level par, currently on course to survive the cut.
PAR FOR TONY FINAU!!! He makes his first par of the day at 10, sinking a 20-footer to do so. I thought that was going to turn left at the very last, but it held its line. Happy for him, but that quite special run is over, which is kind of deflating. I wonder if anyone has ever gone 18 holes without a single par? A bizarro Faldo? Even Maurice Flitcroft made par at 14 on his way to shooting 121 at Formby in the 1976 Open qualifiers.
Tiger takes too much sand, and his ball only just squeaks out of the bunker. Heâs left with a 25-footer from the fringe to save his par … and it was one of those that was always going in. The crowd go wild, and thatâs a real momentum saver. He stays at -3. Pars for JT and Rory as well, but all the energy is being generated by the senior member of this group. What a putt!
Tigerâs tee shot at the par-three 6th plonks in a bunker to the left of the green. Better left than right; just ask poor old Tony Finau. JT toys with the water but heâs pin high, 20 feet left of the flag. And Rory, not high on confidence, finds the green. But heâs a long, long way away, back right when the flagâs nearer front left. But Rickie Fowler reaches -6 for the first time this week: he birdies the long par-five 8th, and hereâs a chance to bung the leaderboard up … with all-new info!
-10: Woodland (F)
-9: Kisner (F)
-8: Koepka (F)
-7: D Johnson (F), Schwartzel (F), Pieters (F)
-6: Stone (F), Fowler (8)
Tiger makes that birdie! Itâs never missing the cup. He really does have his gameface on today. Heâs up to -3 already. Par for Justin Thomas: he remains at -2. And itâs a fifth par out of five for Rory, who trudges off, his dreams of a third PGA title drifting further away from his reach, bit by bit. Meanwhile Billy Horschel joins Rickie Fowler and Pat Perez as the best-placed players out on the course right now. Theyâre all at -5; Horschelâs most recent birdie comes at 17.
Tiger is cooking. Both literally – the sweat is pouring off him at humid Bellerive – and metaphorically – because he splits the fairway at 5 and sends a short iron to six feet. Heâll have a look at another birdie. Meanwhile more news of Tony Finau. We last left him having birdied holes 1 through 5. That was followed by a triple-bogey six at the par-three 6th, the punishment for dunking his tee shot in the briny. Then birdies at 7 and 8, followed by bogey at 9. Heâs turned in 32 strokes, and has yet to par a hole! This is turning out to be quite the round. Can he get all the way round without a par?! Iâm going to cry when he makes one, as he inevitably must. Anyway, heâs +1, and missing the cut as things stand.
Lefty finally makes a birdie putt. Typical golf: having seen several well-struck putts slip past, this one bobbles off the fringe at 6 then performs the full 360 before dropping into the cup. But heâs closer to safety at +2, and the crowd rejoice accordingly. His playing partner Jason Day canât get up and down from sand, though, and heâs another big name going nowhere fast right now: birdies at 3 and 5, but bogeys at 2 and 6 have stymied him.
Meanwhile itâs a fifth par in a row for Rory, who just canât get going. Heâs still level par and beginning to look seriously frustrated. See also: Rickie Fowler, who remains beached at -5: heâs just tickled a birdie tiddler wide right of the cup on 7, a very timid push ensuring the ball was never dropping.
Phil Mickelson, who shot a three-over 73 yesterday, needs something to happen. The cutâs still projected at level par. But nothingâs happening. Pars all the way, birdie chances sliding past the cup. The latest at 5; heâs got the mother of all hangdog expressions right now. Thereâs a much better vibe surrounding his old sparring partner Tiger Woods, who very nearly chips in from the fringe at 4. He thought that was dropping, and shaped to punch the air, but had to pull back at the last moment. Frustrating, but heâs playing well … the odd wild drive apart. He really does need to leave that big stick in his locker.
