Scheffler climbs US PGA leaderboard as Morikawa leads

scheffler climbs us pga leaderboard as morikawa leads

Scottie Scheffler became a father for the first time on 8 May

Scottie Scheffler put aside being arrested on Friday to shoot a five-under-par 66 and climb the leaderboard on day two of the US PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

The world number one was charged with assaulting a police officer before starting his second round but still carded six birdies and only one bogey in rainy conditions to improve to nine under par.

He is, however, two behind 2020 US PGA champion Collin Morikawa who looked imperious in his six-under 65 that moved him clear of the field.

Overnight leader Xander Schauffele, who shot a championship record 62 on day one, is among the later starters, along with British pair Rory McIlroy and Robert MacIntyre who start on five under, and defending champion Brooks Koepka who is a further shot back.

Jon Rahm's hopes of making the weekend are in the balance after a one-over 72 left him on the projected cut line of level par.

Tragic accident delays round two and Scheffler arrested

Play was delayed by 80 minutes on Friday because of an accident near the course with Louisville Metro Police Department reporting a shuttle bus had struck and killed a pedestrian outside the golf club.

Pre-tournament favourite Scheffler was not involved in the accident but found himself in trouble with the police on his way into Valhalla Golf Club and was arrested.

He was booked in at Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections at 07:28 local time and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer.

He has to attend a hearing at the Kentucky Court of Justice on Tuesday morning.

After being released at 08:40, Scheffler arrived at the course less than an hour before his tee-time and described the police incident as a “big misunderstanding”. He started his second round at 10:08 to resounding cheers from a supportive crowd.

He duly made light of his disrupted morning to birdie his first hole. He picked up two more on his front nine and dropped just one shot at the 11th (his second).

On Thursday, he opened his round by holing out spectacularly from 167 yards and almost repeated the trick on his 11th hole, narrowly missing the cup but still pocketing a birdie.

Further shots picked up at holes four and seven ensured he moved level with Schauffele at nine under par.

Morikawa tames tough weather conditions

scheffler climbs us pga leaderboard as morikawa leads

Damp greens on Thursday had made for fine scoring conditions but with persistent rain falling, it was difficult for the early starters on Friday to make inroads into Schauffele’s advantage.

However, after contending at the Masters in April, 2020 US PGA champion Morikawa again demonstrated his ability to produce his best form at the majors.

His impressive round was dotted with immaculate approach shots, and he completed an outstanding back nine, featuring five successive birdies in a row to catapult into top spot.

Mark Hubbard, 34, only has a best finish of 51st at this tournament but was the first to match Schauffele’s first-round score when he drew level at his ninth hole while Belgium's Thomas Detry found an eagle at the last to join them on nine under par.

England’s Aaron Rai put in another strong performance, shooting 68 to finish at six under.

Compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick is at level par for the tournament after carding a two-over 73.

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