England’s Justin Rose was delighted with his position after the second round of the weather-affected US PGA Championship was completed at Whistling Straits.
Rose was one shot off the lead with just one hole remaining when play was suspended on Friday evening ahead of a thunderstorm lashing the course.
Play resumed at 7am local time yesterday and Rose did well to two-putt from long range on the 18th to complete a 67 and finish eight under par, three shots behind surprise leader Matt Jones.
“I’ve been knocking on the door and I’m in a great position going into the weekend,” said the 2013 US Open champion, who held a share of the lead after 54 holes of the Bridgestone Invitational last week before finishing third.
“Eight under par in any major championship is great after two days. I’m within touching distance going into the weekend which is exactly where you want to be.”
Weather warnings had been posted an hour before play was suspended on Friday night and Rose thought he and playing partners Geoff Ogilvy and Brandt Snedeker would be able to finish on schedule.
“I cursed us last night,” Rose said. “I said the unfortunate words, ‘The end is in sight, lads’. We saw the storm coming for about four holes and it felt like we might get away with it right there at the end.
“As we were on the 18th tee those fatal words left my mouth and 30 seconds later the horn blew. But when we all hit the (18th) fairway this morning, I said to the guys, ‘Well, you can thank me now, boys’.”
Jones had six holes remaining yesterday and played them in two under par to complete a superb 65 and finish 11 under par, two ahead of fellow Australian Jason Day.
Day has recorded nine top-ten finishes in his last 19 majors, memorably battling attacks of vertigo to finish ninth in the US Open in June and missing a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at St Andrews to get into a play-off for the Open Championship.
“I’ve put myself in the position, so the only thing I have to change is the end result,” Day said.
“I just think that it’s easy for some people to get there quicker than others. Some people make it look easier than others.
“The experiences that I’ve had in the past in previous finishes, I think it’s setting me up for something big in the future. And I just really have to keep plodding along and really keep doing the stuff that I’m working on.”
Sweden’s David Lingmerth, India’s Anirban Lahiri and American Tony Finau were four shots off the lead on seven under, with Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth another stroke back.
Former world No 1 Tiger Woods missed the cut for the third straight major after adding a 73 to his opening 75.
“I hit it good enough to be where I needed to be, but I putted awful,” Woods said. “And I finally figured something out today on the putting green, but the damage had already been done. Finally rolled the ball coming in, and unfortunately it was too little, too late.
“Even if you’re way out of it, we saw Paul Lawrie come back from ten shots in one day (in the 1999 Open at Carnoustie).
“But you have to give yourself that opportunity and I haven’t given myself that opportunity in the last few majors.”
John Daly also missed the cut after scoring a second-round 82, with a 10 on the par-3 17th contributing to his miserable day.
The American’s ball ended in the lake three times, and, in frustration, Daly threw his club in the lake, too.
“It shows you care, that’s all,” Daly said as he walked to the car park. “I’m sure I’ll get reprimanded for it.
“I know we all go through it. But I seem to go through it more than anybody. I know it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was more of a reflex than anything.”