Golf tends to do this to us. One major, usually the US Open, or maybe the British Open, will be super tough, allowing very few to break par. That happened in this year’s US Open. Actually no one broke par. And then there’s a reaction. And this year’s reaction comes at Bellerive Country Club in the PGA Championship, where the course is literally getting nuked at the moment. The one hope for officials is that the rain might allow them to make adjustments, but that just looks like a temporary halt. In fact, rain oftentimes is a recipe for even lower scores on the PGA Tour because the ball will stop on a dime.
Before those conditions, though, we saw history made. The all-time record of 63 in a PGA Championship was tied not once but twice on Friday in round 2 before the rains hit. Brooks Koepka and Charl Schwartzel, each former Major winners in their own right, were about to accomplish the feat yesterday. Koepka actually had a putt on the 18th green that came perilously close to giving him just the second 62 ever in a major. Another player that continues to have an excellent week is the leader in the clubhouse, Gary Woodland. He shot another nice round of 66 on Friday to take him to -10 after just two rounds. Kevin Kisner is very much in play, too.
Those are guys that actually got to finish their play. Others did not, most notably Tiger Woods. The former Stanford man was -3 par through eight holes. He will have some positives and some negatives, but he could really do very well to close out that round and carry that momentum to the rest of the day if he’s able to post a score. Others will be in that situation, meaning they will have to try and take the good with the bad, like Rickie Fowler Pat Perez, and Billy Horschel, for example.
Saturday will be interesting. After the players complete their second rounds, the officials will make the cut. From there, they’ll be placed in groups of three and sent out from both the first and tenth holes in order to speed up play. This is usual protocol at tour events, but it is a bit wonky sometimes at majors. It will be a long, long day. But that could be a good thing for some. The earliest players out will have an advantage in the eyes of many because the course will be at their taking at its wettest. As players have shown: fairways and greens will make scores. They’ll be plenty more made on “moving day” at the PGA.