Jones holds PGA advantage as second round wraps up
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The early wake-up call was well worth it for Matt Jones, who made two birdie putts in pristine conditions at Whistling Straits on Saturday morning to complete a 7-under 65 and build a two-shot lead in the PGA Championship.
Jones holed a 15-foot putt from the fringe on the short par-4 sixth hole, and he holed a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 8. That put another shot between Jones and fellow Australian Jason Day, who made a birdie and bogey in his final four holes and wound up with a 67.
Jones was at 11-under 133.
The second round was delayed when a strong storm packing gusts that approached 50 mph moved in late Friday. In two hours Saturday morning, the final major of the year set the stage for what traditionally is moving day.
Jones has never finished better than a tie for 30th in a major, and this is only the ninth he has played.
"For me, it's amazing to be in the lead at a major," he said. "I've been in the lead on a tour event, but a major is a different story. But I'm going to have fun with it, and I'm pretty relaxed on the golf course."
He will play the third round with Day, who has been on the cusp of breaking through the last couple of season, especially this year.
Day shared the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open while coping with vertigo symptoms. He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole at St. Andrews that would have put him in a playoff at the British Open.
"The way I played at the U.S. Open and going on to the British, it's just all kind of been trending in the right direction," Day said. "But I think it's all in the process that I've had. It's all the work that I put in weeks and weeks and weeks before that that's kind of prepared me for this."
Justin Rose made par on the 18th to complete his round of 67 and was three shots behind.
Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, who completed his 67 on Friday, was five shots behind.
Dustin Johnson, the 18-hole leader, struggled to a 73. He got out of position a few times off the tee on Friday that cost him, and Saturday morning wasn't much better. His drive on the reachable par-5 16th hole bounced right just short of the lip of a bunker, and he had no chance to get to the green.
He was six shots behind.
Rory McIlroy was nine shots back in his return to golf from an ankle injury.
Tiger Woods completed a 73 and missed the cut in his third straight major.
Woods entered the Wyndham Championship late Friday, though he hedged slightly when asked if he would play. Woods has to finish at least second alone next week to have any chance of making the FedEx Cup playoffs. His 73 on Saturday at Whistling Straits was his seventh consecutive round over par at a major, the longest streak of his career.