Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Molinari continues rise up US PGA Championship leaderboard

Woods hit a two-under par back nine to finish at level par Woods hit a two-under par back nine to finish at level par
Kristopher Love | 12 August, 2018, 03:59

The Golf Channel's Justin Ray highlights how good the scoring was on Friday, tweeting that it was only the second time in major championship history that there were two scores of 63 in the same round.

Gary Woodland shot 66 before rain halted play in the afternoon, and finished at 10-under 130.

After birdieing five of his first eight holes and playing the front side in 31 strokes, Woods stalled on the back nine, failing to convert any birdie opportunities and squandering a handsome chance at the par-5 17th, where he three-putted for par.

Woods, ranked 51st, won his most recent major title at the 2008 US Open and has not won any event since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational but showed solid form last month by leading on the back nine Sunday at last month's British Open.

With half the field yet to complete their rounds, the fourth hole was playing as the toughest, a 520-yard par four which is a par five for the members. That record is 9 under, set by Gary Player at Shoal Creek in 1984 and matched by Jose Maria Olazabal in 2000 at Valhalla and Hiroshi Iwata three years ago at Whistling Straits. "I think we'll see some putts go in".

What was particularly encouraging for the 14-time major victor was the fact that some of his best swings came late in the day, including a bullet four iron to the par five 17th that set up a presentable eagle chance.

"I feel safe where my game is".

Woods disappointingly closed his back nine with in 35 for a 4-under 66 overall.

There hadn't been two 63s on the same day in a major championship since the 1980 U.S. Open, when Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf shot rounds of 7 under at Baltusrol. Watching Finau make all those birdies, Furyk "didn't say anything, but he was just shaking his head", Finau said.

Kisner cooled on the second nine and Woodland registered another solid side with birdies on 2 and 3 and a bogey on 4. "I've been so in the zone, you don't know where you are". Outside of a third-place finish at the Masters, the former world No. 1 has lost his mojo for much of the season. He eyeballed every shot, twirled every club (I mean every club). and did not make a single putt. He was at 7 under, three shots behind Woodland with eight holes to play.

McIlroy had opened with seven pars but Woods had birdied the second, third and fifth to improve to three under.

Jordan Spieth's career Grand Slam chances vanished with an ugly - and unusual - triple bogey on Saturday at the PGA Championship. Especially on a course that's playing so far under par.

"That stemmed the momentum a little bit", Woods said.

Three weeks ago, Woods trailed the leaders by four strokes heading into the final round at Carnoustie, and found himself atop the leaderboard with eight holes to go before finishing in a tie for sixth.