After a first-round 63 at Bethpage Black, Brooks Koepka said he planned to keep his foot on the proverbial pedal, and that’s exactly what he did on Friday, posting a second-round 65 to take a seven-shot lead into the weekend at the PGA Championship.
With a 128 two-round total, the 29-year old Florida native shattered all kinds of major records, including the low 36-hole score in a major championship (63-65), and the lowest score to par (-12) at the halfway point of the PGA Championship. His seven-shot halftime advantage is also a PGA record.
Koepka says he would like to see the lead grow even more.
“I’d like to see that lead grow as large as it possibly can. 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,” said Koepka, who would become the first player to claim back-to-back PGAs and U.S. Opens.
Tied for second-place was Jordan Spieth, who shot a fabulous round of 66 but was overshadowed by Koepka’s record-shattering performance.
In a dream pairing of the only three-time major winners under 30, Spieth will play alongside Koepka in Saturday’s final grouping.
“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, then I will have — I will be in contention on Sunday,” said Spieth, who has yet to post even a top-20 this season.
“And at that point, it will be just more of trying to win a golf tournament. I won’t — 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.”
Adam Scott was also at 5-under par following a 65 on Friday. He will be paired with Daniel Berger (66) in Saturday’s second to last group. Berger was T4 on 4-under par, along with Kelly Kraft (65), Dustin Johnson (67), Luke List (68), and Matt Wallace (67).
The cut line was 5-over, and the biggest name leaving Long Island early was Tiger Woods. The reigning Masters champ opened with rounds of 72 and 73 (+5) and missed the cut on the mark.
2019 PGA Championship
Round-Two Leaderboard: The Top-5
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 2)
1. Brooks Koepka -12 (-5)
2. Jordan Spieth -5 (-4)
3. Adam Scott -5 (-6)
4. Daniel Berger -4 (-4)
4. Dustin Johnson -4 (-3)
4. Matt Wallace -4 (-3)
4. Luke List -4 (-2)
4. Kelly Kraft -4 (-5)
Brooks Koepka’s Stats
Average thru 36 holes
Driving: 300.85 yards (27th)
Fairways: 19/28, 67.85% (24th)
Greens: 29/36, 80.5% (4th)
Putts/GIR: 24/1.6 (6th)
Exit Question For Brooks Koepka
On the weekend, do you plan on thinking about turning 7 into 8, turning 8 into 9, turning it into a 10-shot lead, 11, or do you even bother to look at leaderboards?
BROOKS KOEPKA: “There’s one about every two, three holes, so it’s tough not to look. I’ll check it out and see what’s going on.
“Yeah, I’d like to see that lead grow as large as it possibly can.
“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.”