Rory McIlroy claimed he hit the ball "the best he had all week" after a third round of 69 at the US PGA Championship.

The four-time major winner only just made the cut but carded his best score of the tournament so far, despite some missed opportunities on the greens.

McIlroy went out in 32 - aided by an eagle at the par-five fourth - but struggled to keep the momentum going after the turn, a pair of bogeys leaving him sitting at two over after 54 holes.

Still, the 30-year-old was able to reflect on some positive signs at Bethpage Black, even if he is out of contention for glory.

“I hit the ball as good as I've hit it in a while and given myself plenty of chances," McIlroy said.

"If I had just made a couple of putts, I could have definitely shot 65, 66 easily out there today. Yeah, there is a score in me.

"It definitely could have been better. It's the best I hit it all week for sure. I sort of got it going on the front nine, and a couple of loose shots on the back nine, and obviously the back nine is tougher than the front.

"But yeah, I mean, I played well. I didn't convert as many chances as I would have liked but it was an improvement over the last couple days.

"If you look at the last nine I played yesterday and the first nine I played today, I was 7-under par for those 18 holes. It's just about putting it all together on the right day."

Brooks Koepka endured his first sign of a wobble at Bethpage Black this week but was still firmly in control of his own destiny at the US PGA Championship.

The American recorded-back-to-back bogeys at the ninth and 10th holes, which meant he was back to level par for the round and 12 under for the tournament.

Koepka was two under through eight thanks to birdies at the third and fifth holes, the latter thanks to a sensational approach shot to within three feet, and he had several other looks on the front nine.

Jazz Janewattananond was six shots back of Koepka, while world number one Dustin Johnson was a further stroke adrift having reached seven under at one stage.

Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott, who started round three as Koepka's nearest challengers, were two and three under for the tournament respectively.

Runaway leader Brooks Koepka started his third round at the US PGA Championship with a steady par.

Koepka began the week with a course-record 63 and followed up with a 65 on Friday that left him 12 under par for the tournament, with his 128 strokes marking the lowest 36-hole score in major history.

The American smoked his tee shot off the opening tee at Bethpage Black and followed with a delicate wedge and a missed birdie putt before he rolled in for an opening four.

Playing partner Jordan Spieth also made par at the first as did Adam Scott, and both players were seven shots shy of Koepka.

Dustin Johnson followed a birdie with a bogey and was at four under alongside Jazz Janewattananond and Justin Rose. 

Rory McIlroy signed for a one-under 69 and returned to the clubhouse at two over par for the tournament. The Northern Irishman went three under for his round through his opening nine holes but gave two back on the way home.

Veteran Rich Beem came home in 30 strokes to make the weekend in Long Island but signed for a 12-over-par 82 on Saturday.

Some amazing golf at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course has left the Caribbean’s best outside of the cut for the final two days of play at the BMW Jamaica Classic in Montego Bay. 

Brooks Koepka holds a remarkable seven-shot lead after 36 holes of the US PGA Championship and is threatening to triumph in a manner rarely seen in golf's biggest events.

After opening the tournament with a course-record 63 at Bethpage Black, Koepka carded a 65 on Friday to lead by a whopping seven strokes at 12 under. His aggregate score of 128 is the lowest recorded in majors.

The 29-year-old American now has a golden opportunity to retain his PGA crown and earn a fourth major title in the space of two years.

With Koepka on course to record a dominant victory, Omnisport takes a look at the biggest margins of victory at each major (since they have been played over 72 holes).

US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP - EIGHT STROKES (Rory McIlroy, 2012)

Two of McIlroy's four major victories to date have been runaway successes.

He won the 2011 U.S. Open by eight shots and repeated the feat in the following year's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island to set a new record in the event, one that now appears seriously under threat from Koepka.

In 2012, McIlroy was two off the pace after 36 holes but opened up a three-stroke lead in a third round interrupted by thunderstorms.

The final day then turned into a procession as McIlroy carded a superb 66 to reach 13 under, with England's David Lynn a distant second at minus five.

