US PGA Championship 2022: second round – live! | US PGA


Abraham Ancer looks in the mood all right! He sends a wedge at 13 screaming to a halt six inches from the cup. He’ll tap that in to move to -5 and a tie for second.

-6: Thomas (F)
-5: Zalatoris (4), Ancer (4*)
-4: McIlroy (4)

Robert MacIntyre is this close to draining a 40-footer at the par-three 8th. So unlucky. That would have brought the 24-year-old Scot into red figures; he remains at level par as it is. Meanwhile some Austrian admin to tie up: you may recall Bernd Wiesberger making three birdies in five holes earlier on to move to -1 overall. His round subsequently threatened to spiral out of control, after bogeys at 16 and 18, but he recovered wonderfully on the front nine, with birdies at 5 and 6. He got home unscathed for a fine 67. He’s -1 going into the weekend.

Jordan Spieth makes up for that opening-hole bogey with a superb birdie at 4. He sends his approach over the flag to 12 feet, then guides in the right-to-left swinger. He’s back to +2, and won’t consider himself out of this, not by a long chalk. Yet another level-par four for Tiger, who remains at +4. Then finally par for McIlroy, who made a meal of the 366-yard hole after battering a drive 320 down the middle.

Last week, Xander Schauffele only just survived the cut at the Byron Nelson. He then shot 65 on Saturday and 61 on Sunday to spring from the pack and nearly snatch the title, missing out by just one shot to KH Lee. The short version: he’s in form. A 68 yesterday, and now he’s started up with five pars in a row. He’s hovering around quietly at -2, just four off the lead, and with more than enough time left to make his mark.

Abraham Ancer had a top-ten finish at Kiawah Island last year, the 31-year-old Mexican’s best performance at at major. He’s looking to go even better this time round, and follows up yesterday’s fine 67 with a birdie at 12. Meanwhile a birdie for Viktor Hovland at 4. It’s only his second of the week so far … but he’s only made one bogey. The young Norwegian has been super-steady so far, and gets his reward by moving into the red at -1.

-6: Thomas (F)
-5: Zalatoris (3)
-4: McIlroy (3), Ancer (3*)
-3: Fitzpatrick (F),
Pereira (5*), Smith (3), Hoge (2*)

Tom Hoge is one of the later starters this afternoon. The wait must have put the North Carolinian on edge, because he sends his opening drive into trouble down the right of 10, and the mistake eventually causes him a shot. He slips back to -3. Back on 3, McIlroy can only gouge his second just short of the green. He bumps a lovely chip up to three feet, and salvages his par. But that’s two scrambles and a bogey for the overnight leader, who will be hoping to warm up very soon. He remains at -4. Meanwhile it’s a 4-4-4 start for Tiger, who as things stand is +4 and will be going home, but there’s a long way to go.

McIlroy flushed the majority of his drives yesterday. He’s now missed three fairways out of three today. He sends this one on 3 out to the right and is fairly fortunate not to end up in the trees. A slow start for Matt Kuchar, too; he bogeys 12 to slip to -2.

McIlroy makes his first mistake of the second round. He again sends his tee shot into the rough, then nearly whistles his approach into a bunker at the back of the green. He’s left with an awkward stance, teetering on the lip, and hits a hot chip past the hole and onto the fringe, very lucky not to send his ball rolling down a swale. He very nearly salvages his par but despite a good read, fails to give his putt enough juice, and he slips to -4.

-6: Thomas (F)
-5: Zalatoris (2)
-4: McIlroy (2), Hoge
-3: Fitzpatrick (F),
Pereira (3*), Smith (2), Ancer (1*)

An upbeat finish to the day for Joaquin Niemann. Things began to go awry for the Chilean after the turn: bogeys at 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8. But he stemmed the bleeding with a semi-restorative birdie at 9, and while he has to settle for a 71 that promised so much more, he’s still -1 overall and well set for Moving Day.

