Kevin Kisner tamed the devilishly hard greens at Quail Hollow to assume a healthy lead at the end of his second round, but expects putting to become even tougher as the US PGA Championship heads into the weekend.
Matsuyama, ranked third in the world and seeking his first major title, had six birdies against five bogeys to tie for 15th place at Quail Hollow Club.
With five birdies in his last seven holes, Matsuyama put himself in position to become the first player since Rory McIlroy in 2014 to win both the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA in the same year. It’s the same game I’ve been playing for 23, 24 years.
I had a bit of shaky start with a bogey on 10th, a par-5 and that was a disappointment, as you don’t want to let go of the par-5s and certainly not drop a shot there. Olesen finished with a 30-foot birdie.
That would mean a great deal to Matsuyama personally, but the 25-year-old isn’t sure what becoming the first Japanese player to win a major would mean to everyone back home. “It was nice to be able to drive the way I did today and set myself up with the opportunities and being able to capitalize on those opportunities felt even better”.
“I’m riding the momentum from the round that I had on Sunday”, Matsuyama said through an interpreter.
Although he found the bunker on the 15th, he holed a birdie putt to move to level par, and made par on 16, 17 and 18, the fearsome “Green Mile”. Bogeys are still bad, but getting doubles can wreck your round in a heartbeat, and play games with you mentally.
Kevin Kisner was efficient as ever with his wedges and putter in posting a 4-under 67 in the second round.
“If I shoot two 67s over the weekend, I’m going to have a really good chance”.
The course was evacuated on account of risky weather conditions at 4.43 pm and about one hour 40 minutes play was lost.
“The ball is coming out of the gun right where I’m looking at it”, Kisner said. “Hitting fairways are key”.
Without making any more headway, he closed out the back nine in 35 and turned the corner where he yesterday carded -1 for his day’s work. Kisner and Thorbjorn were tied at 4-under par after Round One. He closed with back-to-back pars.
Kisner, 33, endured four runner-up finishes in 2015 before a breakthrough first US PGA Tour victory at Sea Island, Georgia, in his 109th attempt.
“Finishing with two birdies and an eagle is a really good turnaround”.
The stoppage is probably not what Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day wanted. South Korean An Byeong-Hun also eagled the par-5 seventh in a round of 69 to finish on 140.
QUEST FOR THE SLAM: Jordan Spieth shot a 73 to move to 3 over, 11 strokes behind the co-leaders.