 

THE OPEN - EIGHT STROKES (J.H. Taylor, 1900, 1913; James Braid, 1908; Tiger Woods, 2000)

Old Tom Morris triumphed by 13 strokes in the Open Championship of 1862, but that tournament was a 36-hole affair, as were the 1869 and 1870 events when Young Tom Morris won by 11 and 12 shots respectively.

The 72-hole record is shared by Taylor, Braid and Woods. Taylor twice won by eight in 1900 and 1913 at St. Andrews and Royal Liverpool, with Braid doing likewise at Prestwick in 1908

Woods equalled that margin with a history-making performance in 2000, during a period of unparalleled dominance that yielded four successive major victories - the 'Tiger Slam'.

A Woods victory looked inevitable at St. Andrews when he led by three at the halfway stage and he duly streaked further clear to finish on 19 under. That score stood as a record in majors for 15 years and also saw Woods complete the career Grand Slam at the age of 24.

 

THE MASTERS - TWELVE STROKES (Tiger Woods, 1997)

Twenty-two years prior to his remarkable success at this year's Masters and the culmination of a stunning comeback from career-threatening injuries, Woods pulled off a truly astonishing performance at Augusta.

Tiger was four over after nine holes but recovered to shoot 70 on day one, before sensationally surging clear of the field with rounds of 66 and 65.

A closing 69 took Woods to a total of 18 under, a scoring record later equalled by Jordan Spieth in 2015, and victory by a dozen shots. At that point, nobody had ever won by such a margin in a 72-hole major.

THE U.S. OPEN - FIFTEEN STROKES (Tiger Woods, 2000)

Incredibly, Woods would go on to record an even bigger win in 2000, as Pebble Beach - the venue for this year's U.S. Open - played host to the most dominant major performance in history.

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ernie Els shared second on three over par, illustrating the challenging conditions on the links course.

Woods, however, was operating on an entirely different level and cruised to a 12-under total to prevail by a frankly ridiculous 15 strokes.

No one has come close to winning in such a fashion since, but that may be about to change on the evidence of Koepka's first 36 holes at Bethpage.

Masters champion Tiger Woods said he is confident of bouncing back after missing the cut at the US PGA Championship.

After reigning supreme for a breakthrough victory at Augusta last month, Woods was tamed by Bethpage Black as the former world number one made an early exit on Friday.

Woods finished five over following a second-round 73 after the 15-time major champion opened the tournament with a 72 in New York.

It was only the ninth time Woods missed the cut in a major as a professional and the four-time US PGA winner was upbeat afterwards.

"Well, it's a nice problem to have,'' Woods said. "You know, I've enjoyed being the Masters champion again and the PGA was a quick turnaround, and unfortunately I just didn't play well.

"I didn't do all the little things I need to do correctly to post good scores and put myself in position to shoot good scores.''

Woods opted against playing a tournament between the Masters and US PGA and the 43-year-old American was limited to just nine holes of practice this week due to an illness on the eve of the event.

"I'm the Masters champion and 43 years old, and that's a pretty good accomplishment," said Woods, who was grouped with Brooks Koepka and watched the defending champion earn a seven-stroke lead.

"I just wasn't moving the way I needed to. That's the way it goes. There's going to be days and weeks where it's just not going to work, and today was one of those days.''

Woods will have the chance to redeem himself during next month's US Open at Pebble Beach and he added: "There's no reason why I can't get up to speed again and crank it back up.

"I've got to start feeling a little bit better first before that happens. We'll do that first and then start cranking it back up again."

Evan Harmeling has not had the low score in either the first round or the second round. What Harmeling does have is the low 36-hole score after consecutive 66s left him at 12-under, good for a one-shot lead over Guatemala’s José Toledo, Argentina’s Augusto Núñez and American Dawson Armstrong at the BMW Jamaica Classic. Five players are two strokes in back of Harmeling, who has never won a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament.

