Same issues, different day at PGA
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2010 US PGA Championship | Round Two | 14 Aug 2010
In a scenario very similar to that of day one, play in the second round of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits has suffered from an early fog delay. As a consequence half the field will be required to complete round two commencing at 7.00am on Saturday morning Central Time – that is of course – weather permitting.
Matt Kuchar, at 8 under, has the current lead by one over Nick Watney although with so many players still to complete round two and many of them with more than nine holes to play then much can change in the next 14 hours or so.
Three hours were again lost on day two, those players forced to return to complete round one required to wait until nearly ten o’clock for play to recommence.
Matt Kuchar was one of those back early on day two and finished off his opening round at 5 under and at the completion of round one play he led by over Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Francesco Molinari and the 19 year old Korean Seung Yul Noh.
Kuchar had a quick turnaround and quickly extended his lead when he birdied his second hole of the day and moved to 6 under. A bogey at the 6th slowed things down but he hit two shots through the green at the par five 11th got up and down for birdie and was back at 6 under.
Another birdie from 8 feet at the 12th followed by another from 5 feet at the 13th and he was at 8 under. That is how he would finish.
Kuchar is having his best season by far on the PGA Tour with earnings over US$2.7 million and with eight top ten finishes in 20 starts he has established an amazing level of consistency in 2009. He referred after his round to the journey his career has been to date.
“That’s what it’s been, it’s been a journey and there are not many people that ever get a chance to be up here so I’m excited to have the opportunity to do some great over the weekend. It’s been fun. I’ve had a great career and starting with the U.S. Amateur in ’97 and then I really did a lot of fun things. And it continues to get better now. So I’m enjoying my time out here and looking forward to a chance to do some big over the weekend.”
“It’s been a good year. I’m particularly pleased that I put myself in this situation last week. I think the fact that I was that I had a chance last week, was right there in the second to last group, I think that it will help this week, just it seems like times I’ve played well in the past are when I’ve had a number of close chances and jumped right through and gotten back in the winner’s circle again. So I’m pleased that I put myself in a position to win last week and hopefully will build on that for this week.”
An hour behind on the golf course Nick Watney who, like Kuchar, has established a great run of consistency this season was making a move. After a disappointing bogey to end his opening round earlier in the day, Watney began to build momentum in round two and through four holes had moved to 6 under and was threatening to challenge.
Like Kuchar he would drop a shot at his 6th hole of the round but came home strongly to finish at 7 under and in outright second of those in the clubhouse.
Watney referred to the difficulty in getting his head around the delays.
“Yeah, it’s definitely different than normal. I was actually talking with my caddie this afternoon, and we were talking about something that happened this morning, but we both thought it was yesterday.”
“So it’s been a long day, and you know, I’m not sure when I’m going to tee off or when they are going to finish the second round even. So it’s a bit strange when usually the cut is being made around this time. Like I said, it’s been a long day, so I’ll have no trouble sleeping tonight and wake up tomorrow and see where we’re at.”
“Well, yeah, I feel like I’m definitely capable of winning,” Watney added when asked that exact question. “I mean, I think this year I’ve played well in a couple of the other majors. I’m doing a much better job of mentally preparing for rounds.”
Khan, playing another 30 minutes behind Watney, opened with a round of 69 this morning but late in the day actually joined Kuchar in the lead before three late bogeys saw him drop back to a share of 6th, three shot from the lead.
Khan is joined by six other players at 5 under, all having completed 36 holes but with a number of players at 3 and 4 under still with plenty of holes to play the leader-board could change significantly by the time the cut is made tomorrow. That cut appears as if it will fall at 1 over and with no ten shot rule in place at the PGA it becomes merely a numbers game.
Of the pre tournament favourites, Phil Mickelson is at 2 under and finished while Tiger Woods is at 1 under through 6 holes.
Jason Day and Steve Elkington lead the Australians at present, both at 3 under and both grinding hard to hole their positions. Elkington birdied his final two holes before play was called and Day has recorded one bogey and one birdie in his opening 12 holes. They share 13th position.
Michael Sim and Marc Leishman are at 2 under while Adam Scott and Stuart Appleby are at 1 over and finished their rounds and appear likely to sneak inside the cutline. John Senden is gone, and Geoff Ogilvy and Matt Jones still have a lot of work to do in their remaining holes if they are to have any hope.
John Daly told a rules official at the end of play today that he would not be back in the morning to resume round 2 due to a shoulder injury.