Matsuyama cards 64 to tie Kisner for second-round PGA lead
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[August 12, 2017]
By Andrew Both
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) -
Hideki Matsuyama charged into position to become the first Japanese
man to win a major after joining Kevin Kisner in the second-round
lead on eight-under-par at the PGA Championship on Friday.
Matsuyama took advantage of greens softened by an afternoon storm,
reeling off five birdies in a six-hole stretch with a series of
pinpoint approach shots to card a seven-under-par 64, a course
record in light of the redesign of Quail Hollow before the
He and American Kisner, who earlier fired a near-flawless 67, are
two strokes ahead of Australian Jason Day (66), back in form after a
recent flat patch.
"I was grateful for the rain delay because I was getting tired. I
was able to lay down in the locker room and get some rest," world
number three Matsuyama said.
"I think what was making me tired was I wasn't hitting my driver
like I wanted to. I was hitting fairways but I wasn't getting the
crisp contact that I was hoping for with my driver."
Matsuyama, the pressure of an entire country on his shoulders, said
he did not know whether he would be nervous over the weekend.
"This is my first experience leading a major, or tied for the lead
after 36 holes. And so being a new experience, maybe I'll be a
little nervous, but on the other hand, I'm looking forward to the
weekend and seeing how I do."
Kisner, meanwhile, used his 'Texas wedge' from off the green to sink
a 47-foot putt at the par-five seventh -- his 16th hole -- and vault
clear of the field, at least for a while.
The 33-year-old from South Carolina has won twice on the PGA Tour,
and has also lost four times in playoffs.
Recent hard work tweaking his swing is paying off.
"I’ve always fought a push to the right and got sick and tired of
it,” he said. “Hitting fairways are key.
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Hideki Matsuyama plays from a bunker on the 16th hole during the
second round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m hitting the ball really nice and things are
going my way. The bad shots are working out and the good shots are
working out and I’m making a lot of putts.”
DAY DOES HIS BEST BOLT IMPERSONATION
Day, the 2015 champion, ran down the final fairway to finish before
darkness completely enveloped the course, the result of the earlier
near two-hour stoppage that prevented 26 players from completing
"It was nice to be able to drive the way I did today and set myself
up with the opportunities and being able to capitalize on those
opportunities felt even better," he said.
"Because they were the two things that were missing pretty much the
whole year is my driving and my putting, and being able to combine
that today, just felt like the old days, which is only last year."
Further back, the hopes of championship favorite Rory McIlroy and
grand slam seeker Jordan Spieth are hanging by a thread, 10 and 11
strokes behind respectively.
The second round will resume on Saturday at 7.30 a.m. local time
(1130 GMT). American Chris Stroud is best placed among those yet to
complete the round, five-under with five holes left.
(Editing by Ken Ferris/Peter Rutherford)
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