In his opening-round 66, Harmeling had one hiccup during his day, a bogey at No. 13. Since then, he has played 23 consecutive holes with either a par or birdie. Harmeling did most of his damage on Cinnamon Hill Golf Club’s front nine Friday, with two par-4 birdies and back-to-back birdies on the par-5 fifth and sixth holes, the latter birdie a bit disappointing as his “good look” for eagle just missed. “It was a good little stretch there,” Harmeling said. He also had what he called a “nice par” on his closing hole to not give up a stroke. His other birdies during the round came at Nos. 10 and 18.

Harmeling has played 55 previous PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments, his best finish coming in the final event of the 2018 season—the Shell Championship, a runner-up showing as he fell short of winner Harry Higgs. This season, Harmeling has struggled for consistency, with two missed cuts and a tie for 40th the best finish of his three made cuts.

Brooks Koepka created more history as he extended his US PGA Championship lead but the three-time major winner was not completely satisfied with his second-round performance.

It was the Koepka show in New York, where the defending champion carded a five-under-par 65 to stretch his advantage to seven strokes atop the leaderboard Friday.

After breaking the course record with an opening round of 63, Koepka's day-two display at Bethpage Black saw him improve to a combined 128 shots – the lowest after 36 holes at a major.

"This probably sounds bad, but today was a battle," Koepka said during news conference. "I didn't strike it that good. I was leaking a few to the right. The way I hung in there today and battled it, I think that was probably more impressive than yesterday.

"Not having your A game but still being able to shoot a great score. I was very, very pleased with the way I played today."

"I putted great," the 29-year-old added. "I feel every time I even slide the putter right behind the ball, it's lined up perfectly, and I don't have to do anything. I don't have to kind of adjust.

"I feel as comfortable as I've ever felt putting this week. You know, like I said, poa isn't my favourite grass to putt on, but I felt like my speed control has been pretty good.

"Today was a little off. I left a few short. You know, and then 17, I actually hit a great putt. Just bounced twice on me. I'm very pleased with what we've done in the past -- since Augusta, the changes we've made and where it's at right now."

"I'd like to see that lead grow as large as it possibly can," Koepka, who leads Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott, continued. "I still have to go out there and do what I'm supposed to do, keep putting the ball in the right spot and make sure that you don't make any double-bogeys, and I should have a good chance of winning the championship."

Koepka played alongside 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who sensationally missed the cut heading into the weekend.

Four-time US PGA winner Woods, who claimed the Masters, could only manage a second-round 75 as the legendary golfer finished five over.

"It's always fun to play with him and play in front of a large crowd and kind of showcase your stuff. I think that's fun. You know you have to bring your game when you're with him. You know he's going to have a large support system out there. I think that's a given everywhere we go. I enjoy playing with him. I love it.

"I'm so focused on myself, and I learned that the first time I played with Tiger, this championship, I think in 2013. All I did was watch him for nine holes. That's what I grew up doing. I grew up watching him on TV, and I spent the first nine holes, all I did was pay attention to every move he made. You know, whether he was just picking up his tee, whatever it was. And you can't do that. You've got to focus on your own game.

"I'm so focused on what I'm doing now, it doesn't matter who is in the group, where it is, but it's fun to have that energy of him in the group for sure."

 

Tiger Woods will miss the weekend at the US PGA Championship after failing to make the cut at Bethpage Black.

Just a month on from winning a memorable 15th major title via the Masters, the legendary Woods struggled at the Long Island course.

An opening two-over-par 72 meant Woods was already in a perilous position heading into Friday's second round and a score of 73 left him on the wrong side of the cut line on five over.

Woods – playing alongside runaway leader Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari – was level for the round through nine holes as two bogeys were answered by two birdies, but three dropped shots in a row from the 10th to the 12th hindered his cause.

A birdie at the par-five 13th proved a brief rally as a bogey immediately followed and he failed to pick up the gain he needed at the last to continue his participation in the tournament.

The 43-year-old is not the only big name heading home early, though. Jon Rahm carded a disappointing 75 to also finish on five over par, while Bubba Watson (+5), Ian Poulter (+6), Bryson DeChambeau (+6) all missed the cut.

Woods was only able to complete nine holes in practice after opting to rest rather than hit the course on Wednesday but he said that was essential in order for him to play.