None of the late starters are making much of a run towards the top of the leaderboard. Yet. Rickie Fowler, the best placed, is level par through 6 and remains at -5. Pat Perez weâve discussed. Rafa Cabrera Bello, who was leading this tournament in its infancy, has birdied 11, 13 and 14 today; but heâs still only -3. In lieu of any big changes, hereâs a reminder of the toppermost of the poppermost:
-10: Woodland (F)
-9: Kisner (F)
-8: Koepka (F)
-7: D Johnson (F), Schwartzel (F), Pieters (F)
-6: Stone (F)
-5: Scott (F), Molinari (F), Cantlay (F), Rahm (F), Kokrak (F), Fowler (6), Perez (5)
Justin Thomas is furthest from the pin at 3. His 12-footer is never dropping. Rory is six feet away, but lets his birdie putt slide on the right. Tiger, though, makes no mistake from four feet, and thatâs back-to-back birdies. Heâs -2, and on the charge. And hereâs an
jaw-dropping stat, courtesy of US broadcaster TNT: itâs the players who are most under par in the majors since 1997, before today. The minimum requirement is seven rounds.
Birdies for Tiger and JT on 2. They move to -1 and -2 respectively. No such luck for Rory, who is stuck on level par. All three pepper the flag at the par-three 3rd, though. Tigerâs gone particularly close, sending the galleries into raptures. Meanwhile Billy Horschel is going well: the 2014 FedEx Cup winner his birdied 11, 12 and 14 to move to -4 for the tournament.
Ben Kern, of Tuscon, Arizona, works in golf-club management. Unlike many of the club pros competing here this week, heâs never played on the Web.com tour, never mind the PGA Tour. But he qualified for this event after finishing in the top ten of the PGA Professional Championship. And as things stand, heâs the only PGA member whoâll be making it through to the weekend. He needed a birdie on the last to give himself a chance, and seized the day by firing his approach ten feet from the flag and rattling the putt straight into the cup. A 69 to go with the 71 he shot yesterday, and heâs level par, currently just inside the cut line and hoping the scoring isnât too crazy this afternoon.
Pat Perez finished in a tie for sixth at the 2005 PGA. But since then, not much. Until the last couple of years, as the freewheeling, hot-tempered Arizonian bloomed late. A top-20 finish at last yearâs Masters, then a tie for 17th at this yearâs Open represents consistency of sorts. He shot 67 yesterday, and has opened up with birdies at 1 and 3 today. Heâs -5.
Rory needs it to be one of those days. But it could be one of those days. He finds the fringe at 1, and curls a fine right-to-left putt towards the cup. But it shaves the right side. No idea how that didnât drop. A dimple away. He looks sick. Workaday pars meanwhile for Tiger and JT. Nobody gets the fast start they desired.
Belated news of Tommy Fleetwood. The Southport superstar and US Open runner-up was in real danger of missing the cut, having at one point slipped to +2. But birdies at 2, 8 and 9 dragged him above the waterline at the very last minute. Heâs -1 going into the weekend, having posted 69-70.
Tony Finauâs start yesterday was nothing short of abysmal. He was +5 through his first eight holes, and ended up with a 74. But heâs nothing short of sensational today! Heâs torn out of the blocks in simply preposterous fashion! Five holes played, five birdies! All of a sudden, heâs -1 for the tournament. The quiet giant from Utah has finished in the top ten at the first three majors this year. A clean sweep seemed totally out of the question yesterday lunchtime. Itâs not so fanciful now. What a start!
Here comes the afternoon marquee group! The reigning champion Justin Thomas shot 69 yesterday; his opening tee shot finds a bunker down the left of 1. Rory McIlroyâs up next: the 2012 and 2014 winnerâs drive rolls off the right of the fairway and into the first cut. And finally Tiger Woods, the PGA winner in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007. He finds the fairway. Rory and Tiger start the day at level par after 70s yesterday. All three need to get a wriggle on, if theyâre to seriously feature at the weekend; go backwards and the cut looms.
Rickie Fowler was a shot off the lead when the cockerel crowed this morning. By the time he teed it up, Gary Woodland had shot 66 and Fowler was five behind. And thatâs where he still is after three holes: an opening bogey has been cancelled out by a 20-foot left-to-right curler for birdie at 3. Heâs -5. Meanwhile birdies for Austin Cook at 11 and 14: heâs -5. The 27-year-old from Arkansas is enjoying a decent maiden season in the majors: a top-30 finish at Carnoustie and now this fine showing.
