5 Things We Learned on Day 2 of the 2017 PGA Championship

Day two brought us a rain delay, a pending Saturday-morning finish, a probable 5-over cut line, a Hideki Matsuyama rampage, and more Kevin Kisner. Sounds about right for a PGA Championship. Let’s mash mash away, into the night!

1) Kevin Kisner fits the profile

…of a PGA Champion. He doesn’t win a whole lot. He looks familiar, until you try to recall where you saw him win what. His swing is compact and uber-repetitive, his game is on point and his mistakes are minimal. Keegan Bradely, Y.E. Yang, Rich Beem, and Steve Elkington are four who’ve done the same since 1995. Kisner might join them.

2) Except…

It’s a major championship. And Kisner is 0-4 in playoffs. And his best major finish was a tie for 12th in the Jordan Spieth U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. When he steps on the tee on Saturday, in the final group, with 36 holes in front of him, will he be able to take it one hole, one swing, at a time?

They don’t all end up like this.

3) And what of Louis Oosthuizen?

The 2010 Open champion (St. Andrews) lost a playoff for the Masters jacket in 2012, and a second Open in 2015. He’s comfortable beneath the major-event spotlights, but a run that comes up short in 2017 at Quail Hollow might doom him to the destiny of a one-time major winner. For you and me, that’s ecstasy, but for a professional golfer, if feels like agony. Louis needs to win this week, and he might, with shots like this one.

4) Will there come a time

…when we look back at this week, at this round, and mark it as the dawn of the age of Matsuyama? The great Japanese golfer has inched closer to the echelon of major champion, and Quail Hollow suits his game as well as any course. Matsuyama birdied four consecutive holes and posted six in total. He’ll join Kisner in Saturday’s final pairing. Hot on their heels are two major champs, Oostie and Jason Day, in the penultimate pairing.

5) Start ‘Splaining, Rickie

Is this the week? Are you going to stop breaking hearts and claim that major? You love this golf course. You came back from a triple bogey on Thursday to shoot 2-under par. You made 15 pars on your way to a one-under finish on Friday. Rickie Fowler, you’ve been here before. Not in this tournament, but in other major events. Time to put the trophy on the shelf, lad.

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