Finally, we had major golf. Thursday’s opening round of the 2020 PGA Championship in San Francisco had a little bit of everything. Tiger Woods proved he’s ready to go after major No. 16, Brooks Koepka showed he’s got a three-peat on his mind and Bryson DeChambeau, well, he literally broke his driver.
Friday should be just as good. Here’s the latest from the second round at TPC Harding Park and the 2020 PGA Championship. This article will be updated frequently as play gets underway. (You may need to refresh the page.)
Friday’s PGA Championship quick links
How to watch the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday
ESPN+ will stream the early action beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 4 p.m. The ESPN broadcast will hit your TV from 4-10 p.m., starting about an hour before Woods’ marquee group tees off. (Subscribe to ESPN+ here.)
ROUND 2 LIVE UPDATES
Tiger Woods finishes at even par, will make cut
Though it was a more difficult day on the course for Tiger on Friday that it was on Thursday, the Big Cat still managed to make the cut, firing a round of 2-over 72, which drops him to even par overall and eight shots behind Li’s lead.
Mike Lorenzo Vera in solo second
Mike Lorenzo Vera, a 35-year-old Frenchman, is only one shot behind Li’s lead after making three birdies in a row on Nos. 2, 3 and 4.
A series of pars followed, and Lorenzo Vera made an incredible save for bogey on No. 9, his final hole of the day, to drop into a six-way tie for second at 6-under par.
Haotong Li is STILL practicing
The PGA Championship leader is still grinding in the practice area six hours after he finished his second round. Jason Day was asked about Li’s diligence in his post-round press conference.
“He must not have a wife or kids,” Day said with a smile. “I’d be on the ground by now.”
Rory McIlroy 3-putts from 7 feet
Rory McIlroy birdied 7, 8, 9 and 10 to make a move up.
He triple-bogeyed 12 to make a move down.
McIlroy chipped on with his fourth shot on the par-4. He then missed about an 8-footer for bogey.
He then missed about a 3-footer for double bogey.
He tapped in for a 7.
Scott Van Pelt breaks down Tiger Woods’ past 18 months
Scott Van Pelt is back calling golf this week, and fans are very happy about it. There’s a lot to love about it, from his casual tone to his quippy one-liners, but I particularly enjoyed this brief but informative segment about the 18 months following Tiger’s Masters win.
As you can see below, SVP runs through Tiger’s 18 months since his iconic 2019 Masters victory, noting that he’s only played 10 events. and, as he goes onto explain, even despite his Zozo Championship victory and T-9 finish at Torrey Pines, his stats have been rather lackluster. Yet even still, he manages to put it together.
“When you don’t find fairways it’s hard to hit greens, yet somehow, probably because he’s Tiger Woods, he still finds a way to score,” he says.
“And ‘aint that the thing with Tiger these days? You just want to see him play. One way or another, the score seems to figure itself out.” – Luke Kerr-Dineen
Tiger Woods makes first birdie
Halfway through his second round, Tiger Woods finally made a putt longer than a yard.
Woods rolled in about a 10-footer on the par-5 for his first birdie of the day. It put him at 1-over for his round and 1-under for the tournament. The cut is expected to be 1-over.
Before his putt on the 10th, Woods’ longest putt through nine holes was 2 feet, 10 inches.
Brooks Koepka gets treatment
While walking to his second shot on the par-4 13th, two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka went to the ground for treatment on his surgically repaired left knee.
A trainer came over, adjusted the knee and Koepka continued on.
After the hole, he received more treatment.
Leader practicing – four hours after his round
Haotong Li finished his round around noon local time. Four hours later, he was practicing putts.
Li, presumably, has worked hard prior to the tournament. He’s in the lead at 8-under. Li is going to work hard during the tournament, too.
Tiger Woods nine-hole update
Through nine holes, Tiger Woods has been good from tee to green. He’s been poor green to hole.
Two bogies. No birdies. A front-nine 37, 2-over, to put him at even-par for the tournament. The cut is expected to be over 1-over.
The putter has hurt Woods. He hasn’t made one longer than 2 feet, 10 inches. All tap-ins.
Among the leaders, one hole after Jason Day reclaimed the lead, he dropped it again, this time with a double bogey on the par-4 12th. At 7:35 p.m. ET, Haotong Li leads at 8-under, Daniel Berger is a stroke back, and Day, Tommy Fleetwood and two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka are two strokes back.
The trend continues
That didn’t take long. Again.
Jason Day had the lead. Jason Day lost the lead. Jason Day has the lead.
