Golf

Scott challenges Bethpage record, gains only one shot on Koepka

It took 83 years in the history of the Bethpage Black golf course for someone to shoot 63. Twenty-four hours after Brooks Koepka wrote down that number, it looked like it might be erased.

Adam Scott opened the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday with four birdies in his first five holes. After three more early in the back nine – including consecutive birdies at 13 and 14 – the Australian reached 7 under for the day.

That's what Koepka shot to open the tournament on the layout that is playing at par 70 this week.

"It was a fleeting thought," Scott said of the possibility of tying the all-time low round in majors, or even besting it.

The bid ended when Scott three-putted the par-3 17th hole for a bogey. At 18, he salvaged par after driving into a fairway bunker, and though the 6-under 64 round was impressive, it still put Scott in a second-place tie with Jordan Spieth, seven shots behind Koepka, who built on his lead with a 65.

After a couple of tough years, the 2003 Masters champion found something in his game at last year's PGA, where he finished solo third behind Koepka and Tiger Woods.

Scott got off to a strong start this year when he was runner-up to Justin Rose in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He scored 69-68 to start this year's Masters, but faded to tie for 18th.

"I feel like my game's in a really great place," Scott, 38, said. "If I can get out of my own head a little bit and just play and swing, I think good results are there."

Survive the front nine. Attack the back.

That was the plan for Phil Mickelson when he started on No. 10 in the second round. But the San Diegan couldn't pull off the task on either side.

On his second hole, the 435-yard 11th, Mickelson missed the fairway, had to punch out sideways and ended up with a double bogey.

He bounced back with a birdie on the next hole, but could only shoot even par on his second nine with three birdies and three bogeys. Mickelson's round of 71 put him at even for the tournament and tied for 26th.

"For me to turn at 1 over was OK, but it took a lot of momentum away," Mickelson, 48, said. "If I could have shot par or better or under on that back side, the front nine was totally different. You could really get on those nine holes. You saw Rory (McIlroy) do it – a lot of guys do it."

Mickelson's round included converted birdie putts of 20 and 34 feet.

Playing with Mickelson, McIlroy got off to a horrendous start, making two double bogeys and a bogey in his first three holes. He made the turn with a 5-over 40 that put him at 7 over for the tournament and in danger of missing only his second cut in 11 PGA starts.

The two-time PGA champ recovered with three straight birdies and four total on his second nine to shoot 73 and reach the weekend at 3 over.

"Just pride," McIlroy explained of why he kept grinding. "Just trying to play a good round of golf and try to get something that's close to the best out of myself. I don't like missing cuts. It's not something that I'm used to, fortunately, and I wanted to be around for the weekend."

Putting has been McIlroy's issue of the week. In two rounds he ranked 115th in strokes gained on the greens. He was No. 2 in strokes gained off the tee.

Snicker about his name all you want, but Jazz Janewattananond is an impressive golfer.

The 23-year-old who was born in Bangkok, Thailand, has a win and four other top-10 finishes this season on the European Tour. He's risen to 72nd in the world, which got him into this week's PGA, and he's contending.

Janewattananond shot 68 in the second round to be 2 under for the tournament, tied for 10th.

"It's great, coming out here, interacting with all the crowds. It's crazy. I love it," Janewattananond said. "I just want to remember everything."

Though his first name is Atwit, he was given the nickname of Jazz by his father, a judge who loves music.

"Apparently, it didn't come through me," Janewattananond joked.

He said he has heard some funny comments from fans in the gallery this week.

"My first time ever getting a crowd like this, shouting my name," he said. "I don't know how to react to it. ... They give me some really funny names. I try not to remember it."

Jazz has a sense of humor. He was asked if someone, such as his agent, found him accommodations for the week.

"We got internet now," he said. "I got a couple friends out here, living here, so they helped me out with it."

Among the top players beyond Tiger Woods who missed the cut: Jon Rahm (75, 5 over), Sergio Garcia (71, 5 over), Bubba Watson (69, 5 over), Patrick Reed (72, 6 over).

John Daly, who played using a cart, shot 75-76 and missed the cut by six shots.

Woods hit three fairways in his second round. In his tour career, he'd played four rounds in which he hit two or fewer fairways. Two of those came on the Torrey Pines North Course, and both times (2003, '06) Woods won the tournament.

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