Chalk and cheese at Kiawah Island
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 US PGA Championship | Round Two | 11 Aug 2012
Kiawah Island might have played at her most benign during Thursday’s opening day of the PGA Championship but it would be a much different story on day two.
More than forty players were under par at the completion of round one but when the dust had settled and the sun had set on day two only twelve players were under par for their opening 36 holes and only five players had broken par for the day.
Scores blew out from very early on, the gusty winds buffeting the course all day and when those who had benefitted from the gentle early conditions on day one had completed their afternoon struggles on day two, a group of three golfers sat atop the leaderboard at 4 under.
The cut which has looked overnight as if it might fall around the one or two over mark eventually slipped to 6 over, further confirming the demands that the Peter Dye designed layout and the overhead conditions were presenting.
Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and first round leader Carl Pettersson lead at 4 under par, Singh perhaps the better effort given the fact that he played in the afternoon yesterday and the morning on day two. That appeared to be the worst side of the draw as both Woods and Pettersson had the advantage of the great morning conditions on day one.
Singh’s game appears to be coming around after some time struggling. “I just started believing that I can do it,” he said after his round of 69 today.
“I was so negative for a long, long time. I had great sessions on the driving range and just couldn’t take it on the golf course. I finally started to believe that I could do what I’m doing on the driving range. A little tweak to my golf swing during the British Open kind of helped, as well. Like I said, my head is in a better spot. I’m more focused and believing that I can do it has helped me a lot.”
“You know, right now it feels great. But I just never thought about the score. I just kept adding it up each hole and trying to make my pars on every hole. That was the key. And I just tried to make my pars, miss it in the correct spot if I was out of position, and be very strong with the longer putts. The lag putts were so key, not to leave myself four and five footers, and it was very easy to do out there.”
A reflection on how good Singh’s score would stack up by day’s end is reflected by the fact that he gained 31 spots by shooting a round of 69. It was the only round in the 60’s on day two.
Woods three putted the last after gaining the outright lead when Pettersson dropped shots at his 15th 16th and 18th holes. At 7 under Pettersson had a two shot lead but no lead seems large enough on this dangerous layout. Although dropping those three shots late he still has a share of the lead he held on his own after his opening round of 66.
He was helped in that regard by the three putt by Woods who had putted beautifully all day until he ran his first putt eight feet past at the last and missed coming back.
Woods however is looking ominous and although he let a share of the 36 hole lead slip at the US Open few would be predicting a similar demise this week.
“It was tough out there, wow,” said Woods. "You can’t take anything for granted, simple tap in is not a simple tap in. The putter is oscillating all over the place and the ball is oscillating and you know, you have to make an adjustment, at least I was on my down swing and my putts, because the putter is being blown all over the place.
“And you know, it’s a tough day. I mean, your start lines, Holy Cow, we are starting balls so far off line, to have it comeback in. There’s so much drift to this wind. It was just a tough day.
“I’m very pleased. I’m very pleased to be able to shoot under par today. That was the goal, anything par or better today was going to be a great score, and I was able to accomplish that.”
Ian Poulter also bogeyed the final hole after he joined those at 4 under with a birdie at the 16th.
Poulter is in 4th position at 3 under and one behind the lead while Rory McIlroy and Jamie Donaldson are at 2 under and sharing 5th.
Defending champion Keegan Bradley was going along quite nicely until he reached the 4th hole from where he played the next eleven holes in six over. “Well, I don’t think anybody was very prepared, just because we never played,” said a stunned Bradley. “There were a few holes that were just brutal. That that stretch from about 7 to 13 is about as hard of a stretch of golf as there is in the world, I would think.”
The leading Australians Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott are just three from the lead after their morning rounds of 75 left them at 1 under and in a share of 7th position.
Scott felt the love from the crowd who perhaps are warming to him in the manner that they warmed to McIlroy after his demise at the 2011 Masters.
“Well, I certainly feel like I’ve been received very well the last couple weeks since I’ve been back and it’s great to have support.,” said Scott
“Yeah, I may have won a few more fans. Unfortunately it was from not winning the tournament, but maybe I can change that here over the weekend.”
Baddeley was in great shape after birdies at his 16th and 17th holes but a three putt at the last led to a double bogey. He is however well placed for the final 36 holes.
Marc Leishman, Greg Chalmers and Geoff Ogilvy are the next best of the Australians in 24th position at 2 over, John Senden is 37th and Marcus Fraser also made the cut in 57th position.
Discuss this article in our forums