Jason Kokrak only made it into the field when Lee Westwood dropped out. Heâs grabbed his opportunity with both hands: a 68 yesterday followed by a 67 today. Heâs handily placed at -5. The 33-year-old Canadian hasnât much of a record in the majors – his best finish was a tie for 33rd in this tournament last year at Quail Hollow – so this is a fine opportunity to right that wrong.
As things stand right now … and with the afternoon starters expected to enjoy conditions as much as the morning wave … a few big names will be going home. The cutâs currently sending everyone over par to the airport, and is unlikely to move out. Certainly off: the current Masters champion Patrick Reed (+3 after 36 holes), the 1991 PGA winner John Daly (+3), the 2013 champ Jason Dufner (+4), the two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson (+8) and Paul Casey (+8). In the clubhouse hoping the cut somehow moves out a shot: Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia, both at +1. If Sergioâs fate is sealed, heâll have missed the cut in all four majors this year, an abysmal state of affairs. Oh Sergio!
Thomas Pieters has been flawless today. Starting at 10, he parred every hole on the back nine, before turning loose thereafter: birdies at 1, 4, 7 and 8 have led to a 66 that sits alongside his opening-day 67 very prettily. Heâs in that group at -7, well placed for Moving Day.
Schwartzel sends his second to 15 feet … then watches a 62 slip through his fingers as his putt only just fails to drop. Still, a 63âs not a bad consolation prize. Thatâs the 35th time a 63 has been posted in a major, and the third time this year. Before Schwartzel and Koepka today? Tommy Fleetwood on the final day at Shinnecock Hills. The 2011 Masters champ ends the second round at -7.
-10: Woodland (F)
-9: Kisner (F)
-8: Koepka (F)
-7: D Johnson (F), Schwartzel (F), Pieters (17*)
-6: Stone (F)
Charl Schwartzel is currently coming up the 9th, his final hole today. If he makes par, heâll become the 16th man to shoot 63 at a PGA. If he birdies, heâll break the tournament record and become only the second man in history to card 62 in a major, after Branden Grace at Birkdale last year. Heâs sent his drive 300 yards down the fairway; up and down from 150 yards or so, and heâs making some history here.
Thanks to Michael! A word, then, on Brooks Koepkaâs 63. That equals the best round at a PGA. Itâs been posted on 14 previous occasions: Bruce Crampton (Firestone 1975), Ray Floyd (Southern Hills 1982), Gary Player (Shoal Creek 1984), Vijay Singh (Inverness 1993), Michael Bradley (Riviera 1995), Brad Faxon (Riviera 1995), Jose Maria Olazabal (Valhalla 2000), Mark OâMeara (Atlanta 2001), Thomas Bjorn (Baltusrol 2005), Tiger Woods (Southern Hills 2007), Steve Stricker (Atlanta 2011), Jason Dufner (Oak Hill 2013), Hiroshi Iwata (Whistling Straits 2015) and Robert Streb (Baltusrol 2016).
Koepka may or may not be interested to know that only Floyd (1982), Tiger (2007) and Dufner (2013) went on to win.
So the marquee group of Spieth, Rahm and Rose tee off on their final hole of their second round at the 9th. Rahm finds the left bunker 146 yards out, Spieth and Rose 20 yards further back but safely on the fairway â the Englishman is about 168 yards out but needs another 10 for the uphill â¦ itâs a poor shot, off the back of the green and heâll have a tough up and down to save par. Hands on hips, Rose is seething. He composes himself though and tickles a low chip down the hill for a makeable par putt. He makes it, and finishes -4.
Spieth makes lighter work of his second shot and is on the dancefloor. Rahm has a tricky shot from the bunker around the corner â and lands it just inside Spiethâs ball! Itâs a shootout then, Spieth can only manage par and signs for a 66, on -3. Rahm has got a read then but he never really hit it, and will stay at -5, five shots off the lead.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile is loosening up on the practice range. Heâs teeing off in just under an hour 1.48pm local time/7.48pm BST, alongside Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas.
Iâll hand back to Scott now, who is back from his break. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon/evening!
Koepka and DJ finish their respective rounds, signing for 63 (!!!) and 66 respectively, two and three shots of the lead at present. The two are very good friends, they are right in it here.
