CHARLOTTE – (Special for Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Kevin Kisner likes to have a good time when he plays in a major championship and there’s really only one way to accomplish that. Play the way he did the first two rounds of the PGA Championship.
“They are not a whole lot of fun unless everything is working out for you,” Kisner said of majors. “We’ve seen a lot of low scores in majors. There’s been a lot of birdies. You’ve got to realize that guys are making birdies, and the whole mind-set of pars are good is kind of out the window.”
Kisner matched his first-round score with another 4-under-par 67 on Friday at Quail Hollow Club. He shares the tournament lead at 8-under 134 with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who shot a 64 on Friday.
They hold a two-shot edge on the rest of the field, though several players will have to complete rounds Saturday morning because play was suspended by darkness.
Matsuyama, who played during the rain-interrupted afternoon round, used a late-day surge to pull even.
Australian Jason Day is in third place at 6-under.
Italian Francesco Molinari and South African Louis Oosthuizen finished at 5-under through two rounds.
Kisner said he’s intent on staying aggressive. He continued what had been a stretch late in Thursday’s round by posting birdies on two of the first three holes in the second round, which he began on the backside. Then on No. 7, he posted an eagle for the only hole he didn’t post a par on that side.
“You have to be able to attack when you can, is my big deal in majors and you’ve got to be comfortable putting 3- and 4- and 5-footers for par on the holes that you can attack,” he said. “I think that’s a big deal in major championships.”
Kisner, who’s from Aiken, S.C., said his parents grew up in Charlotte and his grandmother still lives here. He has spent many holidays in the city and would like something else to celebrate by Sunday.
Matsuyama made a big jump in the afternoon. He tied Kisner with birdie on the 17th hole and then barely missed a birdie putt for the lead on the final hole. Earlier, Matsuyama strung together four consecutive birdies, with the last one coming on No. 15 after play resumed.
Day, the 2016 runner-up, had an eagle on No. 7 followed by two birdies and finishing just before it became too dark to play.
Jordan Spieth, in his first quest to complete a career grand slam, is at 3-over for the tournament.
Rickie Fowler stayed in contention with a 70, moving to 3-under for the tournament.
“You want to get off to a good start and be in a good position which he has done and I have done as well,” Fowler said. “We’ll go battle it out this weekend.”
Fowler said he felt good about his positioning, particularly with toughening conditions.
“If you look at the majors, this is probably the hardest test we’ve had this year,” he said. “That’s saying something.”
D.A. Points appeared to be Kisner’s biggest morning threat until double-bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 pushed him to 1-under for the tournament. Points ended up with 73 in the round, taking it in stride.
“It’s nice to be in the hunt a little bit,” Points said. “See your name up on the board. Have the feel on the cameras on you. Haven’t had it for a few months, so it’s good to have that feeling again.”
Play was halted at 4:43 p.m. because of dangerous weather looming. The suspension lasted 1 hour, 43 minutes.
First-round co-leader Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark was 6-over through 15 holes of the second round, falling all the way to a 31st-place tie.
Phil Mickelson, who followed Thursday’s 79 with a 74, will miss the cut in the PGA Championship for the first time in 22 years. Mickelson didn’t have a birdie until his 31st hole of the tournament. The 79 was his worst round in a PGA Championship.
“Here there is some severe rough,” Mickelson said. “Coupled with the fact that I hit the ball above the hole most of the time, that wasn’t a good combination.”
NOTES: Steve Stricker will make the cut in a major for the 26th consecutive time, going to the weekend at 3-over following his second-round 70. … Defending champion Jimmy Walker had 69 after a first-round 81, missing the cut at 8-over. … Though Omar Uresti is a former PGA Tour player, he never qualified for this tournament until making it as a club pro this year. He advanced to the weekend at 2-over through two rounds. … Si Woo Kim withdrew from the tournament citing a back injury. He shot 79 in the first round