Tommy Fleetwood shoots 64 to move into contention at US PGA Championship
Tommy Fleetwood fired a superb second round of 64 to lead the chase for a rare English success in the US PGA Championship in San Francisco.
Fleetwood carded seven birdies and a solitary bogey at Harding Park to lie two shots behind clubhouse leader Li Haotong, who had earlier returned a bogey-free 65 to set the target on eight under par.
American Cameron Champ matched Fleetwood’s 64 – the lowest score of the week so far – to finish five under alongside Brendon Todd and England’s Paul Casey, who added a 67 to his opening 68.
Olympic champion Justin Rose was among the later starters after a four-under-par 66 on day one.
Jim Barnes is the only Englishman to win the US PGA, but the second of his two victories came more than 100 years ago in 1919.
Starting from the 10th, Fleetwood covered the back nine in 31 with four birdies and picked up another shot on the first before dropping his first shot of the day on the next.
The world number 13 bounced back with a birdie on the fourth and took advantage of the short par-four seventh to pick up another stroke before parring the difficult eighth and ninth.
“Yesterday I had a decent score going and had a bad couple of holes on 12 and 13 which halted progress,” Fleetwood said. “Level par wasn’t a bad score and today I feel like my game is improving day by day since I’ve come back.
“Today I hit a lot of fairways and that clearly makes it easier from there round this golf course.”
Fleetwood is seeking his first major title after finishing runner-up to Brooks Koepka in the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills and second behind Shane Lowry in last year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
“I’m the same person. I’ve got a little bit more experience,” Fleetwood added. “If you look at it, was I playing better at Shinnecock? Maybe. But that might only be because I’ve only played two weeks since coming back.
“I feel the same, I guess, with a few more majors under my belt of experience. Hopefully they stand me in good stead over the weekend. Any time you’re in
contention for a major, it’s an experience, and I feel like I’ve done it a few times, so every time you learn.
“Every time these weeks come about you just hope – you prepare for it
to be your week, and today was a great day. Got a weekend of golf left. We’ll see.”
Li, who finished third in the 2017 Open Championship after a closing 63 at
Royal Birkdale, admitted his performance had come as a surprise after missing the cut in the Memorial Tournament and finishing 75th in the 78-man field in WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational since returning to action.
“I’ve got no expectation actually because of staying at home doing nothing. I just want to go out there and have fun,” the 25-year-old said.
“I didn’t even think I could play like this this week, especially, like you said, got no confidence. Probably it helped me clear my mind a little bit this week.”
Are the TaylorMade P790 Irons at the head of the class?
TaylorMade have crafted something special in the P790s.
What was in the bag for Srixon staffer Hideki Matsuyama’s title win at Genesis Invitational
Hideki Matsuyama was dialled in during an incredible final round.
What you need to know about the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons
Find out if the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons are for you.
WATCH: Golf course maintenance crew lose control of cart and drive it off bridge
Out of control maintenance men can be a curse.
PING refresh PLD Milled putters – and the standards are as high as ever
There is nothing about the 2024 PING PLD Milled putters that is really surprising but the range lives up to the name.
Tiger Woods makes rare wood change in adjusted 2024 bag
Tiger Woods makes a big change.
11 of Texas’ best exclusive golf courses that you’ll probably never play
Texas has a fine selection of private golf courses worth adding to your bucket list.
WATCH: Wife makes no attempt to hide laugher watching husband mishit golf shot
If you can’t laugh at yourself on the golf course bring your wife along.
WATCH: Golfer struggles to get down the green in treacherous wind and rain
What does it take to get you off the golf course?
The 7 best balls for low swing speed golfers to get more distance
Get more distance with these balls.