Ooooo, penalty shot for Rahm on the 8th. His drive found the long grass on the left edge of the fairway. There was no official to mark his ball and in trying to find it, he inadvertently stepped on it. The Spaniard calls across a marshall, explained that he didnât actually move the ball but admitted that he did definitely touch it with his foot. Rahm is slightly aggrieved that there was nobody to mark it, but accepts the one-shot penalty after taking a drop. He hacks it out the rough, stiffs a beautiful iron from 58 yards to within eight feet and will have that for par. Three fist pumps later, the par is in the bag, and he bounds of the 8th green with a spring in his step. Excellent save with the penalty.
Spieth meanwhile, splashes out of the bunker and will have a birdie attempt, while Rose is going for eagle from 32ft. Ooooo, it just comes up short and a wry smile breaks across the Englishmanâs face, his arms raised high to the heavens in disbelief. He taps in for birdie â back at -4 â but should have given that one a chance. Spieth makes his birdie â heâs -3.
Kisner is playing one of the rounds of his life, hitting 84.6% of fairways and 82.3% of greens. No surprise to see him leading now, but a sloppy third shot on the 8th means heâs scrambling to make par. Woodland has a chance to tie things up then, and he makes his birdie! Weâre all square at the top, then!
-10: Woodland (17*), Kisner (17*)
-8: Koepka (63)
-7: D Johnson (66), Schwartzel (16*)
Koepka keeps pace and is now outright third behind Kisner and Woodland after birdieing the long par-five 8th, sinking a five-footer. Heâs reached the green in two on his final hole, so could well end up -9 in the clubhouse.
Spieth plays to the middle of the 7th fairway off the tee, but puts way too much backspin on his approach and it rolls back off the front of the green. Rose, in the bunker again, duffs one out about 50 yards. Heâs livid! Rahm is the only one of our marquee group that hits a
brilliant shot, he lands his approach to within three feet. Tweet tweet, birdie time. Heâs got it and the Spaniard is down to -5. Heâs bogey free today, and looking in tip-top nick. Spieth makes his par, but Rose slips back to -3 with a bogey. Thatâs the score he started the day on.
Kisner is one hole ahead of this group, and a birdie on the 7th from 11ft has given him the outright lead. Heâs -10 now, with Woodland only able to par the same hole.
Andre Iguodala, NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors, is making a guest appearance in the commentary box. He favours the three wood off the tee, just like Tiger. The two are good friends. Find a pal that looks at you the same way Tiger looks at Andre. Those kicks, too! Woof.
Thanks Scott. Spieth is scrambling alright, and heâs got another birdie chance at the par-three 6th. Itâs a long-one down the hill, he pushes it left and makes his par, as does Rahm. Rose splashes into the bunker on the left but gets up and down for his par to stay at -5. Tidy.
Jordan Spieth thinks his second into 5 has been held up by the wind, and complains loudly to his caddie accordingly. But heâs wrong: the ball lands six feet from the cup! In goes the birdie putt, and heâs -2, that career-slam dream not over this year yet! Meanwhile itâs just a birdie for DJ on 8, but heâll take it, because that gives him a share of second with Brooks Koepka at -7.
And with that, Iâm off to eat a bowl of Hamburger Helper, the only MSG-flavored foodstuff to be marketed by a talking golf glove. Weâll meet again soon, but for now I give way to your friend and mine Michael Butler!
Bogey for Emiliano Grillo at 16. As he slips to -4, Francesco Molinari passes him the other way with birdie on 7. The Open champ returns to -5. Meanwhile an eagle chance for Dustin Johnson on the monster par-five 8th: after a 340-yard drive, heâs crashed his second from 257 yards to 18 feet. This could potentially cause a bit of fuss near the top of the leader board.
Brandon Stone, out first thing this morning, is back in the clubhouse. The Scottish Open champion has signed for a two-under 68, which pairs very nicely with yesterdayâs 66. Heâs -6, in a rich vein of form right now, and will very much be looking forward to the weekend, with plenty of time to rest until he goes out tomorrow. Heâll be teeing it up reasonably late youâd think.
