Fairways And Roughs Title

Kisner, Matsuyama atop crowded leaderboard at Quail Hollow

By PGA Tour News
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – News and notes after darkness halted Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship where Hideki Matsuyama fired a bogey-free 64 to tie Kevin Kisner for the lead at 8 under. Kisner shot a 67. The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday with 25 players completing their rounds. The third round will begin at approximately 10 a.m. with threesomes off the first tee. For more coverage from Quail Hollow, see the Daily Wrap-up. KISNER KEEPS UP Kisner hasn’t strayed far from his roots. He was born and raised in Aiken, S.C., and when it came time to strike out on his own, Kisner decided the heart – and the pocketbook – was home. “I was playing the mini-tours, and I was broke,” he recalled. “That’s the only place I could afford to buy a house.” Truth be told, though, it was more than financial considerations that kept Kisner in Aiken. He feels comfortable there, and his friends are his friends regardless of what he shoots. They like to get out of cell phone range and relax, fishing and hunting and taking target practice.   “I love my core group of friends at home that they don't ask me why I made bogey on the last hole that cost me 20 grand or anything like that,” Kisner said. “That's why I hang out with them.” And Kisner also has ties to Charlotte, which is about two hours north of Aiken. His parents grew up here and his 93-year-old grandmother still lives on her own in the Queen City. “I’ve spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas in Charlotte from childhood to marriage,” Kisner said. Quail Hollow figures into the family equation, too. His brother-in-law’s father is a founding member of the exclusive club that not only is hosting the PGA this week but also is slated as the venue for the 2021 Presidents Cup. So, it’s pretty cool that Kisner is leading the PGA after his second straight 67. And you can bet those guys he calls “good dudes” will show up in force this weekend. Kisner really likes the golf course, and he came up to check out the changes about a month ago. The rainy, wet conditions that day left him wary. Kisner’s a shotmaker, not a bomber, after all. “I said, man, this place is going to be so long; I don't know how they are going to compete,” he said. “But it's been drying out and my tee balls are getting some roll and I'm hitting a lot less irons into the greens than I expected. If I can get a 6- or 7-iron in my hand, I like my chances around here.” Kisner won the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational earlier this year, grabbing the 36-hole lead, as he did Friday, and gutting out his second PGA TOUR win. This is Kisner’s 12th major championship, and his best finish is a tie for 12th at the 2015 U.S. Open. “I've been upset with how I've played in the majors so far in my career,” Kisner said. “I feel like I have the game to compete in majors and tons of 30th to 40th, 50th-place finishes. That's kind of been our goal for the year. We haven't played well in them yet this year but every year you learn more about the majors and how to approach them. “…  This is probably the easiest one I've had to prep for because I know the golf course so well and I've been up here a lot. I feel real comfortable here and I really like the golf course.” MCILROY FEELING COMFORTABLE Many people expected Rory McIlroy to be in the hunt at the PGA Championship, which counts for two of the Northern Irishman’s four majors and 13 total PGA TOUR wins. After all, McIlroy already has two victories at Quail Hollow. He appears finally recovered from some niggling injuries and is coming off a tie for fourth at The Open Championship and joint fifth at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, too. But the 28-year-old fired his second straight 72 on Friday – and McIlroy had to birdie the last two holes after four front-nine bogeys to get there. He’s 2 over for the tournament, which is a distant 10 strokes behind Kisner, but he still signed his scorecard with positive vibes. “As everyone says, there's no winning post there,” McIlroy said. “There's still 36 holes to go and a lot of golf to be played. As I said, I still feel I'm right there in the tournament.” McIlroy owns the course record of 61 at Quail Hollow. He shot that in the third round of his 2015 victory. McIlroy also closed with a 62 in 2010 when he made the cut on the number and went on to win his first PGA TOUR event. “I guess a low round used to be a 61 or a 62,” McIlroy said. “A low round now is a 66 or a 67. You're playing your ass off to get that. “I'd say, if I shoot two 67s over the weekend, I'm going to have a really good chance.” PRICE PREPARES Nick Price, the International Presidents Cup captain, has to be enjoying the PGA Championship. The heart and soul of the team he’ll take to Liberty