One hole after losing a share of the lead, Day birdied the par-5 10th to share the lead at 8-under with Haotong Li. Tommy Fleetwood was two shots back, and eight golfers were three shots back, including defending champion Brooks Koepka.
Jason Day gives it right back
That didn’t take long.
Jason Day had the lead. Jason Day lost the lead.
One hole after taking a share of the lead, Day hit his drive well left on his way to a bogey on the 9th hole. At 6:35 p.m. ET, he was one shot back of Haotong Li.
Jason Day ties for the lead
Jason Day didn’t take long to reclaim a share of the lead.
He ended the first round tied with Brendon Todd. He started the second round three shots back of Haotong Li. He tied for the lead after seven holes.
Day birdied 4, 5 and 7. One the par-4 7th, he hit his drive into the fairway, knocked his approach to about 7 feet and rolled in the birdie.
At 6:15 p.m. ET, Day and Li were tied for the lead, with Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka two shots back.
Tiger, Rory give one back; Brooks, Xander, Day tracking
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both bogeyed the par-3 3rd hole, giving one stroke back to the field. But the sequence from just off the green provided perhaps the most impressive moment of the afternoon thus far. Rory McIlroy, who was awarded a free drop after it appeared someone stepped on his ball on the rough, asked a rules official for a worse lie to better reflect his original position.
“I don’t think it was as visible as that,” McIlroy said before adjusting his lie further into TPC Harding Park’s thick rough.
Meanwhile, the very top of the leaderboard is beginning to take shape. Jason Day sits alone in second, one stroke back of the lead at 7 under, while Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele loom tied for third and fifth at -6 and -5, respectively.
Tiger’s parking lot arrival set Twitter ablaze
Who could forget the incredible statement Tiger Woods made before the final round of the 2018 Tour Championship when strode out of the East Lake parking lot in a sleeveless black workout shirt and backwards cap, carrying his iconic red polo on a hanger? It was an iconic moment, and fans reveled in the pure, alpha vibes on display. Is it any surprise Tiger went on to win for his first victory in over five years, by two shots?
At this week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, Tiger’s arrival was again lauded by observers on social media, but for an altogether different reason. Cameras rolled as Tiger, flanked by his caddie, Joe LaCava, put on his golf shoes in the parking lot.
The immediate takeaway? Tiger Woods: He’s just like us!
Tiger Woods, JT, Rory tee off on Friday
The moment we’ve all been waiting for: the group featuring Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy tees off shortly after 1:58 p.m. local time to begin round 2 at the PGA Championship.
Tiger (-2), Rory (E) and JT (+1) each look to make up ground on Haotong Li, the leader in the clubhouse at 8 under.
Tringale gets DQ’d
We officially have our first major rules development at the PGA Championship. Cameron Tringale has been disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard following his second round 68.
According to the PGA of America, Tringale signed for a lower score than the par he registered on the par-3 8th hole. Tringale subsequently returned to the scoring area to notify the scorer of his mistake and was DQ’d.
Tommy Fleetwood surges into second place with Friday 64
It’s Haotong Li’s name at the top of the leaderboard, but Tommy Fleetwood’s headline-grabbing second round 64 gives him solo second place at 6 under and the low round of the tournament to date. How about this for a stat? For the time being, the top two names on the leaderboard on Friday at the PGA Championship have never won on the PGA Tour.
Also of note as the last of the morning tee times wrap up, Bryson DeChambeau sits at 2 under, Cam Champ is 5 under and Phil Mickelson is into the clubhouse at 1 over, a stroke over the projected cutline.
Rickie Fowler takes an ugly double-bogey after duffing tap-in
Rickie Fowler has historically bad luck at majors, but he’s never seen anything like what happened to him on the par-4 6th hole. Fowler missed an eight-footer for par, leaving only a tap-in left for bogey. But in a colossal blunder, Fowler stubbed his putter on the ground and made contact with the ball, moving it a fraction of an inch.
He corrected his mistake shortly thereafter but left the hole with a stunning (and deflating) double-bogey to move a stroke over the projected cutline at 1 over.
Haotong Li finishes second round on top; Phil in danger of MC
Haotong Li closed out his sparkling second-round 65 with pars at 17 and 18, keeping him at eight under for the tournament. That’s good enough for a three-shot lead with several players tied at five under, and many big names like Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka yet to tee off.
Phil Mickelson is under par for the second round, but he’s at even par for the tournament with four holes to play. The projected cut currently sits at even, so Mickelson needs to make some birdies or hope that number holds throughout the day.
