US PGA Championship: Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel back in major contention
JASON Day will have to overcome a marathon third day if he is to claw his way back into contention at the US PGA Championship in Missouri but Adam Scott is right in the hunt.
EVIN PRIESTAAPAugust 11, 20186:59am
JASON Day will have to overcome a marathon third day if he is to claw his way back into contention at the US PGA Championship in Missouri.
While countryman Adam Scott is safely in the clubhouse five shots off the pace, Day was among the half of the field who failed to complete their second rounds before play was suspended for the day due to dangerous weather.
Scott fired a five-under-par 65 at Bellerive Country Club to earn a 36-hole score of five under while Gary Woodland (66) took the clubhouse lead at 10 under, with fellow American Kevin Kisner (64) one shot further back.
US Open champion Brooks Koepka fired a blistering 63, equalling the PGA Championship record for lowest round, to leapfrog into outright third at eight under.
Although a former winner of the Masters, Scott said his motivation to move further up the leaderboard was his lacklustre record at the PGA. He has just four top 10 results from 17 previous starts.
“I don’t really feel I have ever been in contention on a Sunday at the PGA, although I’ve had some good results,” Scott said.
“I’d like it to be kind to me this weekend.”
Playing in the afternoon wave, former world No.1 Day was only beginning to make his move before the weather suspension.
He reached the par-five eighth hole in two shots and two-putted for a birdie to climb to four under, six shots off the pace.
After two more solid shots at the par-four ninth, Day will face a 22-foot birdie putt when play resumes.
Day, the 2015 US PGA Champion, will have to complete the back nine of his second round with threesomes going off two tees, before the third round starts.
But he is no stranger to mammoth rounds at the year’s final major, having endured a 36-hole last day during his title defence at the 2016 edition — when he finished runner-up to Jimmy Walker by one shot.
Marc Leishman sits at one under following a disappointing 71. Australian club pro Craig Hocknull (three over) and Cameron Smith (four over) will also complete their second rounds on Saturday and will have to work to sneak inside the projected cut line of even par.
Scott’s fellow former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who took the green jacket in 2011, matched the all-time tournament record by firing a seven-under par 63 to stand on 133.
“It’s a good position to be in and there’s a lot of holes to be played,” Schwartzel said.
“You’re going to have to keep firing. Most majors the weekends get difficult, but I think this course you’re going to have to keep shooting birdies.
“I’m looking forward to playing on the weekend and competing in a major. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Schwartzel’s only top-five finish since his Masters triumph came last year when he finished third at Augusta National behind the head-to-head duel of winner Sergio Garcia and Britain’s Justin Rose.
The 33-year-old South African has missed the cut at all three prior majors this year and eight of his past 20 major starts.
Scott’s only win since 2013 came at the 2016 WGC event at Doral. The Aussie’s only top 10 showing in the past 12 majors was ninth last year at Augusta. His best PGA finish was a share of third in 2006.
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Originally published as Long day ahead for Jason as Scott surges