PGA Championship

Hideki Matsuyama rides birdie flurry to join Kevin Kisner atop the PGA Championship

Hideki Matsuyama made seven birdies and shot a 64 to climb into a tie for the lead with Kevin Kisner in the second round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
Hideki Matsuyama made seven birdies and shot a 64 to climb into a tie for the lead with Kevin Kisner in the second round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

What Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama did Friday would have been spectacular, even if this wasn’t the PGA Championship.

Matsuyama, the world’s third-ranked male golfer, shot a 64 to climb into a tie for the lead, with Kevin Kisner of Aiken, S.C., in the second round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

Matsuyama, who won last week at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, finished Friday with seven birdies and no bogeys. He was particularly masterful on the back nine, making four consecutive birdies on holes 12, 13, 14 and 15.

“I am playing well. But whether it’s the best that I’ve ever played in my career, I’m not sure,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter.

“This is my first experience leading a major, or tied for the lead, after 36 holes.”

Matsuyama and Kisner will start the third round 8-under par. Kisner scored back-to-back 67s, with a morning tee time Friday.

“I haven’t hit this well this whole summer -- a lot of average finishes,” said Kisner, who has won twice on the PGA Tour. “When I start hitting it the way I am now, I play well.”

Play was suspended for weather at about 4:45 p.m. Friday, resuming at 6:26. That meant the last four playing groups of the afternoon session, including contender Chris Stoud (5 under with five holes remaining in the round), must finish Saturday morning before beginning the third round. The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m.

The weather suspension had potential to throw off Matsuyama, who was in the midst of his birdie flurry. Instead, he said, the break did him good because he was growing tired on a particularly humid day. Matsuyama laid down in the locker room until the weather system passed and players were told to warm up for resumption of the round.

Australian Jason Day shot a 5-under 66 Friday for sole possession of second place, two behind the leaders. Italian Francesco Molinari matched Matsuyama for the best round in this tournament with a 64. That moved him into a three-way tie for third with Stroud and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Five who mattered

Rory McIlroy: Amazing save of par on hole No. 10 after an errant shot made it almost to the adjoining fairway.

Thorbjorn Olesen: Back-to-back double bogeys on holes No. 15 and 16 were a big setback for Thursday’s co-leader.

Brooks Koepka: The U.S. Open champion had a weird stretch Friday of three bogeys, two birdies and just one par.

Jason Day: Three consecutive birdies on Nos. 8, 9 and 10 got him into contention mid-round Friday.

Davis Love III: Not a pleasant showing (10 over) for the Charlotte native in the city’s first golf major.

Worth mentioning

▪  This week’s tournament had its first weather delay when play was suspended at about 4:45 p.m. by an approaching storm cell. Play was resumed at 6:26 after a couple of downpours and the threat of lightning. The delay was for 1 hour, 43 minutes.

▪  Kevin Na’s first day did him in, but he was sure hot on the back nine Friday, scoring five birdies on holes 10 through 15.

▪  You’d think a guy with the last name “Vegas” would be lucky. Not so, Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela, who had bogeys on 1, 4 and 5 Friday to sink far away from the cut.

▪  Phil Mickelson missed a PGA Championship cut for the first time in 22 years after going 11 over in the first two rounds.

▪  John Daly’s second round started off rough with a double bogey on hole No. 10.

Observations

▪  Stephanie Rivera, wife of Carolina Panthers coach Ron, coaches golf. She was on the course Friday rooting for D.A. Points and fellow Cal alum James Hahn

▪  Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller used Twitter to show off his scorecard from a round at Quail Hollow: a 102.

▪  Another Hornets big man, Frank Kaminsky, has been all over the galleries for this event.

By the numbers

1.89 million Prize money for winning the 99th PGA Championship

3,000A player’s paycheck for making the field at Quail Hollow.

10.5 million Total prize money for this major tournament.

They said it

“It was definitely softer on your approach shots. But the putts still ran out. ...You still had to hit the fairways because the rough was still brutal.” – Louis Oosthuizen on how the course changed with the rain.

“Somehow my worst shots were finding the fairway.” – Hideki Matsuyama on his round.

“I’m essentially out of this tournament pending some form of crazy stuff the next couple of days.” – Jordan Spieth

Weather forecast

Saturday, the temperature is supposed to rise to 89 degrees. Rain chance is 40 percent with a thunderstorm possible. Winds at 6 to 12 mph.

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