Marcha 23, 2018

Fowler seeks another breakthrough at Quail Hollow

12 Agosto 2017, 11:21 | Gerardo Tarin

UPDATE 1-Golf-Spieth cards opening one-over 72 as Koepka shines at PGA

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

I mean, that's never fun to walk up and see somebody you just drilled.

Or that he would be playing on a different hole. "Somehow, my worst shots were finding the fairway". The ball, Dambuster-style, actually skipped through the sand and finished on the far fringe, from where McIlroy chipped dead.

"But there's still two days of golf left and I really have to focus on keeping it going". My internal dialogue on all water holes goes like this: Don't hit it into the water, don't hit it into the water ... it's in the water.

"I've always fought a push to the right and got sick and exhausted of it", he said.

McIlroy holed from 15 feet to match Smith's par and avoid losing that bet.

The world number three began the day three shots behind overnight leader Kisner, with the American extending that gap as one of the early starters. He didn't get as many opportunities as he wanted to showcase improvement in that area Friday because he spent a lot of time scrambling, hitting just 50 percent of the greens in regulation.

He at least salvaged the round with two late birdies for another 1-over 72. "And there's a lot of putts that honestly, I'm not trying to make", Matsuyama said.

No matter. He was tied going into the weekend, raising Japanese hopes of its first major championship. "I've had some good rounds in majors, and I feel like I've learned a lot over the years playing quite a few majors now", Olesen said.

Kisner is not among the longer hitters on the PGA Tour, and Quail Hollow has been stretched to 7,600 yards with recent renovations.

Needing to steady the ship for the finish, Smith leaked a shot at the long seventh, but birdied the eighth and although another shot was dropped at the ninth - his last - he was safely inside the cut mark. He found his putting touch last week when he shot 61 in the final round to win at Firestone, and he is riding that momentum.

McIlroy also was there when Fowler won his first TOUR title here five years ago. And when the second round resumed, it felt like an entirely different golf course.

While the speed of the greens has been a focus, the American is happy with the switch to Bermuda grass, part of the redesign ahead of the year's final major. You've got to stay patient.

McIlroy was not surprised by some of the names on the leaderboard, but the scores by their names.

Quail Hollow presented a stern test in Thursday's opening round, primarily because of the firm, fast and frightening greens for which the US Open is known. "It's a completely different golf course".

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