2016 PGA Championship: Friday Birdies & Bogeys
July 29, 2016
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Birdie: Robert Streb
You might be asking yourself Who is Robert Streb? Well, he’s ranked 74th in the world, 140th in driving accuracy, 180th in total putting, 137th in birdie average, and he clearly doesn’t care about any of that because he’s tied for the lead at the PGA Championship through 36 holes. Oh yeah, he also shot the 30th 63 in major championship history, racking up eight birdies at Baltusrol to catch Jimmy Walker. Incredibly, after failing to make the weekend in the year's first three majors, Streb will have Saturday's latest tee time. -- Keely Levins
Birdie: Jason Day
After a double bogey on No. 7 dropped him back to even par, Day was in danger of leaving Baltusrol early. But the Aussie responded by birdieing seven of the next eight holes to climb within two shots of the lead. It's a packed leader board heading into the weekend, but the one name that stands out is the World No. 1, who also trailed by two shots heading into the final two rounds of last year's PGA before shooting 66-67 to claim his first major. What should scare Day's opponents even more is the fact he's failed to birdie either of Baltusrol's par 5s yet. -- Alex Myers
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Bogey: Rory McIlroy
“I'm driving it as well as I ever have, I think," McIlroy said on Thursday. "When I get on the greens it's a different story." Unfortunately for Rory, that narrative continued on Friday. A day after logging 35 putts at Baltusrol, McIlroy’s flatstick fared no better on Friday, ranking him 151st in strokes gained/putting for the tournament. However, it was a shaky approach on 18 that wound up costing him the most. McIlroy made a closing bogey to miss the cut, equating to a second-straight major-less year. -- Joel Beall
Birdie: Jimmy Walker
A bogey on the 18th -- a hole that had more birdies than pars from the field -- left a sour taste in Walker's mouth. Otherwise, it was a solid follow-up to Thursday’s 65, as Walker turned in a four-under performance to stay atop the 2016 PGA Championship leader board. Walker hit only 15 fairways through two rounds, and his GIR percentage (53.57) leaves much to be desired. But the 37-year-old Texan is getting it done with the flatstick, ranking sixth in strokes gained/putting during the tournament. If he can get it straightened out off the tee, the Wanamaker will be in Walker’s grasp. -- J.B.
Birdie: Jordan Spieth
After a 2015 historic campaign in which he seriously contended in all four majors, Spieth was in danger of being a non-factor in the final three of 2016. But that changed on Friday morning with a first-nine 32 that briefly got him to within one shot of the lead. Spieth wound up shooting 67, and he’ll enter the weekend in the hunt to claim major No. 3. And yet, it wasn't his second-round score that had everyone talking. . .
Bogey: Hysteria Over Spieth's Drop
After a lengthy discussion with a rules official on the seventh hole, Spieth took a drop from a puddle on a gravel path. However, many, including TNT’s Gary McCord and Dottie Pepper, questioned whether Spieth took full relief, which set off mass hysteria on Twitter. But unlike at the U.S. Open, all the talk was for nothing. Spieth didn’t break a rule and fortunately, we didn’t have another controversial penalty doled out at a major (Although we did get another convoluted explanation as to why). It's OK, everyone. You can take a deep breath now. -- A.M.
Birdie: Henrik Stenson
So much for a Troon hangover. The recent winner of the claret jug has shown zero signs of slowing down, posting consecutive 67s to position himself among the weekend leaders at Baltusrol. Though he seemed happy with his play thus far, Stenson was aware of the task still at hand. “We know it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” he said after the round. “It’s all about being there for Sunday afternoon, and so far, so good.” -- J.B.
Bogey: Dustin Johnson
After a disastrous seven-over 77 in his opening round, Johnson needed to go low Friday morning to make the weekend. Luckily, wet, sloppy conditions at Baltusrol left the course vulnerable, evidenced in a 65 and a handful of 67 from the second round’s early wave. Alas, DJ failed to take advantage of this fortune, recording a lone birdie to three bogeys for a two-over 72. The figure left Johnson, who entered the PGA Championship as one of the Vegas favorites, miles from the cutline. If the U.S. Open winner is wondering what went wrong, his iron game would be a good place to start: Johnson hit just 22 greens on the week. Of course, when he was on the dance floor, he didn’t fare much better, averaging a ghastly 1.9 putts per green. -- J.B.