Joaquin Niemann finishes with a respectable 71.
Joaquin Niemann finishes with a respectable one-over par 71. Photograph: Orlando Ramirez/USA Today Sports

Seamus Power is making his PGA debut this week, the additional prize for winning the Barbasol Championship last July. The Barbasol was the alternate event running parallel with the Open, and so he didn’t get an invitation to the Masters as he would with a normal PGA Tour event. But that didn’t matter, because he earned a place anyway by making the quarters at the World Match Play. The 36-year-old from County Waterford is clearly a late bloomer, because he tied for 27th at Augusta, a fine debut that followed a tie for 33rd at the Players. Now he’s going well yet again at a big tournament: a 69 today to follow yesterday’s 71. At level par, he’s well set for the weekend. His compatriot Shane Lowry might not be in quite so chipper a mood tonight; out in 33 earlier on, he came back in 39 and ended up with a 72. He’s +2 for his week so far.

Matt Fitzpatrick ends his round with street-fighting par saves at 8 and 9! He’s in with a 69, and is very well placed for the weekend at -3. He’s joined there by Mito Pereira, who can’t find the dancefloor at 12 in regulation, and hands back a stroke in short order. Meanwhile back on 1, McIlroy, Spieth and Woods all lag long putts to kick-in distance; only Spieth drops a shot as a result of all that, and the career-slam-chasing Texan slips back to +3.

Tiger, Rory and Jordan may be first-name-recognisable superstars … but none of them managed to find the fairway with their opening drives. Tiger hits his second first, from the rough to the right. He manages to advance his ball into the front portion of the large green, the flag towards the back. Jordan, coming in from the other side, hits the branch of a tree with his second, so only gets on in three. Rory, in the best position of all, in the first cut on the left, misjudges his distance woefully and doesn’t even reach the green. All three have their first-name privileges revoked. Back to surnames it is.

Zalatoris makes his birdie at 1 as expected. Cam Smith wasn’t too far away with his second, either, and the Players champion rises to -3.

-6: Thomas (F)
-5: Zalatoris (1), McIlroy
-4: Pereira (2*), Hoge
-3: Fitzpatrick (17*),
Smith (1), Kuchar (1*), Ancer

Will Zalatoris pulls his opening drive into the rough down the left of 1. No matter! He bumps his second into the front of the green and rolls his ball to almost kick-in distance. Zalatoris misses more tiddlers than most, but he’s not going to miss what’s left. He’ll be making birdie to join Rory McIlroy at -5. And speaking of the overnight leader … back up on the tee, Rory, Jordan and Tiger – this afternoon’s marquee group, one consisting of folk instantly recognisable by their first names, golf’s equivalent of Prince, Beyoncé and Elvis – send their drives away. This is on!

Joaquin Niemann has been struggling on the front nine too. Bogeys at 2, 4 and now 6, with only a birdie at the forgiving par-five 5th by way of balance. He’s back to level par for his round, and -2 overall. Better news for his compatriot Mito Pereira, though. The 27-year-old from Santiago is making his PGA Championship debut this week, and has started off at warp speed today. Birdies at 10 and 11, and all of a sudden he’s right in the mix!

-6: Thomas (F)
-5: McIlroy
-4: Pereira (2*), Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Fitzpatrick (16*), Ancer, Kuchar
-2: Niemann (15*), Kirk (2*), Schauffele (1), Riley, Na, Smith

Thanks Tom … and yes, most likely it’s farewell Scottie Scheffler. That’s a bit of a capitulation by the world number one, who parred every hole on the back nine, and was sitting comfortably, if not prettily, at +1. He then came home in 40 strokes to end up +6. That double bogey on 9 will surely see him miss the cut, but though he won’t appreciate this right now, he’s provided succour to weekend hackers everywhere. He took five strokes to get down from 109 yards! If it can happen to the Masters champion, it can happen to anyone. So thanks to Scottie for that. Hey, he’ll be back, raring to go at Brookline next month. And he’ll always have Augusta.

Scottie Scheffler with a terrible back nine in his second round. He’ll be watching the final two rounds on the telly.
Scottie Scheffler with a terrible back nine in his second round. He’ll be watching the final two rounds on the telly. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/PGA of America/Getty Images

More like it from Fitzpatrick, driving to within 10 ft or so of the pin on the 7th, setting up a birdie that regains the shot he recently dropped. Meanwhile Scheffler, under pressure, has to play out of a bunker and pulls it just wide of the 8th green. And then underhits to the edge of the green, giving himself a tricky par putt that he pushes just wide of the hole. He misses the bogey-putt too and is surely now a goner. Niemann has also dropped a shot with a loose putt on 6.

