Tiger Woods needs birdies; Tony Finau makes history

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Golfweek’s Geoff Shackelford describes how the rain has affected the greens and what tactics players should use for success.
USA TODAY

ST. LOUIS — Tiger Woods looked like he got up on the right side of the bed Saturday when he resumed his second round in the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club with a precise, 70-yard wedge to 6 feet on the par-5 eighth hole that he successfully converted for birdie.

Then he seemed to go back to sleep.

Woods wrapped up his second round with three birdies and two bogeys and signed for a 4-under-par 66 that put him six shots behind leader Gary Woodland heading into this afternoon’s third round. The stacked leaderboard also features Kevin Kisner at 9 under, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler at 8 under, Dustin Johnson at 7 under and defending champion Justin Thomas at 6 under.

Currently, there are 22 players within six shots of Woodland, including 12 major champions.

Woods would have been higher up on the board except for sloppy bogeys on the 10th and 12th holes and a dull stretch of pars from 13-16. He missed two 5-footers for par, the first after he missed the green on the 10th, the second when he putted for birdie from 100 feet on the 12th.

“I came right back out and made birdie, which was a nice way to start the morning,” said Woods, who is seeking his 15th major and fifth Wanamaker Trophy. “But I missed two short putts, and that stemmed the momentum a little bit.”

More: Tiger Tracker: Follow Woods’ round shot by shot

Woods said he needs “a low one,” in the third round to stay in contention. Play is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. local time, with threesomes going off the first and 10th tees.

“I have to make birdies,” Woods said. “Thing is, if you’re hitting the ball well, you’ll be in the right spots on the greens. And there is not a single putt you are afraid of out here. That’s why everyone is aggressive.”

Tony Finau also shot 66 in his second round, but it wasn’t anything like Woods’ round. It was an extraordinary, record-tying round.

After starting the championship with three bogeys and a double-bogey on his first nine holes on Thursday and winding up with a 74, Finau erupted with red numbers. He started his second round on Friday with five consecutive birdies, then made a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 sixth, then made three birdies and a bogey before play was suspended because of storms.

He finished his round with two more birdies and two bogeys Saturday morning for a 66 and a place in the history books. Finau’s 10 birdies matched the record for most birdies in one round in PGA Championship history that was set by Gary Player in the second round of the 1984 PGA. Finau had a chance to set the record on his final hole but instead made a bogey on the par-4 18th.

The major championship record for most birdies in a round was set by Anthony Kim, who made 11 birdies in round two of the 2009 Masters.

“It was an emotional roller coaster,” Finau said.

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