Golf: Matsuyama fires 63 to seize Medinah lead, Tiger stumbles again

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club No 3 on Aug 16, 2019 in Medinah, Illinois.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club No 3 on Aug 16, 2019 in Medinah, Illinois. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Japan's Hideki Matsuyama shattered the course record at Medinah with a nine-under par 63 Friday (Aug 16) to seize the early second-round lead at the US PGA BMW Championship while Tiger Woods struggled again.

Matsuyama, a 2017 US Open runner-up seeking his sixth US tour title, birdied five of the first eight holes and four of the final seven in a bogey-free round to stand on 12-under 132 after 36 holes at the famed suburban Chicago layout.

"It seemed like every birdie chance I had today I made the putt," Matsuyama said through a translator. "Add it up, that's what I got." His total was two strokes under the old course mark of 65 shared by first-round co-leaders Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak and previously held by Woods, Skip Kendall and Canada's Mike Weir.

Woods, a 15-time major champion who won his first major since 2008 at this year's Masters, sank birdie putts from 13 and 20 feet at the 15th and 16th holes but made bogeys at 16 and 17 to fire his second consecutive 71, 10 adrift of leader Matsuyama.

"Left quite a few shots out there," Woods said.

Woods slid even further from his goal of cracking the top 30 on the PGA playoff season points list to earn a chance to defend his Tour Championship title next week in Atlanta.

Woods said he would need to shoot "something in the mid-60s" for any hope of qualifying for the season-ending event at East Lake.

Matsuyama, also needing a strong result this week to advance, sank a 28-foot birdie putt on the first hole, a 10-footer for birdie at four and two-putted from 30 feet to birdie the par-5 fifth.

 
 
 

He put his approach to six feet and made the birdie putt at the par-5 seventh and sank a 16-footer for birdie at the par-3 eighth, then followed a tap-in birdie at 12 with a 17-footer at the par-3 13th.

Matsuyama closed his round with his fourth pair of back-to-back birdies on the day, sinking a 23-footer at the par-3 17th and closing with a 30-foot birdie putt at 18.

"I was really happy with that birdie putt, really to make that," Matsuyama said.

Sharing second on the course at 10-under were Americans Patrick Cantlay and Kevin Kisner with a fourth-place pack in the clubhouse on 135 including Canada's Adam Hadwin and Americans Lucas Glover and Chez Reavie.