"You know, just don't feel well and just not able to do it. But resting would be better, so I would have energy to play," he said. 

"You know, unfortunately I just didn't - I made too many mistakes and just didn't do the little things I need to do. I had a couple three-putts. I didn't hit wedges close. I didn't hit any fairways. I did a lot of little things wrong."

Playing partner Koepka followed a course-record 63 in round one by with a five-under 65 and his total of 128 strokes is the lowest 36-hole score in major history.

Commenting on Koepka's achievement, Woods said: "To get to where he's at, to go to The Challenge Tour, The European Tour, he paid his dues. He found a game and a dedication that he needed to play well and he's doing that.

"And everyone's different. Everyone peaks differently and does things differently, and he's found what he needs to do for himself, and at, what is he, 29? He's got many more years ahead of him where he can do this."

Brooks Koepka made history for the second successive day at the US PGA Championship as he reached the halfway stage with a commanding seven-shot lead.

After breaking the course record with an opening round of 63, the defending champion followed up by signing for a 65 at Bethpage Black on Friday to leave him sitting pretty at the summit on 12 under par.

His combined total of 128 shots is the lowest recorded after 36 holes at a major, a remarkable achievement at a course considered to be one of the toughest in the world.

Koepka had three birdies on his front nine as he went out in 32 and despite two dropped shots on the back nine – his first bogey of the tournament coming at the 10th hole – a three at the par-four 18th helped secure a comfortable cushion over nearest rivals Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott.

The brilliant Brooks Koepka was threatening to turn the US PGA Championship into a one-man tournament as he birdied three of his first four holes on Friday to open up a five-shot lead at Bethpage.

By the time the reigning champion teed off on Friday, having carded a sublime, seven-under 63 the previous day, his advantage stood at two strokes, with Jordan Spieth shooting 66 to move into second.

Koepka wasted no time in pulling further clear, though. Gains on his first two holes were followed by another at the par-five fourth, lifting the three-time major winner to a scarcely believable score of 10 under on a course renowned for its difficulty.

He could even have registered an eagle at four after hitting his second shot to 17 feet.

There was still plenty of time for things to change, particularly with challenging winds forecast for the afternoon wave, but the American was looking unstoppable.

Spieth's four-under round on Friday left him one ahead of Daniel Berger and Dustin Johnson, who shot 66 and 67 respectively. Tommy Fleetwood duly birdied the eighth to join Spieth at five under.

Rory McIlroy slumped to seven over at one point but looked likely to have done enough to make the cut at plus three after registering four birdies on his inward nine.

Also at three over was Masters champion Tiger Woods, playing alongside Koepka and still in the early stages of his second round.

Jordan Spieth feels he still needs to hit more fairways to have a realistic chance of winning the US PGA Championship, but the three-time major winner is understandably encouraged by his scoring after moving into contention on Friday.

Spieth has endured a disappointing slump in form over the last 12 months, failing to record a single top-10 finish since he placed ninth at last year's Open Championship having co-led with 18 holes to play.

However, a four-under 66 at Bethpage Black lifted the Texan to five under in the second major of 2019 and enhanced his hopes of completing the career Grand Slam at the third attempt.

Spieth finished his round as the closest challenger to leader Brooks Koepka, who duly birdied each of his first two holes in round two to move four clear at nine under.

"I still need to hit more fairways," said Spieth in a news conference. "I made a lot of putts, and I can't necessarily rely on that, and I scrambled really, really well. I think I was four for four out of the bunker and a couple others out of the rough.

"The ball just needs to find the fairway as often as it was [doing] for the guys around me; DJ [Dustin Johnson], Brooks. It's not going to be [going] as far as theirs, so I'd better be in as many fairways.

"I'm 100 per cent not hitting it as well as I did a couple years ago, but I'm hitting it a lot better than I did the end of last year, beginning of this year."

Asked to rank his putting, Spieth added: "I'm probably 90 per cent back to when I was at my best and the only difference maker is just speed control. I feel as good or better [from] 15 feet and in. I feel like I'm where I should be. I've put a lot of thought and work into it and the putting feels good."

