A faultless second round saw Li Haotong move into the lead at the US PGA Championship with a two-shot advantage over Tommy Fleetwood.

Englishman Fleetwood finished the day at six under par with a 64 to follow Thursday's 70, to put himself in a strong position ahead of the weekend.

Cameron Champ and Paul Casey were each a further stroke behind.

It was Li who was the man to catch, though, as he produced a blemish-free round of 65, with four birdies leaving him out in front ahead of the late starters.

Brendon Todd, who had claimed a share of the overnight lead with Jason Day, fell three shots off the pace after going round in level par.

Harold Varner III and compatriot Brandt Snedeker each carded 66 on Friday to move within the projected cut of one over, level with Bryson DeChambeau at two under par.

Jon Rahm entered the clubhouse tied for 36th at one under, while Phil Mickelson looks to have made the cut after a second-round 69.

Andy Sullivan produced a scorching back nine in the searing heat in Ware to move to the top of the English Championship leaderboard after round two on Friday.

By posting seven birdies after the turn, Sullivan carded a course-record nine-under 62 to move to 14 under for the tournament and take a one-shot lead over Laurie Canter and Dean Burmester.

Sullivan matched the lowest nine holes in this season's Race to Dubai and Burmester followed suit, an eagle three and five birdies on his way back launching him into contention.

Andrew Johnston and Nicolas Colsaerts were part of a nine-man group sitting three shots off the lead in a share of fourth place.

Overnight leader Cormac Sharvin was unable to replicate his fine performance on Thursday, with three bogeys seeing him sign for a one-under 70 to fall five shots off the pace.

Play at the Rose Ladies Series Grand Final was suspended on Friday due to a fire at Wentworth.

The blaze started at Chobham Common and began to encroach upon the course as strong winds caused it to spread quickly.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service tweeted to say they had sent "10 fire engines, four unimogs, two water carriers and 10 4x4 vehicles" to the site and urged the public to avoid the area.

Sky Sports News reporter James Weir said people were told to evacuate as the fire approached the 12th hole of the West course.

"The one good thing is that a golf course does have irrigation systems and sprinklers in place, so they can put out the fire," he said.

"They think it might be skirting up the perimeter of the course but they are not anticipating it being too big a problem."

Felicity Johnson, twice a winner on the Ladies European Tour, told Sky Sports: "As we were playing the ninth, we could see the smoke in the distance but it seemed to get closer pretty quickly.

"We were waiting on the ninth green to see what was happening and then [there were] some flames and you could hear it, the noise of it.

"It is pretty scary when you suddenly see flames and then hear them. We all know how fast fire can travel so it was pretty scary for a moment there. We just had to stay at a safe distance and hope it could be brought under control."

The tournament, organised by Justin Rose and his wife Kate, was set up to allow female professionals to return to competition after the 2020 calendar was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-day event saw a professional ladies' tournament take place at Wentworth's West course for the first time.

Brendon Todd said his putting was "lights out" as he took a share of the lead at the US PGA Championship on Thursday.

The American carded a five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to share the lead with Jason Day after the opening round.

Todd, who finished tied for 15th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational last week, said he putted at his best during the first round.

"It was lights out. I couldn't have putted any better, there's no doubt, and I did this last week," he said.

"The first round, I had a lights-out day putting, and, again, I've always watched guys shoot those low opening rounds and it's really just the guys who are confident.

"Week in, week out, their games are rolling. It's nice to be able to do that."

Todd made a nine-foot putt for par at the final hole to ensure he led overnight with Day.

The 35-year-old said it was a key moment to ensure he went into the second round with some momentum.

"I think it really helps me going into [Friday]. It allows me to spend the next 12 hours before my second round feeling really good, like I've got momentum still," Todd said.

"I would say it's really just, for this moment, it means a lot but after that, it's just going to be another score at the end of the week."

Jason Day and Brendon Todd share a one-stroke lead on a congested leaderboard after the first round of the US PGA Championship on Thursday.

Day, the 2015 champion, carded a bogey-free five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

The Australian capitalised on favourable early conditions and made five birdies to sit a stroke clear of nine players, alongside Todd.

Todd produced the best round of those in action later in the day, although he mixed seven birdies with two bogeys.

Bidding to win a third straight US PGA title, Brooks Koepka is among that group after shooting a four-under 66.

