Midway through the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship, Adam Scott has largely run away from the rest of the field.
Scott and Jim Furyk tied for the lowest score at Oak Hill during Round 1, good enough for a one-shot lead over Lee Westwood and David Hearn. Already the owner of a green jacket after his win this year at Augusta, Scott looks poised to contend for his second major victory in Rochester.
Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar and Jason Day are some of the most notable names near the top of the leaderboard, while it was Webb Simpson who flirted with PGA Tour history before settling for an Oak Hill course record.
As the second round of the final major of the 2013 season pushes onward, here's some updates where the field stands.
The Masters was no fluke—Scott is really hitting his stride.
The Australian entered the clubhouse as the leader with golfers still on the course on Friday, signing a scorecard that was under par for the second straight day. Scott shot a two-under 68, and when combined with his Thursday round, equals a cumulative mark of seven under.
Shots like this one at No. 2 should help make Scott one of the favorites over the final two days of action at Oak Hill:
Although the victory at Augusta was the first major championship win of Scott's career, statistically, he has been the best golfer at majors over the past two years. ESPN's John Buccigross posted this tweet on Friday morning that could blow your mind:
3 players have made the cut in all of last 7 majors. Adam Scott's cumulative score of -5 is 20 SHOTS better than anyone else (Tiger +15)— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) August 9, 2013
PGA Tour's official Twitter account added another Scott stat:
In Adam Scott's last 11 starts at majors, he's finished in the top 25 9 times, including 6 top 10s. #PGATOUR— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 9, 2013
Finishing with five birdies and three bogeys during Round 2, Scott has a chance to be the front runner heading into the weekend. If he was to win the PGA Championship, he would be the first man since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win multiple majors in one calendar year.
Paired with fellow 2013 major winners Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose during the first two rounds, it was the Aussie and the Englishman (Rose finished Round 2 just one shot back at six under) who set themselves apart from the rest of the field.
Scott has shown no signs of slowing down since his green jacket fitting, and that trend should leave him as a favorite over the final two days of action.
Webb Simpson had himself a day on Friday.
Starting on the back nine, Simpson birdied three of his first five holes and added four more from the first to sixth holes. Heading into No. 7 (his 16th hole of the day), Simpson needed just a birdie and two pars to break the PGA Tour low-round record at a major.
He didn't accomplish that feat, bogeying No. 7 and parring out the final two holes, but Simpson did equal an Oak Hill East Course record set only twice in the history of the location.
Golf Digest had the tweet as Simpson's Friday round ended:
It's official: Webb Simpson shoots 64, tying the course record held by Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange.— Golf Digest (@GolfDigestMag) August 9, 2013
Ken Jenkins chimed in with this information on the 28-year-old's second round:
Webb Simpson's 64 tied the course record and moved him 71 spots on the board.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) August 9, 2013
Just two shots back of Scott when the Aussie entered the clubhouse, Simpson is another one-time major winner who is looking to cement himself as a contender at the final major of the year.
If he keeps breaking records, he'll run away with the Wanamaker Trophy.
Late Starters, Other Updates
Tiger Woods didn't have the kind of day we expected him to have during Round 1.
Can he turn things around on Friday?
Woods, paired with Keegan Bradley and Davis Love III, hit the course at 1:45 p.m. ET for his second round. Tiger's second round could be crucial to his overall chances. After hitting into the rough out of the tee box, Woods laid up before the water and still managed to make par to stay at one over.
As noted by ESPN's Justin Ray, Woods' chances at winning the tournament could be attached to his ability to climb the leaderboard:
Tiger Woods needs a big 2nd round: he's never won a major when outside the top-5 after 36 holes.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) August 9, 2013
Elsewhere, Robert Garrigus is also putting on a show. He, Kaymer, Jason Dufner, Furyk and Kuchar are all in the mix in the middle of the second round.
Garrigus found himself tied with Scott after birdieing No. 6. The 35-year-old American has just one top-10 finish (2011 U.S. Open) in his PGA Tour career.
Hunter Mahan is also desperate to be in the contender club this week.
Mahan, who was in the final grouping at each of the last two majors, got off to a great start on Friday. He birdied No. 4 to push his two-round score to two under:
The last time we saw Mahan on the big stage, he was leaving the Canadian Open early to attend the birth of his son. In his first major since becoming a dad, Mahan is trying to make his young son proud with a strong second round.
There's still plenty of action remaining in Rochester on Friday. Still too early to crown anyone the unquestioned favorite, Oak Hill is lending itself to low scores and strong performances.
In stark contrast to the last two majors of the year, this year's final major winner might have to be more than 10 strokes under par to take home the gold. With that kind of stipulation attached to the field, you won't want to miss how the second round officially shakes out.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.