Matsuyama makes move as McIlroy's struggles continue

Golf News

NCG rounds up the best of day two from the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, including weather delays, mud balls and Jordan Spieth's short game...

We had our first weather delay during the second round of the PGA Championship. But it was to be expected. And there was still plenty of other stuff to get excited about.

Craig Middleton wraps up Friday’s action from Quail Hollow…

So what happened?

Hideki Matsuyama showed us all why he will surely win at least one major title.

And it could be as soon as Sunday after a magnificent round of 64, which included seven birdies and not a single dropped shot, earned the Japanese the course record at Quail Hollow’s improved layout and has him tied for the lead on 8-under par alongside Kevin Kisner, who carded a second successive 67.

Rory McIlroy will once again feel disappointed. A second-round 72 left the Northern Irishman closer to the cut line than the leading pack.

It’s hard to pin exactly why McIlroy can’t get his game going so far this week. Putts aren’t dropping, sure, but how can you expect them to when his average proximity to the hole was 46 feet?

We also had our first weather delay. A storm was threatening but never really showed its teeth. Play got back underway after a 90-minute delay. With the greens a little more receptive it gave the afternoon starters a good chance to make some ground on the leaders.

Poor old Phil Mickelson missed his second major cut in 21 days, making just one birdie in 36 holes. NCG’s Steve Carroll asks whether or not this is the end of Lefty as a force on the PGA Tour.

The players yet to complete their second rounds will get back underway at 12.30pm BST, with the third round expected to commence at 3.00pm.

Shots of the day

His putting may have been a bit off, but McIlroy’s creativity was on point…

This clutch putt got Kisner to 8-under-par and, at the time, took him three clear…

Jason Day is also in the hunt. If he keeps this up he will be in with a chance on Sunday…

A lovely touch from an ol’ Lee…

And Jordan Spieth doing Jordan Spieth things…

Now this is how you set yourself up for a tap-in birdie…

Worst shot

Rod Pampling was missing the cut and needed to quickly get his drive in on the last so his playing partners could finish before the horn. Impressive stuff.

Spare a thought for…

As well as Olesen, Shane Lowry. The Irishman was going pretty well until he reached the par-3 17th. A wayward tee shot resulted in him sculling a wedge into the water. From the drop zone Shane made a triple-bogey six. Ouch.

Best dressed

Sergio Garcia was looking excellent. A snazzy-but-not-too snazzy polo, when done right, can be a real winner…

Dressed in the dark

Matsuyama is always a contender in this category. A white collar on a blue shirt? This isn’t a naff ’90s nightclub, Hideki…

And a shout for Spieth to be nominated from Twitter…

Agreed.

Quote of the day: A BBC special

On 33-year-old Kevin Kisner: “One of the many new young players to emerge.”

On a Dustin Johnson drive: “I wouldn’t like to come back as a golf ball in another life. Not too cushy.”

On a Vijay Singh missed putt: “There must be cling film on top of that hole.”

You can read more about the viewers’ reaction to the BBC coverage in Social Spotlight.

Stat of the day

Betting update

There are two at the top of the PGA Championship leaderboard, writes Steve Carroll, but the bookies only have eyes for one – Matsuyama.

In form, having won last week and surging into a tie with Kisner after a second round course record 64, Matsuyama is as short as 5/4 to lift his maiden major title.

It’s hard to argue with it. I saw some stats saying he’d played his last 72 holes in 20 under par. If he carries that on at the weekend, he’s going to win. It’s that simple.

Of the outsiders who could still force their way into each-way contention, Francesco Molinari had been in pretty tidy form in big events until a blip around the Open.

So it’s not really a surprise to see him return to good touch and tie Matsuyama’s with a 64 for a five under total. I’ll have a look at him at 33s for a place.

More from NCG...

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