Brooks Koepka calls Quail Hollow a 'bomber's paradise' as he shoots 68

12 August, 2017, 07:02 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Jordan Spieth

Kevin Kisner is a statistical anomaly, a ShotLink unicorn who for two rounds has defied all that we thought we knew about the new and improved Quail Hollow Club.

McIlroy, missing only the Masters to complete his own career Grand Slam, hasn't won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship.

The PGA Quail Hollow was supposed to be a bomber's utopia where the game's biggest and brightest would have an overwhelming advantage.

"The first 15 holes, especially, I was driving the ball very, very well, and that made it a bit easier", said the world number 78, a four-times European Tour victor.

"I think it was just leading up to that shot to No. 7, the tee shot was just-that put it over for me", Day said. "Show me that you are playing good at the end of the year".

He headed into the back nine at one under par after three birdies in the first half of his round, but a bogey at the 13th and a double bogey at the 14th left him scrambling to save his round, with four straight pars leaving the Irishman wanting more. When I start hitting it the way I am now, I play well.

On Thursday he added birdies at Nos.

Day stumbled early with a bogey at the par-4 third, but bounced back at the par-5 seventh, leaving his second shot inches from the cup for a tap-in eagle.

But lack of length is not what makes Kisner the ultimate statistical outlier this week; although it's worth pointing out he's had five drives of 300 yards or more thus far.

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Where the son of Aiken, S.C., broke the mold is what he's done with an iron (normally of the mid- to long-iron variety) in his hand.

"It speaks to how well he's hitting it", figured Kisner's swing coach, John Tillery.

"As everyone says, there's no winning post there", McIlroy said. "It used to just drive him insane to do that, but it's been a big attitude change at the majors".

Rory McIlroy is a favorite to win the tournament this year.

He said in 1999 that he wouldn't return to the U.S. Open and had "had it with the USGA and the way they run their tournaments" after he swatted a moving ball with his putter on No. 8 in his final round at Pinehurst No. 2, taking an 11 on the hole and signing for an 81. "We just have to practice that much harder in March", he said, mindful of the difficulty of that for pros in the Northeast. "If anything he tends to be too aggressive, so a course like [Quail Hollow] forces him to dial it back". Even within the four majors, though, there is a sliding scale of difficulty. Given the size of Quail Hollow, Kisner drew up a simple plan. You don't want to be playing out of the rough.

Kisner could have lamented his fate, grumbled about course set up and 524-yard par 4s, but instead he devised a plan and for two days has executed that blueprint to perfection. "And hopefully, we don't have to have this conversation in 10 years". "He's matured a ton".

Teeing off on the 10th, Smith rolled in for birdie from eight feet and when he did likewise from 16 foot on the 13th, the major championship rooke was incredibly within two strokes of teh top of the leaderboard.

"If I was truly free, I wouldn't have cared", he said.

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