And with that, I’ll hand you back to a well-nourished Scott.

Here’s a good backgrounder from Ewan Murray on how this tournament got awarded to Southern Hills, in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riot that led to it being taken away from Donald Trump’s Bedminster:

Matt Fitzpatrick’s lost a bit of momentum, taking three indifferent drives to reach the green of the par-five 5th and then overhitting a birdie putt.

-6: Thomas (F),
-5 McIlroy
-4: Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Ancer, Kuchar,
-2: Niemann (13*), Wise (*10), Fitzpatrick (14*), Riley, Na, Smith, Schauffele, Pereira, Kirk

The Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler, is in a bit of bother. His latest putt drifts right of the flag and he then blunders his par putt to record a fourth bogey in seven holes. He’s now four over after 16. He could be going home if he can’t stop the rot on his remaining holes. Meanwhile Niemann finds another bunker from the tee but it looks retrievable.

Thomas takes the lead! A beautifully measured birdie putt at the par-four 9th completes an excellent round of 67. That’s a hell of a morale booster to take to the clubhouse

More too little too late excellence from Dustin Johnson as he concludes his round with another exquisite birdie putt to sign for a 73. He ends up six over overall.

Thomas taps in for par in the end on the 7th, while Tiger Woods is approaching the practice green, needing to improve after toiling in his four-over first round yesterday. While Matt Fitzpatrick drops a shot on the 4th.

Dustin Johnson may almost certainly be going home, at eight over par through 16 holes, but he’s just drained an excellent birdie putt on the 7th, only to double-bogey the next hole.

-5: Thomas (17*), McIlroy
-4: Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Niemann (11*), Ancer, Kuchar, Wise (*10)
-2: Fitzpatrick (13*), Riley, Na, Smith, Schauffele, Pereira, Kirk

Dustin Johnson looks like he’ll miss the cut.
Dustin Johnson looks like he’ll miss the cut. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Thanks Scott, and we start with Niemann again making his life difficult by hooking his drive to the right and into a bunker on 3. His recovery shot is good though, taking him within 10ft or so of the pin. And he confidently drains his par putt. He stays three under. Thomas, on the par-four 7th, finds a handy green position from the rough to keep the pressure on Rory McIlroy.

Meanwhile Ian Poulter, struggling to extend his stay, sinks a wonderful 60-foot putt for birdie on the taxing 5th. But he’s still four over.

Ian Poulter plays a shot from the bunker on the 10th.
Ian Poulter plays a shot from the bunker on the 10th. Photograph: Orlando Ramirez/USA Today Sports

Anyway, I’m off for a large bowl of Hamburger Helper, the only food-flavored foodstuff to be marketed by a singing golf glove. Tom Davies will be your guide for the next hour. See you again soon!

-5: Thomas (15*), McIlroy
-4: Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Fitzpatrick (12*), Niemann (11*), Ancer, Kuchar
-2: Wise (9*), Riley, Na, Smith, Schauffele, Pereira, Kirk

Niemann makes the bogey putt! It’s not an ideal situation, of course it’s not, but that up and down from sand will make him feel so much better, after otherwise traversing the hole in a very shoddy fashion. The sort of damage-limitation exercise that so often wins tournaments. He slips back to -3. Meanwhile the travails of the world number one Scottie Scheffler continue. Having taken one step forward with that excellent birdie at 4, he dumps his approach at the par-five 5th into sand, and eventually runs up a bogey six. On the second-easiest hole on the course, that’s handing a shot back to the field, perhaps slightly more if you want to get mathematically precise about it, which I

can’t
don’t.

Niemann does indeed have a route to the 2nd green, but he’s got to fire under some branches. Also, he’s not getting any spin from the Bermuda rough, and so his ball whistles hysterically across the dancefloor and into a bunker at the back. It’s probably a better outcome than being further down the swale, but not by much. He makes a decent job of the long splash out, but the ball still rolls 15 feet past, and he’ll have work to do to limit the damage to bogey. He then falls backwards out of the bunker, leavening the downbeat atmosphere with a little slapstick humour.