Tommy Fleetwood’s going low at the PGA with some *secret* irons in the bag
Every equipment writer has their “Where’s Waldo” moment. You’re perusing photos on Getty Images or sifting through bags on the practice range at a Tour event — a practice that would be frowned upon in the Covid era — and happen upon something new. Maybe it’s a prototype. Maybe it’s a classic club getting another shot.
Either way, it’s a finding that doesn’t stand out unless you look hard.
Laugh if you want (and I know many probably are), but there’s something exciting about unearthing these clubs. I bring this up because the exact situation played out on Friday as I was perusing Getty. With Tommy Fleetwood going low, I took a peek to see if he had anything new in the bag… Read Jonathan Wall’s complete story here.
Haotong Li maintains big lead on Friday
Haotong Li’s second nine on Friday at TPC Harding Park has been far more uneventful than his first nine holes, but in this case that’s just fine. Li added a fifth birdie quickly at the 10th and followed that with six stress-free pars.
Li remains at eight under for the tournament through 16 holes, three shots ahead of his nearest competitors, a foursome featuring Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Paul Casey, and Brendon Todd.
Bryson DeChambeau mistook ESPN announcer for rules official, asked hilarious question
The Legend of Bryson DeChambeau seems to grow by the minute. Or at the very least by the hour. If you’re a golf fan, you best not turn your back too long on the networks’ coverage of the strapping seventh-ranked golfer in the world, or you’re liable to miss some must-see/listen TV. Fire ants here, a snapped driver shaft there. The pace is dizzying.
On ESPN+’s early coverage from the second round of the 102nd PGA Championship, announcer Bob Wischusen spilled another nugget of Bryson gold. As DeChambeau was lining up a putt on the 15th green, Wischusen recounted an anecdote from earlier in the week. Wischusen said that as DeChambeau and his caddie, Tim Tucker, were playing the 401-yard par-4 15th hole during a practice round, they approached Wischusen, mistaking him for a rules official… Read Alan Bastbale’s complete story here.
Remember Phil Mickelson? He isn’t going down without a fight
Phil Mickelson, the 50-year-old winner of the 2005 PGA Championship, is playing like he doesn’t want to fly home tonight in the second round at TPC Harding Park. Phil made three birdies and just one bogey through his first nine holes Friday, recovering from a wayward opening round and moving him to even par for the tournament.
You could says he’s comfortably inside the cut line, but anything can happen with Mickelson. For now, he’s in good position to make the cut and play the weekend.
Bryson DeChambeau gains ground halfway through second round
Byrson DeChambeau failed to post a eye-catching number in Round 1, but he’s trying his best to make up for it early on Friday. DeChambeau, who teed off Harding Park’s 10th tee at 11:22 a.m. ET, put up four birdies against two bogeys over his first nine holes to improve to four under for the tournament.
Playing partner Adam Scott, competing in his first event since the PGA Tour returned in June, had a drama-free, one birdie performance on the back nine Friday, moving him to three under.
Tommy Fleetwood goes four under on front to get in mix
Tommy Fleetwood had a roller-coaster first round at the PGA Championship, but on Friday the Englishman is only going in the right direction. Fleetwood made four birdies and no bogeys to shoot a 31 on TPC Harding Park’s back nine (he started Round 2 on the 10th tee).
Fleetwood’s birdies came at the 10th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes, and his 31 matches current leader Haotong Li’s score on the front nine just earlier on Friday. The birdie run moves Fleetwood to four under, four shots behind Li.
Why this PGA Championship feels like more of a major than perhaps *any* major before it
This whole business of golf and majors is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha. Major golf is a serious business. Golf’s world serious, four times a year, not first to four. Ask Hogan. Ask Jack. Ask Tiger. Does he look like he’s playing for keeps or what? In a lifetime, you only get so many cracks at them. There’s a majesty to them, and most especially to this 102nd PGA Championship, at Harding Park. This is major. The world is tuning in.
There’s no question that the Western Open, in Walter Hagen’s era, was major. All the best players were there. The tournament was played on demanding courses. Newspaper coverage was lavish. People cared. Hagen won it five times and that’s why, along with a bunch of other things, he was Sir Walter. Now, in name, the Western Open doesn’t exist at all. These things aren’t fixed. Status isn’t fixed… Read Michael Bamberger’s complete story here.
Haotong Li shoots 31 on front nine to take the lead
The talented young man from China has fared well in big events before, but never quite this well.
