PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris takes the lead at halfway; Rory McIlroy falls back, while Tiger Woods misses the cut

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PGA Championship
Source: Skysports

PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris took a one-shot lead into the weekend at the PGA Championship, as Rory McIlroy failed to build on his overnight lead and Tiger Woods fought his way into contention.

Zalatoris took advantage of the dramatic improvement in conditions for the afternoon session at Southern Hills, shooting a bogey-free 65 with five birdies to move to nine-under and ahead of Chile’s Mito Pereira.

Pereira, who was playing in only his second major, lost a birdie opportunity on his final hole to shoot a 63 and tie for the lowest round in tournament history, which Bubba Watson achieved after a second-round showing that included nine birdies and two bogeys.

“I got away with murder a few times today for sure, especially starting off the day hitting the left trees and hitting it to a kick-in,” Zalatoris said. “We lucked out with the draw for sure. I played the last eight holes with not much wind, but take it when you can get it.”

After weathering severe winds earlier in the day to post a second consecutive 67, Justin Thomas is three strokes down in third, with Watson in fourth and McIlroy five strokes back after a one-over 71 on Friday.

McIlroy’s overnight lead had vanished before he had even teed off, with the Northern Irishman losing even more ground after a missed shot at the second hole was followed by a three-putt bogey at the seventh.

The two-time PGA champion made his first birdie of the day when he sank a 10-footer at the 12th, and a string of pars down the stretch kept him on four under heading into the weekend.

Matt Fitzpatrick produced a one-under 69 to go to three under par, while Tyrrell Hatton is a shot down with Cameron Smith, who clipped Aaron Wise with an errant drive early in his round, and Jordan Spieth is 10 shots back as he tries to complete his career Grand Slam.

Woods equalled Spieth’s 69 to make the cut in only his second competitive appearance since a car accident in February, returning from a double-bogey at the 11th to birdie two of his next six holes to finish on three over.

Collin Morikawa, the world No. 3, and Hideki Matsuyama, the previous Masters champion, both missed the cut, while Dustin Johnson, the two-time major champion, joined Scottie Scheffler in missing the cut.

Scheffler appeared to be in good shape to make the cut and keep his dreams alive for a fifth win of the season alive, but he made four bogeys after the turn and double-bogeyed his final hole for a five-over 75.

After being smacked in the head, Wise is unharmed

During the second round of the PGA Championships, American Aaron Wise avoided major damage after being struck by Cameron Smith’s poor tee shot.

Wise, who is rated 91st in the world, was inspecting his ball on the seventh hole’s fairway when he was struck in the head by a shot from Australian Smith, who was playing the adjacent par-four second hole. The ball left a mark on Wise’s hat, which he treated with an ice pack before rebounding to record a two-over 72 and make the cut. Smith, who finished even-par for the round, also made the weekend.

“I was walking down seven, surprised my ball was in the fairway, and then next thing you know, I mean there’s a little bit of ringing in my head,” said Wise.

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