Koepka mixed six birdies with two bogeys as the American continued to grow in confidence after a runner-up finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Martin Kaymer, the 2010 champion, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Bud Cauley, Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Brendan Steele and Mike Lorenzo-Vera are also in a tie for third.

Rose was just one under with six holes to play in his round, but the Englishman managed three birdies to be in contention.

In action for just the second time since the PGA Tour season restarted in June, 15-time major champion Tiger Woods opened with a two-under 68.

The American was even through his first 12 holes before a strong finish saw him birdie three of four holes prior to dropping another shot.

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally broke his driver during his first round and was twice four under, but finished with a 68.

Dustin Johnson carded a one-under 69 to be tied for 33rd, a shot better off than four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who battled to his 70.

Jon Rahm also struggled to get going on his way to a 70, while 2017 champion Justin Thomas fired a 71.

Jordan Spieth's hopes of completing a career Grand Slam this year took a hit, the American again battling as he opened with a 73 that included five bogeys. Rickie Fowler also shot an opening-round 73.

Brooks Koepka said he is feeling confident in his bid for a US PGA Championship three-peat after shooting a first-round 66 in San Francisco.

Koepka impressed in the opening round of the year's first major due to coronavirus, the two-time defending champion holing six birdies and two bogeys to be just a shot off the pace at TPC Harding Park.

Asked what it would mean to win three straight US PGA titles, American star Koepka replied: "It would mean extra because I wasn't able to do it at the U.S. Open.

"I think that drove me nuts a little bit. I mean, obviously I played about as good – I played good golf, but I just got beat by Gary [Woodland].

"To do it here, it would be special. I think – I don't know how many – I think there's, what, six guys that have ever won three in a row. Not a bad list to be on. That's the whole goal every time we tee it up in a major is to win them. The whole year is spent prepping for these four."

Koepka started on the back nine and after bogeying his second hole, the four-time major champion responded by birdieing four of his next seven.

The big-hitting 30-year-old dropped the first following the turn, however, a pair of birdies on the second and fourth holes ensured he ended the day at four under.

"I mean, it's only 18 holes right now. I feel good. I feel confident," Koepka told reporters afterwards.

"I'm excited for the next three days. I think I can definitely play a lot better, and just need to tidy a few things up, and we'll be there come Sunday on the back nine."

Koepka entered the US PGA having fallen short in his title defence at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, though it marked his best result of the year and just his second top-10 finish in 11 events.

"I feel right where I should be," he said. "If you would have said last week and this week, I'd feel perfect, right where I need to be. I'm excited. I'm ready to play. But you asked for three weeks, so it's been okay. There was a missed cut in there."

Koepka added: "The majors almost seem like an easier week for me, nine holes pretty much every day in the practice rounds and try to stay off my feet and not do too much.

"I think sometimes guys cannot overprepare, but just practice a little too much. If you're going to be here until Sunday it's pretty mentally draining. Physically it's fine, but mentally I'm done after four days of this."

Bryson DeChambeau accidentally snapped the head off his driver during the opening round of the US PGA Championship.

American golfer DeChambeau broke his driver after hitting a tee shot on the seventh hole at TPC Harding Park on Thursday.

One of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau was leaning on the club as he attempted to pick up the tee when the head became detached in San Francisco.

DeChambeau – a six-time Tour champion – was able to replace the driver as it was not damaged through anger or abuse.

"The head is fine, it's just the shaft. That was weird, swinging too hard. I guess it's all those swings I put in. Glad I can replace it, that's awesome. That’s a nice break," DeChambeau said on course.

"I think it is so funny. It was bound to break. I've been using it for a long time. Got a lot of good use out of it."

Rory McIlroy felt an even-par 70 in the US PGA Championship first round was not too bad after battling in San Francisco.

The four-time major champion struggled to a 70 that included four birdies and four bogeys at TPC Harding Park on Thursday.

McIlroy said it was a missed opportunity in the first round, but also believed his score could have been worse.

"Condition-wise, the wind wasn't up and it was a little warmer, so that was nice," the Northern Irishman said.

"I felt like the course was there for the taking. Jason Day shot five under. There's been a few four unders.