Disaster for Niemann, technically playing the 2nd but hitting from the 7th fairway. His back foot slips as he starts his downswing, and an attempt to lob over the trees and back towards the 2nd green ends in failure. His ball whistles into the branches, then rebounds back into the thick rough. If he’s got a route to the green from there, he’ll be very lucky. Meanwhile a sensational up and down from a deep bunker at the front of 18 by Aaron Wise, who smacks out blind over the high face, then rolls in the 15-foot saver. A par, and he turns in 34, -2 for the tournament.

Niemann’s radar has suddenly gone very wonky. Having gone miles left at 1, onto the 4th fairway, he sends his drive at 2 way right, towards the 7th. There’s much to be said for reconnaissance, but this is taking thorough preparation to its very limits. Meanwhile up on 6, Thomas can’t make his right-to-left birdie slider, the ball always destined to die off on the low side. He remains in a share at -5.

Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler pepper the flag at 4. However it’s only the Masters champ who can convert his birdie putt. He rises back to +2 alongside Rahm. Meanwhile there’ll be another birdie opportunity for Justin Thomas, this time at the par-three 6th. He sends his tee shot over the flag, and will have a 15-foot look coming back.

JT joins Rory at the top once more! His drive at the par-five 5th finds a bunker down the right, and he’s forced to lay up. But he arrows a 6-iron into the heart of the green, then rolls in a 25-footer across it for birdie. He’ll have felt deflated when his tee shot found sand on one of the easiest holes on the course – it was ranked 17 yesterday, 14 today – but now he’ll be walking towards the 6th tee on air. Meanwhile Niemann does indeed make his two-putt par on 1.

-5: Thomas (14*), McIlroy
-4: Niemann (10*), Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Fitzpatrick (10*), Ancer, Kuchar
-2: Wise (8*), Riley, Na, Smith, Schauffele, Pereira, Kirk

A wild old tee shot on 1 from Joaquin Niemann. He hooks his drive onto the 4th fairway. But there’s enough room to whip his wedge over the trees between the holes, and lands his second into the heart of the green. That’s a lovely Seve-esque moment, and though he’s 30 feet from the flag, he should at least make his par to remain one off the lead at -4.

Joaquin Niemann hits from the trees on the 13th.
Joaquin Niemann hits from the trees on the 13th. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

A frustrating lip-out for birdie on 18 for Joaquin Niemann. That would have given him a share of the lead at -5, but he’ll surely have taken 33 over the back nine while eating his grits for breakfast this morning. Meanwhile another birdie for Brooks Koepka, his second in three holes, this time at 5. He’s +2 and this is a huge improvement on yesterday’s dismal 75.

Scottie Scheffler nearly chips in from the side of 3 for birdie, but he’ll have to make do with par. Having dropped another stroke at 2, he really needed that. Back-to-back majors look decidedly unlikely right now; he’s +3. His partners in this marquee group aren’t going that well either; par for Jon Rahm after bogey at 2, and he’s +2, while Collin Morikawa pars to remain at +3. More had been expected from the current top three in the world.

Thomas nearly holes a snaking downhill 30-footer on 4 for birdie. The ball oscillates this way and that, and stops one turn short of dropping. That’s a masterclass in green reading. He’s happy enough with his par, though: two putts from there was far from certain, and he did well to find the green in regulation anyway after sending his tee shot into the thick stuff down the left. He remains at -4, and this is shaping up to be another efficient, no-nonsense, controlled round of golf from the 2017 champion. A Rory-versus-JT shootout on Sunday? You wouldn’t say no, would you. Yes please!

Hello, Niemann! Joaquin repairs the damage of that bogey at 15 with a textbook birdie at 17. Drive straight down the middle; approach to ten feet; in. He rejoins the group one behind Rory McIlroy at -4. Meanwhile a double-bogey six for Shane Lowry on 4, the shortest par-four on the course. He pulls his approach into a greenside bunker, and it all goes south from there. He’s +1, and all of a sudden a tilt at the title looks like turning into a battle to survive the cut.

-5: McIlroy
-4: Thomas (12*),

Newman
Niemann (8*), Hoge, Zalatoris
-3: Fitzpatrick (9*), Ancer, Kuchar



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