2023 PGA Championship: Scheffler, Hovland -News

Brooks Koepka (left) and Scotty Scheffler enjoy good scoring conditions at Oak Hill
-5 S Scheffler (USA), C Conners (Canada), V Hovland (Norway); -3 J Suh (USA), B DeChambeau (USA); -2 B Koepka (USA), C Tarren (UK); -1 T Pendrith (Canada), J Rose (UK)
Other picks: Second R McIlroy (Northern Ireland), S Lowry (Ireland), K Bradley (USA) +1 D Johnson (USA) +4 J Rahm (Spa), C Smith (Australia), +5 P Mickelson (USA), J Spieth (USA), J Thomas (USA)
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Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners lead the PGA Championship halfway, while Jon Rahm fights for the cut.

The trio was at 5 under at Oak Hill after Scheffler and Connors had a 2-under 68 and Hovland had a 67.

Bryson DeChambeau was two shots behind, Brooks Koepka was one and Rory McIlroy looked in better spirits with a par 69.

Defending champion Justin Thomas made a bogey putt on the 18th hole to advance.

The top 70 and ties will play on the weekend, and Jordan Spieth also made a key putt on the final putt to sign for a 72 and join Thomas for a 5-over par.

Phil Mickelson, who will become the oldest Grand Slam champion at the age of 50 when he wins the title in 2021, also made it to the final two rounds of the knockout rounds.

But England’s U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick said earlier in the week that he enjoyed the draining challenge so much he missed a knockout after pitching the final two holes.

World No. 1 Rahm, who won the Masters last month, has four victories in his past 11 tournaments since August to reach the championship.

However, after birdieing his second hole, the Spaniard missed numerous chances to improve on his nine straight pars, swearing repeatedly as his frustration began to boil.

But three straight birdies on the back nine saved his round and kept him on track for a third major title.

Difficult morning conditions saw Justin Rose lead the clubhouse, one of seven players with their round below par, but afternoon rain stinged the course a bit and led to higher scores – especially on the back nine .

Fellow Briton Callum Talen, who only earned his place on Friday after former champion Martin Kaymer withdrew, benefited from a 67 with four birdies and a bogey to cap the overall Achieving 2 under par.

Although only nine players were below par in the tournament, Oak Hill was still a stern test.

Scheffler argues again; Koepka returns in major form

That’s especially true for Koepka, who admitted feeling suffocated while leading the Masters last month. But the four-time major champion showed his pedigree again, with five birdies on the back nine to help him tie Tarron at two under.

Koepka’s 66 tied the tournament’s best score so far, set by first-round leader DeChambeau, who fell to under with Justin Sue after an over-par 71. Par three.

While Canada’s Connors has a solid finish at the Masters and Norway’s Hovland has come close in the last two majors, world No. 2 Scheffler already has a Grand Slam. Consistent with the title, he said he found himself “comfortable in these situations”.

“These are the positions I want,” added the 2022 Masters champion, who would have held the lead had it not been for a bogey on the 18th hole.

“I want to be close to the lead. I don’t want to be 30th or go home. I race to do my best.

“I’m just happy to be in good shape over the weekend. I’m going to keep my head down and keep doing what I’m doing.”

Hofflander and Conner each had just one bogey in an equally solid two-round series as they underscored their threat.

Things looked brighter for McIlroy, who made some big putts to make up for struggles off the tee. The four-time major champion thinks he has a chance at the weekend if he can find some fairways.

“When I holed out my last putt, I looked at the board and thought, I can’t believe I’m five shots behind,” said the Northern Irishman, who won the title in 2012 and 2014.

“I guess that’s a good thing because I know if I can get the ball off the tee, that’s the key to my success at the weekend.

“If I can hit the ball off the tee, I’ll have a chance to hit the ball, and at that point, I’ll probably drive the ball high and bomb it all over the place. I might as well swing it hard and give it my all. go.”

“An excellent effort”

Justin Rose at the PGA Championship
Justin Rose barely finds fairway at Oak Hill, but challenges nonetheless

Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, hit just two fairways in the second round, and despite some incredible shots splitting and gouging in the rough, he was lucky enough to swallow two in the closing stages. bogey.

“It was tough,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve been trying to get off the tees, so going under par was a really good effort.

“It’s such a quick transition. I don’t think any of us get more than five and a half hours of sleep.”

It was a struggle for most early risers, with world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay shooting a 67 and Briton Tyrell Hatton a rare sub-par 68 in both rounds.

Cantlay made the final bogey to end the tournament with one shot, while Hatton also dropped one on the final hole, but after a long wait, he advanced at 5 over

Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott, who were tied with the leaders after the first round, struggled for a round of 74 in the par-70 layout in Rochester, New York, were one and two behind, respectively.

Shanks and Short Challenges – Eventful Rounds for PGA Pros

Michael Block at the PGA Championship
Club pro Michael Bullock fulfills dream of qualifying for majors

Cal club pro Michael Bullock was the talk of Oak Hill as the 46-year-old qualifier was briefly challenged before hitting the dreaded calf before ending the eventful run in par.

Bullock, a $125 professional who charges $125 to teach golf lessons, putt to tie the lead at 4 under after his fast start of the round, but was three shots on his 14th hole. A huge par on the tee led to a double bogey and he had to hang on as he finished in tournament par.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Bullock, who is playing in the tournament for the fifth time.

“I have no pressure, I have a job and a salary waiting for me at my club. I don’t need putters to pay my mortgage. That’s one of the beautiful things about being here.

“I feel like I have a tournament to play this week. I feel like I can shoot even par here every day. I feel like at the end of the four days, that could be a pretty good result.”

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