"The pins were tucked a little bit. The greens are getting a touch firmer. A lot of wind directions. For example, there's a few holes where the wind was – or the pin was on the right side of the green and the wind blowing right to left, so it's hard to get yourself to get close to those. You're sort of hitting to the middle of the greens a lot.

"It was there for the taking today. I mean, I feel like I definitely could have been a few shots lower, but you know, I sort of grinded it out and with how I hit it on the back nine, even par actually wasn't too bad."

After a birdie at his opening hole – the 10th – McIlroy made three consecutive bogeys starting at 12 before recovering.

McIlroy said he needed improvement in the second round, having struggled off the tee during his opening 18 holes.

"Actually got off a nice start, birdieing the first hole of the day, the 10th hole for us, and then, yeah, I made three bogeys in a row. Ended up being a pretty good bogey on 14," he said.

"And then after that, was happy, I birdied three holes in a four-hole stretch to get back to under par for the day which was nice. That was good.

"Then on our second nine, the front nine, I didn't hit fairways, and then from there, the way that the pins were tucked, I was just trying to play to the front of the greens and two-putt from 40 feet and move on to the next hole.

"Need to hit a few more fairways tomorrow to try to attack some pins and get it closer, and not leave myself four- and five-footers for par all day."

Jason Day feels he is building momentum after grabbing the lead at the US PGA Championship on Thursday.

The Australian carded a five-under 65 at TPC Harding Park to hold a one-stroke lead on what was a congested leaderboard during the first round.

Despite being winless since 2018, Day has four top-10 finishes this year, including three in a row leading into the first major of 2020.

Day, the 2015 US PGA champion, said he felt his form building heading to San Francisco.

"There was definitely a lot of momentum coming in off the previous finishes that I've had, three top-10s, which has been nice," he said.

"The game feels like it's coming around. I'm pleased with it.

"I shouldn't say I'm not excited. I am excited to come out and play every day, but I know that I can improve, and mainly my putting can improve a little bit more.

"I feel like I've been working very hard in the off weeks and especially when I come to a tournament to be able to get my putting back to where it is because it's always been a strength of mine, and I feel like the game is slowly coming around, the confidence is coming around because I'm starting to see the results, which has been good."

The colder weather in San Francisco was talked about heading into the major and Day has dealt with back injuries in the past.

The 32-year-old admitted he was more cautious in the cooler weather to protect his back.

"It's still pretty cool. It was nice to be able to have the sun for a change. It's been kind of overcast and grey here," Day said.

"But it has been cool – you've got to be careful. It is a lot colder; 50 degrees pretty much to be precise from last week. It was nice to play in the hot weather last week and then this week you're always cautious of doing certain things, bending over.

"But I pretty much lather up in Deep Heat and I try and burn the skin off my back, to be honest. And I feel pretty good, so I've been fine."

Tiger Woods made a steady start to his quest for a fifth US PGA Championship but an eye-catching 66 from Brooks Koepka suggested history could be made this weekend in San Francisco.

A two-under 68 from Woods meant the 44-year-old was three shots off the early clubhouse pace set by Jason Day at TPC Harding Park, in golf's first major of the disrupted 2020 season.

Koepka was only one behind Day, however, raising the prospect of a title challenge from the man who is chasing a hat-trick of consecutive US PGA titles.

Woods has twice triumphed at the US PGA in consecutive years (1999-2000, 2006-2007), but nobody has taken the title three years in succession in the stroke-play era.

That is the challenge Koepka is embracing, with the 30-year-old recovering well after dropping a shot at his second hole, having started on the back nine.

Koepka said on Sky Sports: "I just keep playing one shot at a time, one hole at a time, keep plugging away. I'm playing so good that... I hit a good putt at 11 and it just didn't go in, I just over-read it a little bit, but other than that I played everything pretty much how I wanted to. I played really well."

Koepka had been struggling for form since the PGA Tour returned until tying for second last time out at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

He had a closing 80 at the Memorial Tournament and missed the cut at the Workday Charity Open and 3M Open, but Koepka loves to produce on the big stage.

"It's a major, I'll get up for it," Koepka said. "It's a little bit of confidence I guess, maybe a little bit, but at the end of the day I just feel good, I'm playing good, and there's no reason to be scientific with all the numbers and stuff. You just go out and play."

