FARMINGDALE, N.Y.—The range was unusually quiet on Day 2 at the 2019 PGA Championship. During tournament rounds, the practice area doesn’t have the same chatter as the early week. There are fewer jokes, more Trackman checks. All the catch-up conversations have been had. But at Bethpage Black’s temporary range on Friday morning, the mood was particularly serious.
Part of that environment was spurred by the butt-kicking delivered by the Long Island course. The scoring average from Thursday was 73.064, a number higher than the 2009 U.S. Open scoring average. Another component was the scoreboard deficit after 18 holes, with Brooks Koepka and Danny Lee separating themselves from the pack with 63 and 64, respectively. And, with all due respect to Lee, he’s not the name worrying the other 153 competitors at the moment.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of marquee names hovering around the periphery. Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are in a group at one under, while Tommy Fleetwood—a player many are awaiting to achieve his major breakthrough—might be the tournament’s best hope at catching Koepka at three under.
As for Tiger Woods, he won’t be chasing Brooks as much as the cut. At two over, the 43-year-old has work to do on Friday to make the weekend. He will attempt to do so from the afternoon wave.
But before Tiger tees off, there’s a handful of names like Spieth, Mickelson, Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in the early groups. Follow all the Day 2 action from Bethpage Black with the Golf Digest PGA Championship Live Blog:
7:40 a.m.: Danny Lee began his day one back of Brooks. After three holes, that deficit is now three, will Lee taking bogeys at the 11th and 12th. Playing in his first major in two years, and looking for his first cut since 2016, Lee’s 64 on Thursday was one of the season’s biggest surprises. Unfortunately, he now has to stop the bleeding, and fast.
7:30 a.m.: Only four groups have gone off the 10th this morning, yet given the carnage it wreaked on Thursday, that there have only been two bogeys—with a birdie!—through 12 players shows the field may receive a respite from the hole’s wrath.