PITTFORD. – Brooks Koepka says he usually shines in the majors because they are tough tests. The PGA Championship was absolutely challenging on a rainy Saturday at Oak Hill.
And so Koepka shone even during the intermittent rain. He finished all 54 holes in the lead for the second consecutive major.
He carded 66 shots, four under par. It was Oak Hill’s best score for the second day in a row.
As a result, Koepka has a one-shot advantage over Victor Hovland and Corey Connors.
Now you have to finish the work. He didn’t do that at the Masters last month, when he held a two-shot lead. He tried to avoid mistakes but turned in 75 cards.
Spaniard Jon Rahm won with a four-shot lead.
“I know what I did,” Koepka said. “I promise I won’t act the same way tomorrow.”
At the 1997 Masters, Tiger Woods was the lowest-scoring second and third-rounder and the last player to win a major, which he won by a record 12 points.
For Koepka, who has a cumulative score of 6-under 204 hits, it won’t be as easy.
Connors played at Oak Hill like the US Open. It feels like the PGA Championship.
He opened with two birdies and 13 par, which put him in front for a very wet and difficult day. Then one swing changed everything.
He was in a sand trap on the right side of the 16th fairway when he hit the ball just past the edge of the wet surface. It got caught in the roots, and the golfer had to deposit it on top of the mound that delimits the bunker.
He headed to the green through another area of overgrown grass and made a double bogey.
After being in control for so long, Connors had to be content with 70 cards.
Hovland overcame the mistakes made in the opening round, hitting three birdies on a five-hole stretch near the middle of the course. Then, the Norwegian was unable to take advantage on holes 13, 14 and 15, and bogeyed the net on 18 for a score of 70.
He will be in the final group of a major for the second time. Hovland was tied with Rory McIlroy at St Andrews last summer and finished with 74.