2024 PGA Championship - Round Two
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Xander Schauffele shot a PGA Championship record 9-under-par 62 on Thursday to hold the first-round lead. By the time he teed off Friday for the second round, 2020 PGA Champion Collin Morikawa had played 35 holes and Schauffele’s advantage had evaporated completely.

In fact, Schauffele was three shots behind.

Morikawa, the two-time major champ, made 14 birdies since Schauffele had last hit a shot at Valhalla Golf Club and was one hole away from making a late bogey to put the finishing touches on a 6-under 65 to go with his opening 66. The new mark for Schauffele and the field was set at 11-under total as the second wave prepared to tee off.

Not only did Morikawa make 14 birdies in two days, they all came after making two bogeys in the first five holes of his opening round. Twice on Thursday, Morikawa rattled off stretches of three consecutive birdies and on Friday he recorded five straight starting on his 13th hole of the day, the par-4 fourth hole.

“Look, the little five-run birdie was me just playing solid golf, and sometimes when the putts drop, that's what happened,” Morikawa said. “But for the most part, that's the kind of golf I'm going to ask for myself over the next two days, and 36 holes is just stay present, hit your shots, execute them, and if the putts drop, the putts drop. But really not force anything. I wasn't forcing anything out there, especially throughout all of today.”

The 27-year-old, ranked 13th in the world, made the turn in 2-under after calmly negotiating the rain and was still two shots behind Schauffele. Then he dialed in, went berserk, and sprinted out to an impressive lead just as the Round 1 leader was about to begin his day.

Most of the damage during the birdie barrage was done with the putter, needing only 25 putts for the round. Morikawa made birdie from 8 feet on the fourth hole, from 16 feet on the fifth, from 34 feet on the sixth, and from 5 feet on the seventh and eighth holes. The untimely bogey on the last happened when Morikawa came up just short of the green with his approach shot and failed to get up and down.

“Just kept it in front of myself, and look, I've been putting great so far since Augusta, so it's nice to just kind of keep that trend going, and was able to hit a few good close shots, few wedge shots, take advantage of the short holes, the par-5s and for the most part didn't really make any big errors, other than the last hole, just that approach shot,” he said.

PGA Championship - Final Round
Collin Morikawa, winner of the 2020 PGA Championship will be looking to win his second Wanamaker Trophy this week. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Morikawa wasn’t inside the top-10 after 36 holes four years ago when he shot 65-64 on the weekend at Harding Park to win the Wanamaker Trophy, his first major victory. The following year, at the 2021 Open Championship, Morikawa was two shots behind Louis Oosthuizen midway through the event and shot 68-66 to win by two shots.

The last victory for Morikawa came last October at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship in Japan. This year Morikawa has missed only two cuts and has three top-10 finishes, including a third-place tie last month at the Masters, where he shot a final-round 74 to drop off the pace set by winner Scottie Scheffler.

Check out the leaderboard from the 2024 PGA Championship here

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