Koepka, playing two groups ahead of Woods, parred his way home after making birdie at two and four – his 11th and 13th holes.

By contrast, there was anguish across Woods' face as he missed a par putt at the eighth – his 17th hole – after a brilliant bunker shot, knocking him back from three under.

Woods, nonetheless, was happy with his efforts, and felt scoring would become tougher later in the day due to increasing winds.

The tournament was being played without spectators, meaning there was no crowd energy for the players to feed off, nor any familiar applause as they were introduced for the start of their rounds.

Asked if he was satisfied with how he played, Woods said: "Yeah, I was. I figured we were going to get the more favourable of the conditions today, with the wind supposed to pick up, which it is now.

"The golf course is only going to get more difficult.

"Some of these pins were a little on the difficult side, but overall this golf course is all about hitting fairways, and if you're able to hit the fairway you can get after some of these flags."

Woods was playing with a new putter for the first time, and said: "I've been messing about with it for the better part of over a year.

"It's a little bit longer than my original one, which makes it a little easier on my back. I was able to spend more time practising."

Koepka had plenty of company at four under, with Americans Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Zach Johnson, Bud Cauley and Brendan Steele all on the same mark through 18 holes, along with Englishman Justin Rose and Germany's 2010 US PGA winner Martin Kaymer. France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera also had a 66.

Australian Day, the 2015 champion, could not be matched though, with five birdies and no dropped shots setting the standard.

Rory McIlroy, the 2012 and 2014 US PGA winner, was grouped with Woods and world number one Justin Thomas, who won this tournament three years ago. McIlroy had a level-par 70 and Thomas a frustrating one-over 71.

Northern Ireland's Cormac Sharvin seized the lead after a late charge in round one of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor.

As his compatriot Rory McIlroy began his challenge at the US PGA Championship, Sharvin caused heads to turn in Hertfordshire when he produced a sparkling eight-under-par 63.

There had looked like being an overnight tie for the lead until his thrilling performance in the final group of the day, with Sharvin making 10 birdies, dropping two shots along the way.

The 27-year-old former Walker Cup player, who earned his European Tour card last year with six top-five finishes on the Challenge Tour, leapfrogged a group of six players on seven under, among them Belgium's Thomas Detry.

Detry last week went agonisingly close to a first European Tour title when he finished just one shot back from Sam Horsfield at the English Open.

Going round in 64 on Thursday helped to quell the disappointment of last week's close call, and Detry said of his round: "It was really good. I've been building some momentum from last week.

"I got off to a very good start - eagle chance on the second and a short birdie putt at the third and then I was just rolling, four more birdies on the last four holes of the front nine and then I kept it going.

"I made two little mistakes at 17, which is a tough hole, and on 11, but I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing golf right now."

Reviewing his brush with silverware last week, Detry told the European Tour website: "You've just got to forget about it. You see it as another chance this week to put my name up there and have a chance on Sunday.

"That's what I think I've done today - hopefully I can keep it going the next few days."

Lee Westwood, who opted out of playing the US PGA due to concerns about travel to the United States while coronavirus remains such a problem, put himself into a promising position from where he might strike.

The 47-year-old Englishman shot a five-under 66 to sit in a share of 20th place, on a day of low scoring, with Andrew Johnston and Miguel Angel Jimenez on the same mark.

Tiger Woods made a flying start but two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka dropped an early shot as the US PGA Championship got under way on Thursday.

Golf's first major championship of the disrupted 2020 season was in its early stages at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, and Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas were in a star-studded group among the early starters.

The Woods-McIlroy-Thomas group got going at 08:33 local time (16:33 BST), beginning on the back nine, and all three made birdies at their opening hole, the par-five 10th.

Koepka went out at 08:11 local time, also starting at the 10th, and was joined by a pair of reigning major champions in US Open winner Gary Woodland and Open Championship victor Shane Lowry.

Winner of this tournament in 2018 and 2019, Koepka found rough to the right of the green at the par-three 11th, going on to miss from inside seven feet for par.

His par attempt lipped out, leaving a short bogey putt.

Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson formed another eye-catching group, with the former dropping an early shot while his playing partners both moved to one under par after two holes.

American John Catlin has been withdrawn from the European Tour's English Championship for a breach of coronavirus protocol.

