Tour Confidential: Unpacking a bizarre Friday at the PGA Championship

Viktor Hovland tees off during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship.

Viktor Hovland tees off during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Friday at Valhalla Golf Club.

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No one could have predicted the bizarreness we saw at the PGA Championship on Friday, from the tragic death of a volunteer to the No. 1 player in the world getting arrested. But there was a ton we missed on the course, too. What was the biggest non-Scottie Scheffler story that took place between the ropes?

Jessica Marksbury, senior editor (@jess_marksbury): Michael Block’s incredible run put club pro qualifiers in the spotlight last year, and though Block is out of the mix at Valhalla, there are others who could make a move to take his place. One pro, Braden Shattuck, is one under, right on the cutline, with his rounds already complete. And there could potentially be as many as four others who make it to the weekend, depending on how they finish their final holes. That’s pretty remarkable!

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Josh Berhow, managing editor (@Josh_Berhow): Three big-time names who threatened at the Masters are back again — Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau — and one of them, Schauffele, is still waiting for that major breakthrough. He’s played well this year (eight top 10s in 12 starts) but still hasn’t won. Will this finally be his week? Either way, it’s a juicy leaderboard at the midway point.

Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): I’m more interested in a guy who hasn’t been in contention of late, but this week is: Vik Hovland, back from the YouTube wilderness and just four off the pace! Reunited with his old coach, Joe Mayo, it’ll be fascinating to see if Hovland can continue to channel his late 2023 form and make a run at the Wanamaker. Here’s hoping he does. The men’s pro game could use Hov’s cheery vibes back at the top of leaderboards.

Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): I’ll go in a little different direction and say the biggest non-Scottie story on Friday didn’t even come from the PGA Championship, but rather the LPGA’s Mizuho America’s Open. It’s one of the best-run events on the LPGA’s schedule, but this year there’s been a cloud cast over it as players and other personnel have been battling a mysterious illness. Several players have been forced to WD (including defending champ Rose Zhang) and caddies, support staff and even media members have caught the bug, too. It’s been an unfortunate storyline during an otherwise incredible run for the LPGA Tour.

Josh Sens, senior writer (@JoshSens): No major-championship recap is complete without a Tiger update. It was a rough day for Woods, with two triple-bogeys in his first four holes, and in many ways a repeat of what we’ve seen from him in his rare appearances of late: some flashes of brilliance interrupted by painfully scruffy stretches. And so another weekend in which we won’t see Woods. Fittingly, though, he birdied his final hole, a kind of teasing reminder of all the fight he still has in him.

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