National for the biennial matches to be played Sept. 27-Oct. 1 certainly appears to be rounding into form. And it starts at the top. In a marathon round that included a weather delay of nearly two hours, Hideki Matsuyama shot 7 under on Friday to grab a share of the lead. The 25-year-old from Japan leads the International Presidents Cup standings and is ranked No. 3 in the world. Matsuyama clearly has momentum. He won last week’s World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational with a flawless final-round 61 – taking his third title of the season – and leads the FedExCup. Jason Day, who ranks second in the International Team standings, will enter the third round two strokes behind Matsuyama and Kisner. He finished his round of 66 after the horn had sounded, sprinting down the 18th fairway as darkness settled over Quail Hollow and narrowly missing a 13-footer for birdie. Day had a torrid stretch right before play was suspended, too. He went eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie as he made the turn, then returned after the delay and ended up playing an eight-hole stretch that started at No. 7 in a sizzling 6 under. Louis Oosthuizen, who also finished after play had been suspended, shot 67 and is 5 under and three behind the co-leaders. The South African, who won the 2010 Open Championship, ranks fifth for Price’s team. And if Price is contemplating his captain’s picks, Ben An and Sung Kang are trying to impress. An, who is 14th in the standings, and Kang, who is 20th, are finished at 2 under and 1 under, respectively. An shot 69 in the second round while Kang had a 71. WILLETT TAKES ONE FOR THE TEAM Danny Willett took one for the “team” in the final minutes before the horn sounded to halt play for darkness on Friday night. Since the final suspension of play was a non-threatening situation, players could finish the hole they were playing. So, Willett, who was going to miss the cut, putted out on No. 8, then raced to the ninth tee and hit so the entire group was deemed to have started it. “Yeah, I told him to take one for the team and hit a 5-iron up there, because Vijay and them were still (in the fairway) waiting for the green to clear,” said Oosthuizen, who was in the same group. … “I said listen -- I'll give you a beer tonight, just get it down there so that we can go.” Jason Day didn’t promise Dustin Johnson a beer. But he did give him a hug when he volunteered to putt out and hit a tee shot on the 18th hole. “I was off the green (at 17) and we were walking up, and we were talking about like if we can get a tee shot on 18, we could finish the round,” Day recalled. “And DJ is like, "I'll do it." “… As soon as he teed off, you know, we all kind of flushed it down 18. And I just walked up to him and said, ‘That's the biggest, or most clutch thing I've ever seen anyone do for me.’” Day said Johnson, who shot 74 and wasn’t in the hunt like Day, who is two behind, was pleased to get the round in, too. Ditto for the third member of the group, Henrik Stenson, who shot 70. “Obviously to be able to finish and not have to wake up at 5:30 tomorrow, get some rest,” Day said. “Because it is hot out there and it does take it out of you, even though you are waking up early, you don't feel like it did, but it really does.” ODDS AND ENDS Matsuyama wasn’t the only player to go low on Friday. Francesco Molinari matched his 64, making an eagle and five birdies, and will start the third round three strokes back. The Italian said the rain that forced a delay of nearly two hours didn’t change the character of the course as much as he expected.  “The fairways were a little bit softer,” Molinari said. “The greens maybe a little bit softer, too, but still releasing quite a bit. Still fast. I was surprised; I thought it was going to be more different after the rain.” … A total of 25 players will have to return on Saturday morning to finish their rounds. But while the cut is not final, there are plenty of players who know their week at the PGA Championship is over. The projected cut when the competition was suspended Friday evening was 5 over and included 77 players. Finished and definitely on the outside looking in are defending champion Jimmy Walker and former PGA winners Sean Micheel (2003), Y.E. Yang (2009) and Phil Mickelson (2005). Walker and Micheel finished at 8 over while Mickelson and Yang each shot 13 over. Mickelson was playing in his 100th major. So was four-time major champion Ernie Els, who rebounded with a second-round 70 but still finished at 8 over and will be making an early exit. Reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia shot 75 on Friday and finished at 8 over. Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk also missed the cut, shooting a pair of 76s to finish at 10 over. SHOT OF THE DAY BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA


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