It took all that time for Justin Rose to finally make it to -5; itâs taken one hole for him to slip back. His tee shot found sand down the left of the long par-four 4th; his second was swallowed up by another bunker, guarding the green front left. He canât get up and down, and heâs back to -4. Still only five shots back, of course.
Gary Woodland slips back into a share with Kevin Kisner. His drive down 4 finds the rough on the right, and though he manages to make the green, heâs a long way from the flag. Three putts were almost inevitable. Bogey, and heâs -9 again. Emiliano Grillo makes another birdie, this time at 14, and he joins the ever-expanding group at -5. Francesco Molinari drops back, though; bogey at 5 sends him down to -4. Zach Johnson birdies 3; namesake Dustin birdies 7, his fourth in five holes. And itâs three birdies in a row for Charl Schwartzel: thatâs five in six! This is quite the leaderboard. Goodness knows what awaits us when the afternoon wave come out.
-9: Woodland (13*), Kisner (13*)
-7: Koepka (14*)
-6: Stone (17*), D Johnson (16*), Z Johnson (12*), Schwartzel (12)
-5: Scott (15*), Grillo (14), Rose (12*), Fowler
Thereâs some absurd scoring going on right now. Ted Potter Jr. has just holed out from the fairway at 14 for eagle: that follows birdies at 3, 11 and 12. After a 74 yesterday, the 34-year-old Floridian – who has only made the cut once in seven attempts in the majors, at the 2012 Open – rises to -1. Meanwhile another birdie for Justin Rose, this time at the short par-three 3rd, taking an aggressive line at a flag near the water on the right, and reaping the reward for a perfectly executed shot. Heâs -5. His playing partner Jon Rahm gets to -4 after landing his tee shot pin high, ten feet from the flag. And Adam Scott birdies 6: heâs -5 for both round and tournament.
Dustin Johnson has just pressed on the accelerator! Birdies at 3, 4 and 5, and suddenly the world number-one is right back in the mix. His namesake Zach birdies 1 to return to -5 as well. And back-to-back birdies for Charl Schwartzel at 10 and 11 – thatâs four in five holes – has the former Masters champ enter the fray too. This is turning into quite a championship already, with a couple of solid Tour players up top, hoping to make their breakthrough, hunted down by quite a few major winners!
-10: Woodland (12*)
-9: Kisner (12*)
-7: Koepka (13*)
-6: Stone (16*)
-5: D Johnson (14*), Molinari (13*), Schwartzel (11), Z Johnson (10*), Fowler
Gary Woodland completes his overtaking manoeuvre on Kevin Kisner. He sends his tee shot at the par-three 3rd to four feet, and strokes the birdie putt into the cup. Thereâs some low scoring out there today, further evidenced by Andrew Landry: this yearâs Texas Open champion has just made four birdies in a row between 13 and 16; throw in another at 11 and heâs risen to -2 for the championship after a 73 yesterday. Meanwhile birdie for Justin Rose at 2, and heâs back to -4. Heâs been unable to get any lower this week: a short par three coming up!
That lead is held jointly by Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner, the former making birdie at 2 to grab a share. A wee bit back down the leader board, Emiliano Grillo is quietly making a move. The 25-year-old Argentinian has long been tipped for big things, but his record in the majors lately has been little short of appalling: he hasnât made a single cut since the 2017 Masters. But heâs just birdied 7, 8, 11 and 13, and unless heâs got a very special meltdown heading his way, heâll be here for the weekend. Heâs -4.
-9: Woodland (11*), Kisner (11*)
-7: Koepka (12*)
-6: Stone (16*)
-5: Molinari (12*), Fowler
-4: Grillo (13), D Johnson (13*), Scott (13*), Schwartzel (10), Cantlay (10), Z Johnson (9*), Kokrak (8*), Niemann (8*)
The double US Open champion Brooks Koepka makes it three birdies in a row: 1, 2, 3. Thatâs six in the last nine holes, and this 28-year-old Floridian is going to rack up a fair few majors if he can avoid injury. Heâs got the necessary length, his short game is tight, he battles, and rarely seems flustered. Koepka, Spieth, DJ, JT, Fowler, Reed … Europe have got a job on their hands at this upcoming Ryder Cup, havenât they. Anyway, Koepka is -7 now, two off the lead.
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