US PGA Championship - Story of day two

Aug 10 2018 Saint Louis MO USA Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller lines up a putt on the 17th green during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 10 2018 Saint Louis MO USA Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller lines up a putt on the 17th green during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time this season the game's best will begin a Sunday at a major chasing Koepka, and Koepka will begin his day in the gym.

In contrast, Woods had made the ideal start by holing from 15 feet for birdie on the first and five feet for another on the second, before nearly chipping in on the fourth after finding trouble off the tee.

The Australian fired a second-consecutive five under par 65 at Bellerive Country Club on Saturday to go outright second, putting himself into Sunday's final group alongside leader Brooks Koepka (66), who is two shots clear at 12 under. It just changes the way you work the next few holes, I feel all the time.

Koepka, who in June became the first man to win back-to-back US Opens since Curtis Strange in 1988-89, could become only the fourth player to win the US Open and PGA Championship in the same year, following fellow Americans Gene Sarazen in 1922, Ben Hogan in 1948 and Jack Nicklaus in 1980.

Well, it depends on how you look at it.

"Everybody wanted a picture with Dustin", he said.

Woods failed to convert on both, despite having given himself excellent chances. In all, the 42-year-old Woods put his surgically repaired back through 29 holes over 10 hours in hot, sticky weather. He made nothing but pars over the final 10 holes.

Perhaps more astonishing than all of those numbers is the fact that Koepka only has one other win outside of the majors.

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"Whether it's a poor shot through technique or lack of discipline or a mental block, I've been doing it a lot, and today I didn't".

In order, Koepka (who is tied for second this week in driving distance) is followed by Adam Scott (T-19 in driving distance), Jon Rahm (T-13), Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland (sixth), Jason Day (T-2), Tiger Woods (33rd) and Justin Thomas (10th).

"Could've been a little closer, " Woods said.

A bogey on the 10th was instantly cancelled out by a tap-in birdie on the short 11th, but Woods then three-putted from 100 feet on the next after his approach from the rough just reached the front of the green. It is a trend that he has yet to buck.

A crowd of reporters laughed at Koepka's retelling, but it's clear this is one golfer who doesn't often find real or imagined slights amusing.

He already burnished his reputation two months ago by winning a U.S. Open on two entirely different courses - one at Erin Hills with a record-tying score of 16-under par, the other at Shinnecock Hills where he survived to win at 1-over par. Koepka appears fearless with the driver. Golf's cavalry - American of course - lurk with menacing intent. Tiger's driver still remains a liability. A lot needs to go right. For most of Saturday's 18 holes, Woods drove traffic. After the slow start on Thursday saw him play the first two holes in 3 over par, he has played the remaining 52 holes in 11 under.

There is no mistaking him in a major. He has now been in contention or on the fringe of it several times, including at The Open, the Quicken Loans National, the Players, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Valspar Championship.

At four under par Spieth ended the day eight off the lead and Rory McIlroy's hopes of ending his major drought also vanished after a 71 left him 10 behind. Why can't he do it again?

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