Brooks Koepka and Charl Schwartzel on song in St Louis
Duo fire themselves into contention.
Brooks Koepka and Charl Schwartzel equalled the lowest score in tournament history as the 100th US PGA Championship turned into a shootout in St Louis.
Koepka missed from 20 feet for birdie on his final hole of the day to match the only 62 in men’s major championship history, recorded by Branden Grace in last year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
But a flawless 63 left the double US Open champion just two shots off the clubhouse lead held by fellow American Gary Woodland, whose 10-under-par halfway total of 130 established a tournament record, with Kevin Kisner on nine under.
Kisner also had the chance to shoot 62 after covering the back nine in 29 and picking up another birdie on the seventh, only to bogey the ninth, his final hole of the day.
Schwartzel had an outside chance to shoot 62 when he left himself a long birdie putt on the last, but the former Masters champion had to settle for a 63 to finish seven under.
“I played really well,” Koepka said. “I feel like yesterday I played really well too and sometimes you don’t really score very well. But today I drove it beautifully, my wedges distance control is very spot on and I was making those five, six-footers that you need to make.”
World number one Dustin Johnson is just three shots off the pace after carding five birdies in six holes on his way to a 66, with Open champion Francesco Molinari another two shots back after a 67.
England’s Matt Wallace had been tipped as a player to watch by compatriot Tommy Fleetwood and lived up to the billing with a 66 to finish three under and make his first halfway cut in a major.
Wallace has won twice on the European Tour this season but had missed the cut in his last four starts before working with psychologist Lee Crombleholme.
“The greens were really nice this morning, perfect conditions,” Wallace told Press Association Sport. “I played as nice as yesterday and am slowly getting into this rhythm that I’ve been working on with Lee, to be patient and not be too downbeat about shots that don’t come off.
“After the Open I wanted to do something different, just change the way I thought I on the golf course and he’s been brilliant so far. We’re slowly getting back to where we want to be.
“I wasn’t enjoying my golf, strangely. People might think you’ve won twice this year and should be loving it but it’s fickle this game. I felt like I was swinging it better and playing better but I was scoring worse.
“It was difficult to get my head round why and I didn’t want to keep going in the same direction. It was important to catch it early and this is definitely what I needed.
“One over yesterday was a step in the right direction even though it wasn’t the score I wanted. I haven’t made a cut in the majors, this is my first one so I’m very happy with that. It’s definitely a step forward and I’m going to go and watch [Manchester] United win now!”