Birdie: Patrick Reed
To the contingent that calls Reed a pretender due to his track record, or lack thereof, at majors, a fair warning: Prepare to eat crow. Playing in opportune conditions Friday morning at Baltusrol, Reed paced the early wave with a five-under 65. He’s now two days away from being the fourth maiden major winner this season. If that premise surprises you, you have company. Just know Reed's not part of it. "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, yeah, I believe in myself," Reed asserted. "I play golf. I am who I am." -- J.B.
Bogey: PGA of America
The PGA Championship may have avoided a full-blown rules controversy with Jordan Spieth, but the tournament was not without a different kind of regrettable situation on Friday. Players were initially given a sheet (pictured) with an incorrect hole location for the par-4 10th hole and the mistake wasn’t realized until after the first group playing the hole -- Colt Knost, Yuta Ikeda and Jim Summerhays -- had hit their approach shots. Knost, who made bogey and wound up sweating out making the cut on the number, was particularly upset. “It sucks,” he said before adding, “It’s a big deal and it shouldn’t happen in tournaments like this. It shouldn’t happen in any tournament.” -- A.M.
Birdie: Emiliano Grillo
Grillo was the quintessential first day PGA Championship story, a relatively obscure, green tour player briefly vaulting into contention before eventually succumbing to his surroundings. Instead, Grillo followed up his opening 66 with an arguably more impressive three-under 67 to move two shots off the lead and into Saturday's penultimate pairing alongside Jason Day. In a season in which he won his first event on the PGA Tour, the Frys.com Open, Grillo has already exceeded his own expectations, and says he's prepared for the challenge of the next two days. "I want to be here," he said. "I wanted this my whole life. I want to win a major. I practice really hard for it and then I'm right there." -- Sam Weinman
Bogey: Sergio Garcia
Playing in one of the marquee groups with Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson, Garcia had the misfortune of teeing off in difficult conditions Thursday afternoon, yet still managed a respectful 71. But Garcia failed to cash in on Friday’s easier set-up, hitting only 11 greens and amassing a whopping 36 putts to shoot a four-over 74. The 36-year-old Spaniard arrived at Baltusrol as a popular pick thanks to back-to-back T-5s at Oakmont and Troon. At five over, he’ll pack his bags Friday night with the major monkey still on his back. -- J.B.
Birdie: Billy Hurley III
Hurley began his day on the outside looking in thanks to a first-round 72. That’s no longer the case heading into the weekend. Hurley, a former Navy Lieutenant who won his first career event last month at Congressional, fired one of the best rounds of the tournament with a five-under 65. Although he’s short off the tee, Hurley kept the ball in play, finding 14 greens in regulation in Round 2. And when he was on the short stuff, he was lights-out with the putter, ranking fourth in the field in strokes gained/putting. Hurley is playing in his first PGA Championship, but with more rounds like Friday, it won’t be his last. -- J.B.
Bogey: Club Pros
Look, it's not really fair to pick on the bold souls who work real jobs most of the year, only to throw themselves into the deep end with the best players in the world. But if a measurement of success for the 20 club pros in the PGA is just one of them making the cut, consider this year a disappointment. For the second time in three years, no club pros will make it to the weekend, and as was the case that last time, Wisconsin's Ryan Helminen came the closest, missing by a mere stroke at three over par after Friday's 71. -- S.W.
Birdie: Andrew (Beef) Johnston
No one has gotten a more disproportionate amount of coverage this week based on prior accomplishments than Andrew (Beef) Johnston, but no player has had their name, or nickname, shouted/chanted/screamed/shrieked more for two days at the PGA Championship, either. And with a second-round 69, Beef continued to prove he's not just a side show and that he belongs playing with the world’s best. His one under total also ensured two more days of Beefsanity at Baltusrol. “Yeah, it's going to be noisy,” Johnston said after. “I can't wait. I can't wait.” -- A.M.