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Storms cause havoc at Bellerive where record-breaking Woodland leads the way

Storms cause havoc at Bellerive where record-breaking Woodland leads the way

Tiger Woods and friends will have to finish their 2nd round on Saturday as adverse weather forced the players off at the PGA Championship. Keel Timmins wraps up day 2

 

What happened on Friday at the PGA Championship?

Gary Woodland took advantage of favourable morning conditions to maintain his one-shot advantage before storms rolled in and suspended play at Bellerive.

Woodland made four birdies and an eagle on his way to a 130 36-hole score, which is the lowest in the championship’s history.

It wasn’t just Woodland though – low scores were available at Bellerive Country Club on Friday morning, and plenty of players capitalised.

The US Open champion Brooks Koepka came to the 18th needing a birdie to shoot 62. He could only manage a par for a 63, but then just minutes later, Kevin Kisner had the same opportunity but he had to settle for a bogey and a round of 64.

Charl Schwartzel then joined Koepka with a 63 – but that was all before the adverse weather came in and halted the progress of a charging Tiger Woods.

Woods – who got off to the worst possible start in round one – opened with three birdies in the first five holes of the afternoon to catapult up the leaderboard and was threatening to post a low number, with his approach play particularly sharp.

Woods, playing alongside Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, was halfway up the par-5 eighth hole when the horn sounded which brought play to a close for the day with many good rounds on the course temporarily halted.

Bellerive was battered by rain and, as a result, an already soft course will play even softer over the weekend.

That will be particularly good news for the longer-hitters at the top of the leaderboard such as Woodland, Koepka, Dustin Johnson and even Thomas Pieters.

But a few big names will be missing over the weekend. Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar will all miss the cut, while Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson will need to work hard on Saturday morning to advance.

Round two will resume at 7am local time (1pm UK) on Saturday.

Full PGA Championship leaderboard

Talking point

Do you remember Thomas Pieters?

Okay… just checking.

But seriously, the Belgian has seemingly been in hiding ever since he made his spectacular Ryder Cup debut two years ago.

He’s almost completely out of the frame for automatic qualification this time around, but he’s back on the front page of the leaderboard here at the final major of the year, and Captain Bjorn will be keeping a sneaky eye on the 26-year-old in the event that he rekindles the form that he showed when top scoring for the European side at Hazeltine.

Rory McIlroy will certainly put in a good word for his teammate from 2016.

Best quote

Gary Woodland:

The putting was kind of just the last piece of the puzzle. Butch and I focused so hard this year on driving the golf ball because, when I drive it in play, I’m playing a game a lot of guys aren’t playing out here. Once that started to come around, really the putting was the last piece. When I see putts go in, I’m a completely different player, especially with as aggressive as I’m playing right now. So it was nice to get some work in with Phil (Kenyon) at The Open, and then I’ve had a couple weeks to work on it.

Best moments

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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