The Latest on the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Friday (all times local):
One day after besting Bethpage Black, Danny Lee saw the beast the course can be.
The New Zealander was alone in second place, one stroke behind defending champion Brooks Koepka, after a 64 on Thursday. He finished that round with a pair of birdies.
This time, Lee went 10 strokes higher, including consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16. He had had four bogeys and four birdies on his card, and shot 41 on the back nine. Lee stood at 2 under par halfway through the tournament.
Matt Fitzpatrick has birdied four straight holes and made six overall in the second round of the PGA Championship in a bid to make the cut.
The 24-year-old from England made putts from 5, 23, 33 and 16 feet on the first four holes — his second nine — to get to 6 under for the round and 1 under for the tournament. The former U.S. Amateur champion shot a 75 on Thursday.
First-round leader Brooks Koepka is not scheduled to tee off until almost 2 p.m. He shot a course record 7-under 63 Thursday.
Dustin Johnson and three others are now his closest competitors after a wild ride on Bethpage Black’s back nine. The top-ranked player in the world began the day at 1 under and promptly bogeyed the 10th hole; he opened his first round with a bogey, too.
But then he got rolling, with birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th. Suddenly, he was at 5 under for the tournament.
Danny Lee, who started the round a shot behind at 6 under, is 4 over and is now five shots behind the leader.
Dustin Johnson took a wild ride on Bethpage Black’s back nine as he moved up the leaderboard.
Johnson, the top-ranked player in the world, began the day at 1 under and promptly bogeyed the 10th hole; he opened his first round with a bogey, too.
But then he got rolling, with birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th. Suddenly, he was at 5 under for the tournament, two shots behind leader Brooks Koepka, who tees off in the afternoon.
A drive into the rough and an approach wide of the green led to a bogey on 18, however. Johnson, whose only major victory was in the 2016 U.S. Open, had only two pars on his first nine holes.
The PGA Championship is keeping its prize money at $11 million, with $1.98 million going to the winner. That trails the other two U.S. majors, with the Masters at $11.5 million and the U.S. Open last year at $12 million.
The Players Championship this year was $12.5 million, the largest purse to date.
Last place receives around $19,000, which is $6,000 more than Jack Nicklaus earned for his first PGA Championship title in 1963.
Unlike regular PGA Tour events, everyone goes home with something. Players missing the cut, or anyone who has to withdraw on the weekend, still receives $3,100.
Rory McIlroy was looking for a rally in the second round of the PGA Championship. This wasn’t what he had in mind.
The two-time PGA champion drove into a bunker right of the 10th fairway, found rough on the other side of the fairway and started with a double bogey. He missed another fairway on No. 11 and made bogey. He was wild on No. 12 and made another double bogey. And just like that, he was 5 over for his round, 7 over for the tournament and 14 shots behind.
He wasn’t alone in his struggles.
Danny Lee, who shot 64 on Thursday to get within one shot of Brooks Koepka, made two bogeys, two double bogeys and shot 41 on the back nine. He was back to even par, seven shots behind.
Bryson DeChambeau, the No. 8 player in the world, opened with two double bogeys and a bogey. He was 7 over for the tournament.
For once, everyone is talking about Brooks Koepka before he has the trophy from another major championship.
Koepka was impossible to ignore in the opening round of the PGA Championship, partly because he was playing with Tiger Woods, mainly because of his 7-under 63 that broke the course record at Bethpage Black. He became the first player to shoot 63 twice in the same major.
But it’s a long way to the finish line.
Danny Lee was one shot behind and played Friday morning ahead of a forecast that includes more rain. And of the eight previous players to shot 63 in the first round of a major, only two went on to win — Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 U.S. Open and Raymond Floyd in the 1982 PGA Championship.
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