Li played solid golf all over TPC Harding Park Thursday en route to a 67 and was one of the first players off the first tee Friday. It didn’t take long for him to heat up, dropping a birdie on the 1st and following it up with a 22-footer on the 2nd for another circle on the scorecard. He added two more birdies on the 5th and the brutally difficult 9th to shoot 31 going out and take a two-stroke lead heading to the back nine.
His back nine started much the way his front nine did — with a birdie. The 25-year-old now sits at eight under and remains two clear of Brendon Todd.
Why the absence of fans at the PGA Championship presents unique distractions
here has much been talk this week about the absence of fans at the 102nd PGA Championship. It’s not a new story per se. The Tour has been sans spectators for nearly two months, but this is the first roar-less major. Strange times.
What effect does that have on the players? Depends on whom you ask. Rory McIlroy says that without the swelling galleries he’s having a hard time getting amped. Bryson DeChambeau characterized the muted atmosphere as a “downer.” Englishman Paul Casey said he actually missed getting heckled. “Hey, if I deserve to be booed, I get booed,” he said. “And if I deserve to be cheered, I usually get one. It’s all good.”… Read Alan Bastable’s complete story here.
The second round of the 2020 PGA Championship beings at 10 a.m. ET
The threesome of Bob Sowards, Kurt Kitayam and Richy Werenski are the first off on Friday, hitting the 1st tee at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. local).
Some of the sport’s biggest names will have prime time tee times. Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland and Shane Lowry are at 4:36 p.m., Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose at 4:47 p.m., and Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas tee off at 4:58 p.m.
Tiger Woods (2 under) wasn’t perfect in Round 1 but is still squarely in the hunt
He stood on the 18th tee, motionless, as if this living legend had already been bronzed. But the moment of repose was cloaked in worry. Tiger Woods squinted through the glare off of Lake Merced and tried to peer through the distant Cypress trees, unsure if his ball had cleared the hazard on Harding Park’s most do-or-die tee shot. The seconds ticked by. This PGA Championship wasn’t hanging in the balance, exactly, but the specter of a crippling double bogey loomed large.
Woods eventually found his ball, and salvation, a few paces over the water, and that stroke of luck nicely summarized his first round at the PGA Championship: a great escape. Tiger fought his swing at times but his middle-distance putting and canny course management carried him to a two-under 68, three strokes off Jason Day’s early lead.
Woods’s par-save on number 18 — he began the day off the 10th tee — was part of a crucial stretch that allowed him to salvage and then build on the round. On the 16th hole he clanked a fairway bunker shot over the green but saved par with a gorgeous pitch. Tiger was so disgusted with his tee shot at the par-3 17th he dropped the club milliseconds after impact. Still made 3.
On 18, after locating his ball in the gnarly rough, Woods slashed out well short of the green, played a cautious pitch far beyond the false front and then buried a 21-footer for another par-save. It’s the kind of momentum-putt on which victories are built. “That was a big putt for me to make after making a mistake on my tee shot,” Woods said. Especially given that this was the much-discussed debut of Tiger’s new putter, a prototype Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless that is longer than his usual magic wand, an older Newport model.
How to buy Tiger Woods’ Stars-and-Stripes-themed face covering
With the start of golf’s major championship season comes a critically important window for another industry: golf fashion. The majors are golf’s most visible events, which means they’re a prime opportunity for golf apparel companies to get eyeballs on their products.
If you’re trying to gain the attention of golf fans, Tiger Woods is a pretty good place to start. The 15-time major champion doesn’t do much without drawing the attention of the golf world as a whole, and this year’s PGA Championship has already proven no different.
Woods has found himself in the spotlight for a different kind of wardrobe decision: his face covering. In an effort to adhere to safety procedures in place ahead of this year’s PGA, Woods has been wearing wearing an American flag-styled neck gait at TPC Harding Park.
The face covering, from SA Company, is made of a lightweight, microfiber material that provides sweat and 30 SPF sun protection. To get your hands on one of Tiger’s face coverings, check out the link here.
Brooks Koepka (4 under) rediscovered his game during a club-throwing practice session at Medalist
There’s been a theory floating around the internet that Brooks Koepka doesn’t care about golf tournaments that aren’t the major championships. With more major victories (four) than he has “regular” PGA Tour wins (three), Koepka’s apparent selection bias is a bit of an easy target, particularly given that he’s admitted he focuses much more of his attention toward the big ones.
From a distance, the idea that Koepka could seemingly only get up for the majors has only been aided by his performance over the last 14 months.
In the time since his PGA Championship win last May, Brooks has been both winless and (seemingly) hopeless — undergoing knee surgery and dealing with a litany of missed cuts.
