Brooks Koepka off to record-setting start at PGA Championship

Annette Crawford
May 18, 2019

The 15-time major victor sits at 2 over through nine holes in the second round, which is just one shot clear of the current projected cutline (3 over).

"He played well", Woods said. "I don't see them cutting the rough down, so it's just going to place another premium on driving the ball". He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens but needed 31 putts.

Of those who have completed their second rounds at the Long Island course in NY state, three-time major victor Jordan Spieth shot a four-under 66 to set the clubhouse target on five under, still two behind Koepka.

Woods made two double bogeys and had three greens where he three-putted.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka has put himself in prime position for a fourth major victory in two years with a record-setting start to the US PGA Championship in NY.

Following his huge Masters win in April, it was a disappointing opener for Woods, fraught with errors and leaving him with very little room for any more mistakes if he plans on taking home a second major win in a row.

The 43-year-old U.S. superstar opened with a double bogey at 10, added another at the par-3 17th and despite a 30-foot eagle putt at the par-5 fourth was unable to challenge Koepka after bogeys on three of the next four holes. "But I'm hitting it a lot better than I did the end of last year, beginning of this year".

"I didn't take advantage of my opportunities there", he said, reviewing all of his bad holes in near-perfect conditions. He bogied four of his first five holes on the back nine and couldn't make up ground.

Bethpage may also be a good omen for Woods, who won the US Open here in 2002. Koepka is the ninth player to open with a 63 in a major.

He had a 7-under-par 63, making him the first player in 101 years of the PGA Championship to shoot that score twice. Woods' tee shot on hole No. 1 found the crowd, then the greenside bunker, and it was down hill from there. The golf schedule has been reworked with an eye toward wrapping up the season in August before the football season gets started. "I think I'm still learning, understandably, my game, and I've figured it out".

"He played well. I mean, he hit a couple loose tee shots today that ended up in good spots, but I think that was probably the highest score he could have shot today", said Woods.

"That's a huge bonus for me", he said.

Koepka then showed what he has done lately - back-to-back U.S. Open titles, a PGA Championship and an ideal start in his bid to join Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship in stroke play.

The 43-year-old quickly recovered from the setback, though, as he carded pars at his next two holes to remain at two over par. "It requires more patience which feeds into what I'm trying to do".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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