It had never happened before that a Chinese was in command of the PGA Championships, but Haotong Li succeeds, with a 65 (-5) for a score of 132 (67 65, -8) hits, in the first Major event in a season. conditioned by the health emergency, which is taking place on the TPC Harding Park route (par 70) in San Francisco, California.
Very bad, however, one of the most anticipated, Tiger Woods. The former world number one slipped from 20th place to 44th with 140 (68 72, par), after a 72 (+2, two birdies, four bogeys). Also bad is the king of the world ranking Justin Thomas, 60th with 141 (+1), who avoids the cut along with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay.
Li, who has scored five bogey-free birdies coming up from 12th place and making his personal lowest 36-hole score on the PGA Tour, as mentioned, is the first Chinese to take the lead in a Major and has good prospects of being the first.
of his country to win it, as since 2000 as many as 12 leading players or mid-race coleaders have succeeded.
The other players
Rickie Fowler (142, +2) was out for a shot and his series of cuts in a major stopped at 14, while the longest, currently in progress, is by Koepka with 23.
Same fate for Martin Kaymer ( 148, +8), who was third after a round and overwhelmed by an 82 (+12), and for Sergio Garcia (146, +6). The prize pool is $ 11 million with a first coin of $ 1,980,000. It is played behind closed doors and respecting very restrictive prevention rules for players and professionals.
Disappointing Thomas, who returned to world number one last week with his success in the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational, is already in danger of losing his crown, because the four players who can dethrone him with a victory (albeit linked to a series of favorable combinations with the placings of the others) have all gained positions.
Dustin Johnson (# 5) approached the top, from 33 to 11 with 136 (-4), and went to 31st place with 139 (-1) Jon Rahm (# 2), Rory McIlroy (# 3) and Webb Simpson (# 4), all able to catch up with seven shots late with 36 holes available.
One shot less for Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott, the latter returning after the long stop, 25 / i with 138 (-2). A Major comes back after thirteen months and starts again with the 102nd edition of the US PGA Championship.
It was supposed to be the second in the series, but in the calendar turned upside down by the emergency, it became the first, which had not happened since 1971. It will be followed by the US Open (17-20 September) and the Masters (12-15 November), while the Open Championship jumped for the first time since 1945, which was the last to be played in July last year with a title to Shane Lowry.
There will be no Francesco Molinari, winner of The Open Championship 2018 and of the Ryder Cup of the same season. All eyes of the world will be on Tiger Woods, who is looking for his 16th career Major. The PGA Championships will be held from 6 to 9 August 2020.