“I just need to play good. I’ve played so bad lately,” he said prior to the start of the 3M Open a few weeks back. “My good shots are good, but I’ve just got to bring that bottom level up.”
Then, he turned it on — finishing T2 at last week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. During Thursday’s PGA Championship opening round (his first major since last July), the 30-year-old kept it rolling, shooting a blistering 4-under 66 that was good for second in the field. Brooks Koepka was back, and just in time for the majors.
Coincidence? Koepka says yes.
After his round, Brooks told reporters the spark behind his recent performance came not from a major championship bump, but rather from a pair of rage-filled range sessions with coaches Pete Cowen and Claude Harmon III at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.
“When we missed the cut at 3M, I went back home and spent Sunday with Pete (Cowen) working at Medalist, and then Monday was up with Claude,” Koepka said.
In two days of practice, Koepka exorcised a pair of demons. The first, making a significant swing change to fix a short-sided miss. The second, taking out months of pent-up frustration on the range in the form of high-flying, metal projectiles.
“To be honest with you, it was probably the first time I think I hit 40 balls,” he said. “There was a club 70 yards behind me, I chucked it, and then threw one in front of me.”
1 player claims Tiger’s latest putter change was made for an intriguing reason
Nearly every equipment change Tiger Woods made during his career was with performance in mind. But as Woods has learned in recent years, some changes are made due to other benefits they provide. In Woods’ case, multiple back surgeries have made it increasingly difficult to conduct lengthy practice sessions. Saving the back for the big events (“majors”) is what matters most.
Woods dropped down in shaft flex with his TaylorMade woods last year, likely in an attempt to gain speed and not put nearly as much strain on his body.
Now he could be doing the exact same thing with the putter.
Steve Stricker, a close confidant of Woods’ on Tour, was asked if he had any insight into Woods’ latest decision to bench his usual Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter — the same putter that assisted in 14 major titles — for a nearly identical Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless featuring adjustable sole weights. While many, including yours truly, assumed the sole weights meant Woods was trying to go up in head weight to deal with slow greens, Sticker confirmed there’s another — possibly more important — benefit for the 15-time major winner.
“It’s basically the same putter with a little bit more flexibility in the putter,” Stricker said on Wednesday. “He’s able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference. He’s got a little more length on there, and that’s just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That’s what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter, and watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great.”
Scott Van Pelt is calling golf again and golf fans are so happy about it
Scott Van Pelt is one of the more popular announcers in sports, but he holds a special place in the hearts of golf fans. Van Pelt is an avid fan of the game who got his start at Golf Channel, and is well-liked among players.
ESPN’s recent lack of major championship rights means fans have only been able to enjoy his commentary sparingly in recent years, but with ESPN’s re-emergence in the space, especially with the PGA Championship streaming on ESPN+, fans were delighted to hear SVP on the mic once again.
And why do people like SVP so much? Apart from his delightful overall demeanor, he’s got a deep knowledge off the game, but always manages to keep it casual, cracking jokes and not taking himself too seriously. It’s a style that certainly resonates with golf fans, who have been raving about the broadcast so far.
The Caddie House: Why four top loopers are crashing together at the PGA Championship
John Wood got to pick the house.
“Being the NorCal guy, I was assigned the rental for the week,” he said.
Wood caddies for Matt Kuchar, the No. 22 player in the world. Of the four caddies sharing a roof this week in San Francisco, Wood’s looping for (by far) the least famous player.
“Yeah, I’m definitely the minor leaguer of the group,” he added.
In this case, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s because the loopers’ lair is filled out by three legends of the craft: Joe LaCava, Michael Greller and Jim “Bones” Mackay.
Wood insists that this is nothing unusual during big events.
“It’s honestly not that unique! We’ve stayed together in rental homes at majors a bunch over the years,” he said.
Unique or not, there’s something notable about four men at the absolute peak of the caddying profession settling into the living room to shoot the breeze — and provide off-the-record analysis — after a day’s work.
“Suffice it to say when golf is on and we are all there, it’s like Mystery Science Theater 3000, PGA version,” Wood said.
The house falls somewhat short of the glamorous rentals that have housed gaggles of top pros at the Open Championship in recent years, like the Portrush abode that Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker called home last summer. But it’s a step above the rental that Joel Dahmen’s caddie Geno Bonnalie proposed as a U.S. Open stay to Aaron Flener.
“Lol Geno it’s 100 square feet,” Flener wrote back in a text exchange he posted to Twitter. “I like you but not ‘enclosed in 100 square feet with you‘ like you.”