Kisner leads pack at PGA; Matsuyama, Stroud are 1 shot back

Kisner leads pack at PGA; Matsuyama, Stroud are 1 shot back

Hideki Matsuyama almost ties for the lead but his birdie putt stops one roll short of the cup and he stands on six-under along with Chris Stroud. Then the storms arrived, and everything changed.

Jason Day reeled off three straight birdies and took a remarkable gamble that didn't pay off. He was the 2015 PGA Championship victor and he finished second a year ago.

But on 16 - the first of Quail Hollow's fearsome closing stretch nicknamed the 'Green Mile - he found the water and made double bogey.

"Anything under 71 today is a good score", McIlroy said before the rain.

Fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy shared 29th on 144, 10 strokes adrift but hopeful of a weekend fightback. He said anyone who broke 70 was going great. Day had been struggling with left-leaning tee shots through a long round (nearly five hours).

Matsuyama, who shot 73, has the chance to become the first Japanese golfer ever to win a men's major.

Matsuyama has more experience on the big stage.

Kisner is all about grit and a sharp short game. "However, I'm riding the momentum from the round that I had on Sunday and hopefully I can keep that going for 36 more holes". He has shot two rounds of 67 in the toughest conditions. I probably didn't quite hit it as well off the tee as I did yesterday and wasn't putting myself in positions where I could go at a lot of pins. So I hit a 6-iron.

Day hasn't won since The Players Championship last May, back when he was No. 1 in the world by such a margin that he stayed at the top of the ranking the rest of the year without winning.

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They were tied at a total of eight-under 134 after two rounds.

Stroud was also still standing despite bogeying the final two holes, six days after recording his first PGA Tour victory in Reno, Nevada. "And being able to combine that today, just felt like the old days - which is only past year". He made all pars on the front nine, with birdies on Nos. I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than a PGA Championship. Mickelson hasn't won since the British Open in 2013, and this ends a streak of three consecutive years when he at least had a runner-up finish in a major.

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 USA captain Steve Stricker a reason to pick him for the Presidents Cup.

Mickelson's record of not having missed a PGA cut since 1995 is now in danger.

The three major champions this year - Sergio Garcia (Masters), Brooks Koepra (US Open), and Jordan Spieth (The Open) share another common denominator - they have six letters in their Christian name, and six in their surname.

Bernd Wiesberger returned to complete three holes. He finished with a trio of birdies over the final nine holes and one bogey.

United States star Rickie Fowler fired a 70 to stand on 139, five off the pace. It might seem like a lot the way Matsuyama and Kisner are playing, but it doesn't to Thomas.

With 18 holes left and the way players finished on Saturday, I'm convinced anything could happen.