PGA Championship Round 2 Recap: Brooks Koepka marches toward another major title

John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

PGA Championship Round 2 Recap: Brooks Koepka marches toward another major title

PGA Championship

PGA Championship Round 2 Recap: Brooks Koepka marches toward another major title

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New York hasn’t celebrated a championship since the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI seven years ago. And the Giants play their home games in New Jersey.

Well, New York sports fans have got a big-time winner in Brooks Koepka, whether they notice or not.

Last June, Koepka snagged his second-straight U.S. Open title on the Eastern tip of Long Island at Shinnecock Hills. This weekend in Farmingdale, Koepka is marching toward a consecutive Wanamaker Trophy and has only himself in his path after he defanged the monster that is Bethpage Black for two rounds.

Those thousands of golf fans who expected to spend their weekend roaring for Tiger Woods and hooting for Phil Mickelson in the 101st PGA Championship will now be chanting “Broooooooooooks” for the next 36 holes.

But he’ll likely have to wait until Sunday to get the back page of the New York Daily News or the New York Post.

The Big Apple’s lovable tabloids will likely use their sacred back cover space in Saturday’s editions noting the demise and dismissal of Tiger Woods from the year’s second major 36 holes early. The 2019 Masters champion was just one of 155 other golfers in this field that have been fighting for second since about noon on Thursday.

  • SCORES: 101st PGA Championship
  • Koepka destroyed nearly everything and certainly everyone in his path. His 128 after 36 holes is the lowest such score in major history. He is 12-under overall and marched into the clubhouse with a 7-shot lead over his closest competitors. He had posted a course record 63 in Round 1.

    And he did all this while playing with Francesco Molinari and Woods, the man who beat him by one shot at Augusta National. Woods, who was +5 after two rounds, won’t be returning to Bethpage Black Saturday, or anytime soon. Woods did not play between the Masters and his 36-hole nightmare in Nassau County. Those questions will be following him at least until his next start, which will likely be the Memorial in two weeks.

    Koepka began Friday’s second round with a pair of birdies and was never less than four shots ahead of the rest of the field. He had moved to 5-under par through 16 holes before a bogey on 17.

    He’s kept his lead safe and now leads Adam Scott by four shots and Jordan Spieth by five.

    Scott flirted with a 62 but finished 6-under for the day at 64 to stake his spot in a four-player tie for second place at 5-under overall. Joining Scott in second place are Jordan Spieth, Matt Wallace and Luke List.

    No worries, fellas. The second-place finisher gets $1.118 million.

    After a tough start to the year, Spieth bounced back Friday to finish at 5 under. Spieth, who went 4-under 66 Friday after recording a 69 in the first round, stumbled early in the second round with back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16, but was able to recover with four birdies on the front nine, six total.

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    Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson and Kelly Kraft, who got into the tournament as Justin Thomas’ replacement, are T6 at 4-under.

    Woods was unable to keep up with the cutline as it fell from +3 to +5 on the day. He slipped to the wrong side of the weekend after three straight bogeys on 10, 11 and 12.

    Among the notables who worked their way into the weekend, club pros Marty Jertson, Ryan Vermeer and Rob Labritz. Also playing his way into the weekend, 48-year-old Rich Beem at +4. His last PGA Tour victory came in the 2002 PGA Championship.

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