Spieth does not believe the prospect of becoming only the sixth man to win all four of golf's modern-day majors will prove a distraction should he remain near the top of the leaderboard.

"It certainly hasn't [crept into my mind]," he explained. "I can't imagine it will because I haven't been in contention on a Sunday since The Open last year, and if I'm able to put some good work in tomorrow [Saturday]...then I will be in contention on Sunday. And at that point, it will be just more of trying to win a golf tournament.

"It won't matter to me what tournament it is. I'll be pleased to be in contention, knowing that the work I put in from being pretty far off has really come back nicely on a very difficult golf course. I imagine that will take pretty much most of my thought."

Jordan Spieth significantly boosted his chances of completing the Grand Slam with a magnificent second round at the US PGA Championship that saw him take the clubhouse lead.

The American came home in just 31 strokes and a four-under-par 66 left him on five under for the tournament, which was just two shots shy of first-round leader Brooks Koepka, who was set to start his round at 1.49pm local time.

Spieth has been plagued by inconsistency over the past 18 months but a trademark surge on the back nine at Bethpage Black moved him well into contention.

Starting at the 10th, Spieth was level par through his first nine holes but birdies at the first and fourth were followed by additional gains at the seventh and eighth – the latter a monster putt from 39 feet.

World number one Dustin Johnson shot a three-under 67 and he was just three shots back of Koepka at four under alongside Daniel Berger.

Rory McIlroy made a shocking start that saw him go five over through his first three holes.

The Northern Irishman made a recovery on his back nine, though, and finished at three over for the tournament – just inside the projected cut line.

Jon Rahm faces the possibility of missing the weekend after the Spaniard signed for a poor 75 that left him five over through two rounds.

Veteran Rich Beem, who now works mainly as a pundit, rolled back the years. He came home in just 30 strokes and at four over for the tournament may still make the weekend.

Tiger Woods was due to tee off with Koepka and will seek a fast start after shooting a two-over 72 on Thursday. 

Rory McIlroy dropped five shots in the first three holes of his second round at the US PGA Championship, leaving his hopes of playing the weekend in severe jeopardy.

The former world number one carded an opening 72 at Bethpage Black to be two over and any hopes he had of making ground early on Friday were quickly dashed.

A double bogey at the troublesome 10th hole, where McIlroy started his round, was followed by another dropped shot at the 11th and things worsened at the par-four 12th as the Northern Irishman made a six.

Playing partners Phil Mickelson and Jason Day also toiled on the 11th, the former making double bogey and the latter also dropping a stroke, with the trio taking 16 shots between them.

McIlroy, who won the last of his four majors at the 2014 PGA Championship, was seven over par, four shots off the projected cut line and in need of a swift turnaround in fortunes.

Danny Lee, who was just one shot shy of overnight leader Brooks Koepka after round one, made a miserable start too. He was six over par through nine holes and back to even for the tournament.

Jordan Spieth, looking to complete the career Grand Slam in Long Island this weekend, and Dustin Johnson each improved to two under, leaving them five shots back of Koepka, who was due to start his round at 6:49pm local time.

Brooks Koepka saw his position at the top of the US PGA Championship leaderboard significantly strengthened long before he was due to tee off on day two.

Reigning champion Koepka carded a sensational 63 in round one to set a new course at Bethpage Black, but ended Thursday leading by just a single shot after Danny Lee managed a superb six-under score.

However, Lee bogeyed his second and third holes after starting at the 10th on Friday morning and then ran up a double-bogey six at the long 15th to slip back into a tie for third.

That meant Koepka, who was scheduled to begin his second round at 1:49pm local time (6:49pm BST), found himself four clear of nearest rival Tommy Fleetwood, another of the afternoon starters on Friday.

Most of the first-round frontrunners were set to head out in the latter half of the day, but Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day were all part of the morning wave and seeking to improve on scores of one under.

Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari - Koepka's playing partners - were back at two over, the same score as 2012 and 2014 PGA winner Rory McIlroy.

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