PGA Championship 2019: Brooks Koepka Takes Commanding 7-Shot Lead After Round 2

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2019

FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Tiger Woods of the United States and Brooks Koepka of the United States walk from the 14th tee during the second round of the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course on May 17, 2019 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka continued his pursuit of a wire-to-wire victory in the 2019 PGA Championship with a five-under 65 in Friday's second round at the Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.

Koepka, who carded a bogey-free 63 to take the lead after Round 1, tallied seven birdies and two bogeys Friday to reach 12 under through 36 holes. The tournament's reigning champion will carry a seven-stroke lead into the weekend at the season's second major.

Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott are tied for second place at five under. Dustin Johnson (-4), Justin Rose (-3), Rickie Fowler (-2), Hideki Matsuyama (-2) and Louis Oosthuizen (-2) headline the other notable golfers inside the top 10.

Masters champion Tiger Woods (+5) missed the cut by one shot.

Koepka has found a way to transform himself into a dominant force at the majors.

The 29-year-old Florida State product owns five career PGA Tour victories, but three of them have come on the sport's biggest stages. Along with the 2018 PGA Championship, he's the two-time defending champion at the U.S. Open.

He put together another efficiency round Friday, finding 71.4 percent of the fairways and 83.3 percent of the greens in regulation to help create a substantial gap atop the leaderboard.

Yet, Koepka didn't sound like a player who just tied for the day's second-best round as he critiqued his performance during a post-round interview on TNT:

A commanding lead combined with a game that matches up perfectly with Bethpage Black makes it hard to imagine anybody else raising the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.

Scott posted the second round's best score with a six-under 64 to skyrocket up the leaderboard after a one-over 71 on Thursday. He tallied seven birdies and one bogey.

Although the 38-year-old Australian isn't the weekly threat he was during his prime, a stretch that included winning the 2013 Masters and reaching No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings, he's still got the all-around game necessary to make some noise in the majors.

But Scott, along with Spieth and the other players within shouting distance of Koepka, are going to need two outstanding weekend rounds to have a chance barring a monumental collapse from the leader.

Meanwhile, Woods didn't look anything like the golfer who capped his memorable comeback with a win in The Masters last month. His two-way miss off the tee Friday was reminiscent of his Dark Ages from 2014 through 2017, and the rest of his game wasn't good enough to make up for the wayward drives.

The poor performance can likely be attributed to not playing any tournaments since Augusta and having his prep work for the PGA cut short earlier this week by an illness, though. He physically looked fine, so there shouldn't be any lingering concerns coming out of the missed cut.

Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Lee Westwood were also among the star-studded group of players to fall below the four-over cut line. John Daly, who's clearance to use a cart for the tournament drew the ire of traditionalists, also missed the cut.

Television coverage of the 2019 PGA Championship resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on TNT before shifting to CBS at 2 p.m. ET.

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