Kevin Kisner tamed the devilishly hard greens at Quail Hollow to assume a healthy lead at the end of his second round, but expects putting to become even tougher as the US PGA Championship heads into the weekend.
LEADERS: Matsuyama and Kisner were at 8-under 134, and this is the first time for either player to be atop the leaderboard after any round of a major.
That ended his streak of 28 consecutive cuts made dating to last year's PGA Championship.
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Texan Jordan Spieth surrendered any chance of completing the career grand slam for at least 12 months, a double-bogey at the last leaving him 10 shots off the pace.
"I guess (from) beating up people on Tuesday", said Kisner, alluding to a certain prowess on the most popular day for money games among Tour players.
He can count on two FedEx Cup playoff events, but he'll probably have to show some form to advance through the PGA Tour's postseason and, more importantly to him, give US captain Steve Stricker a reason to pick him for the Presidents Cup.
His final hole might have been tough to explain.
It was that kind of day. He missed the green at the 494-yard par 4 and hit two poor chips before three-putting from 11 feet to drop well off the pace.
He said: "On 17 I was off the green and we were talking about if we can get a tee shot on 18, we could finish the round".
He had even needed a pep talk from his caddie after being "bummed out" by a double-bogey at the 11th. "I've always played other sports throughout my life and I've never been the biggest guy, so I had to find a way to get things done". Then again, he had a rather boring finish that allowed him to salvage a 73 and leaves him only one shot behind as he tries to bring Japan its first major championship.
"But the changes to this course mean low rounds are not the 61s and 62s I've shot here in the past, they are 66s or 67s".
The win gave Stroud an automatic entry into the PGA Championship and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
"That was just a bonus, are you kidding me?" he said of the 16th.
"I was just trying to get it in the bunker, and luckily I hit it with enough speed, and it got up and out of there".
Lahiri said the firmness and speed of the new greens at Quail Hollow has been perplexing. "I just love it". "If I get out tomorrow and get off to hopefully a better start, I feel like I'll still be right in this tournament".
Then Kisner closed with another bogey.
"I sent it to the clubhouse and they tried to fix it‚ but it was just right in the hozzle‚ where the shaft goes in". The top 70 and ties make the cut at Quail Hollow.