Zalatoris keeps the putter under control to lead at the half way point

Will Zalatoris hit the front going into the weekend of the 104th PGA Championship as Scottie Scheffler missed the cut by two shots.

Despite his nervy putting stroke Zalatoris was faultless as he carded a bogey-free 65, backing up his opening round 66 and leads the unknown Mito Pereira by one shot.

Justin Thomas is looking solid at six under having set the early pace with a second consecutive 67, which was impressive as the morning groups had to deal with strong winds and uncut greens. The 2017 PGA Champion’s score looked good enough to hold the lead going into Saturday, but as the conditions improved so did the scoring.

Another Major champion is in the mix, Bubba Watson fired a best-of-the-day 63 to hold fourth spot on his own, ahead of a trio on four-under that includes Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy got off to a strong start but carded a one-over 71 today to slip from the lead into a tie for fifth, five shots behind Zalatoris.

“I was just trying to get back to even for the day,” he said. “I made a nice birdie on 12 but then couldn’t quite capitalise on my chances. Although, in saying that, I saved par on 16, 17, 18, which was really big. I’ve kept myself within touching distance. I just didn’t hit it in the fairway enough on the front nine. It make such a difference hitting it in the fairways here. The rough takes so much control away from you. I’ll reset. If someone said you’re going to be fifth going into the weekend before yesterday I’d have taken it.”

Tiger Woods once more showed his strength of mind despite struggling physically. A double-bogey on the par-3 11th had him close to missing the weekend at five-over but two birdies in his final seven holes meant Tiger made it with a shot to spare.

“Today I had a better feel for it but I still hit some bad iron shots,” Tiger said upon reflection. “If I can just get it to within putting range, I’m putting well. I made a couple good par putts on the back nine and it was a good fight. Hopefully I can have a hot weekend and do what Bubba did today and we’ll see.”

LEADERBOARD

  • -9 Zalatoris
  • -8 Pereira
  • -6 Thomas
  • -5 Watson
  • -4 Ancer, McIlroy, Riley
  • -3 Fitzpatrick, Cink
  • Woods +3, Spieth +1

BIG NAMES TO MISS THE CUT

  • +5 Stenson, Poulter
  • +6 Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Westwood
  • +7 Garcia, scott
  • +13 Wolff, Berger

 

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