Matsuyama, Kisner new lead duo
25-year-old Japanese star fires 7-under 64; Spieth is far behind
CHARLOTTE, N.C.» Hideki Matsuyama never looks satisfied with his shots or his score, no matter how good they look.
Perhaps it will take winning a major to change that.
Friday, only five days after the 25-yearold Japanese star closed with a sizzling 61 to post his second World Golf Championship tournament victory, Matsuyama motored through a dampened Quail Hollow with a 7under-par 64 that gave him a share of the lead with Kevin Kisner (67) after two rounds of the 99th PGA Championship.
They were at 8-under 134 overall, all but ending the hopes of Jordan Spieth to get the career Grand Slam this year.
Heavy rain that suspended play Friday afternoon made Quail Hollow more vulnerable than it has been all week, but Spieth couldn’t take advantage. The 24-year-old Texan made only one birdie, finished with a bogey and shot a 2-over 73. He goes into the weekend 11 shots out of the lead.
“I kind of accept the fact that I’m essentially out of this tournament pending some form of crazy stuff the next couple of days,” Spieth said.
Kisner faced tougher, faster conditions in the morning and holed a 50-foot eagle putt from short of the green on the par-5 seventh hole. When his round was over, Kisner had a five-shot lead over the players from his side of the draw.
“These guys going out this afternoon, they break 70, they’ve done a (heck) of a job,” Rory McIlroy said after a 73 that put him 10 shots back.
Light rain began falling not long after McIlroy’s prediction. Then, storms rolled in with heavy rain that drenched the course and forced a rain delay of 1 hour, 43 minutes. And when the second round resumed, it felt like an entirely different golf course.
Jason Day, who played a four-hole stretch in 5-under around the turn and before the storms, began smashing driver without regard that it might run through the fairways and into the rough. He shot a 5-under 66 and was two shots behind.
There were pitch marks on the greens. There were splotches of mud on the balls. But the biggest difference was the rain took the fear out of putting on the fast, frightening greens and sent scores tumbling.
Francesco Molinari also fired a 64 and was at 5-under 137 — along with Louis Oosthuizen, who shot a 67.
Matsuyama, finishing his swing with one hand as tee shots found the fairway, already was playing great and putting even better. The storm delay did not stop him.
He ran off four consecutive birdies starting on No. 12 when he hit his approach into 12 feet. That was the longest of his seven birdie putts, though he also made a 20-foot par putt on the ninth hole. When the round resumed, Matsuyama got up-and-down for a birdie on the 15th, saved par from a bunker on the 16th and then drilled a 7-iron over the bunker to 7 feet for a birdie on the par-3 17th. He had a putt just over 12 feet for a birdie on the 18th that would have tied the PGA Championship record of 63, but it missed to the left.