5 things we learned Friday at the PGA Championship

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5 things we learned Friday at the PGA Championship

In addition to learning that we have the finest sleuths for readers, who caught my mistake yesterday of mixing up women’s and men’s Open Championship venues this year, we learned a number of things about the way things might go over the next 63 hours. We have rain today, and might get a bit tomorrow. Sunday looks eponymous, so the tournament should see its denouement on schedule.

The morning wave had unbridled opportunity for scoring, and the afternoon wave will have to be patient. To be a major champion, one must be patient. Francesco Molinari taught us that at Carnoustie, and Bellerive’s winner will doubtless exhibit the same character. Onward, then, with the five things we learned on Friday at the 100th PGA Championship.

5. There are many low scores within reach

Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka each posted 63 on Friday morning, and there were a number of mid-60s scores on their heels. It would not surprise to see a score approaching 60 by week’s end. Tony Finau didn’t make a par on his outward nine in the afternoon; he had seven birdies, a bogey and a double. The resolution of his final seven holes will have to wait until after the delay, but he did make his 8th birdie of the day at the 11th hole. When the golf comes to television this weekend, buckle in and enjoy the birdies. Even Ted Potter got in on the action.

Some magic from Potter. ?????

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR)

4. Yes, Virginia, There is a Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods saw that Gary Woodland had reached 10 strokes below par through 36 holes, so he knew that even par would not keep him in contention. Through seven holes on Friday, Woods had sawed three strokes off par, and looked as though he could get to 5 or 6 under, well within reach of the leaders. The road ahead is long, and the vagaries of the competitive game are such that nothing is guaranteed. Knowing all this, where else would you rather be, than watching a possible Tiger Woods’ run, after so many years?

He walked it in…a birdie on No. 2 for Tiger.

— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship)

3. Morning wave thanks its lucky stars

As of 5:15 central time, 12 of the top 15 golfers played in the PM/AM wave. Only Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel and Pat Perez were able to move inside that elevated group during the afternoon. Adam Scott, Thomas Pieters, Francesco Molinari, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson joined the fray with wonderful Friday rounds. As round two will certainly not conclude before nightfall, those golfers will have an extra-long wait on Saturday, but a much shorter day.

Another one for the World No. 1. 4 birdies in 5 holes for DJ.

— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship)

2. Gary Woodland continues to impress

Woodland made a pair of bogeys on day two, but more than made up for them with four birdies and an eagle. Despite his prodigious strength and length, Woodland has shown proper strategic execution. With the probability high that he will be in the final group on day three, we will see if he is able to reproduce his demeanor when the attention of the entire golfing world is focused squarely on his round of golf.

An ????for Gary Woodland!

— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship)

1. Kevin Kisner holds form

If there is a more, appropriately-confident golfer in the field, I’d like to meet him. Just in case folks thought he might be in over his head, Kisner let the golfing public know that he is a winner. The South Carolinian went out in 29 strokes, playing the back nine first, added a seventh birdie of the day at number seven (his antipenultimate hole) but made bogey at nine, to fall from double digits under par. Other than Molinari and Fowler, few have been in contention of late, as much as Kisner. He continues to be this writer’s pick to win the 100th PGA Championship.

 

5 things we learned Friday at the PGA Championship

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