Catlin was due to be in the field for the tournament at Hanbury Manor, but will not tee off on Thursday after leaving the bubble to visit a restaurant along with his caddie Nathan Mulrooney.

South African Wilco Nienaber will replace Catlin, who accepted his punishment for eating out on Tuesday evening.

Catlin said: "I apologise to my fellow players and everyone involved with the tournament this week for this error of judgement.

"I understand the European Tour's decision and accept the sanction."

Catlin's best performance on the European Tour came when he was tied for eighth at the Austrian Open last month.

Bryson DeChambeau has quite literally been a big talking point after mixing swinging irons with pumping iron during lockdown.

It was very evident the eccentric American had not been putting his feet up when the PGA Tour resumed in June following a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeChambeau teed off at the Charles Schwab Challenge with a substantially bulked-up frame after dedicating himself to an intensive daily training schedule while in quarantine.

The world number seven also put his new appearance down to a diet that includes seven protein shakes a day and a 2,000-calorie breakfast, consuming two big meals daily and "munching" inbetween.

DeChambeau has long since given his rivals food for thought with such an alternative approach to the game that earned him the 'mad scientist' nickname.

If the 26-year-old Californian can come up with a recipe for success this week, he could be a major force at the US PGA Championship.

The six-time PGA Tour champion's extra power would have drawn gasps from the galleries if spectators had been allowed in to see the distances he has been hitting the ball since the restart.

His average drive of 324.4 yards is the highest on the PGA Tour this year and can be a huge weapon, but some believe his new-found strength combined with technical adjustments may have impacted his touch game.

He returned with three consecutive top-10 finishes before winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but suffered a meltdown as he missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament a fortnight later.

DeChambeau was there for the weekend at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but finished in a tie for 30th as Justin Thomas won the title on Sunday.

Slow play and on-course tantrums have ensured DeChambeau is unlikely to ever be the most popular player on the circuit, but his drive for success has to be admired.

As does his optimism judging by a recent interview with GQ magazine.

"My goal is to live to 130 or 140. I really think that's possible now with today's technology," he said.

"I think somebody's going to do it in the next 30 or 40 years. I want humans to be better. I want them to succeed. I want to say, 'Hey, this is all of the stuff I've experienced… if it helps you, great. If it doesn't, well, let's keep working on it. Let's keep figuring stuff out."

DeChambeau must hope it is a case of the bigger, the better when he starts his quest to claim a first major title at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco on Thursday.

Tiger Woods has no concerns over his preparation for the US PGA Championship, the American superstar in a confident mood as he chases a 16th major title.

Woods has only made one competitive appearance since the PGA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic in June – the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

In his long-awaited return last month, Woods finished 15 strokes adrift of champion John Rahm in a share of 40th position, the former world number one struggling with a stiff back which has proven troublesome in recent years following surgery.

Woods is now in San Francisco for the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, where the four-time winner will play alongside Rory McIlroy and new number one Justin Thomas in Thursday's opening round behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

And the 44-year-old Woods shrugged off the lack of spectators for the first major of 2020, telling reporters: "As far as the focus part of it, I haven't had a problem with that. Those four [Memorial] rounds, I was pretty into it.

"It's different than most of the times when you go from green-to-tee, people yelling or trying to touch you. That part is different. As far as energy while I'm competing and playing, no that's the same. I'm pretty intense when I play and pretty into what I'm doing.

"I don't know if anyone in our generation has ever played without fans in a major championship. It's going to be very different. But it's still a major championship. It's still the best players in the world. We all understand that going into it, so there’s going to be plenty of energy from the competitive side."

Woods added: "I feel good. Obviously I haven't played much competitively, but I've been playing a lot at home. So I've been getting plenty of reps that way … the results that I've seen at home, very enthusiastic about some of the changes I've made and so that's been positive.

"Just trying to get my way back into this part of the season. This is what I've been gearing up for. We've got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us. The rough is up. Fairways are much narrower than they were here in 2009."

Brooks Koepka will start his bid for a PGA Championship three-peat alongside fellow American Gary Woodland and Irishman Shane Lowry at 08:11 (local time), 22 minutes before Woods is scheduled to tee off.

Dethroned world number one Rahm, 2005 champion Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia have been grouped together and will get their campaigns underway at 13:58 (local time), while Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson are another notable group.

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