Woodland sets 36-hole mark; PGA field goes low

Woodland sets 36-hole mark; PGA field goes low

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ST. LOUIS — Gary Woodland set a 36-hole scoring record at the PGA Championship while two players matched the tournament scoring record of 63 during the early portion of the second round Friday at Bellerive Country Club that was eventually suspended due to storms.
Woodland added a 66 to his opening 64 to complete 36 holes at 130, the lowest total in the championship’s 100 years and besting the mark of 131 that had been shot nine times.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel each shot 63, which matches the lowest score in tournament history, one that had been shot 14 times.
Woodland has a one-shot lead over Kevin Kisner, with Koepka another shot back followed by Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson and Thomas Pieters in a tie for fourth at 7 under par.
Rickie Fowler is also a 7 under through 10 holes and will resume the second round at 8 a.m. ET. After the 36-hole cut is made, the third round will be played in threesomes going off both the first and 10th tees.
Tiger Woods birdied three of his first seven holes to get to 3 under par.
Bellerive is getting battered with low numbers, as the 36-hole cut record of 141 is in danger.
It is only the second time in major championship history that two scores of 63 or better have been shot in the same round. The previous was the 1980 U.S. Open won by Jack Nicklaus, who shot 63 in the first round at Baltusrol along with Tom Weiskopf.
“The golf course is good,” said Woodland, a three-time PGA Tour winner who has never finished among the top 10 in a major championship. “Get in the fairway, the greens are still soft enough that you can still attack. The key is to get the ball in the fairway and attack from there.”
Kisner, who shot 29 on the back nine — his first nine — and was threatening to shoot a tournament record 62 but bogeyed the final hole and settled for 64.
“I think this morning was very scorable,” said Schwartzel, who won the 2011 Masters. “I drove it really well and gave myself just a lot of chances. I felt like I was putting for birdie pretty much every hole.
“In the practice rounds, I thought you’ve got a good chance of shooting a low score. I was hitting a lot of drivers. If you’re hitting it down in the fairway with the way the greens are designed, you can get the ball to about 15 feet on almost every hole. If you do that well, and, obviously, in there you’re going to make those putts. But you just feel like you can have lots of chances.”

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