A week after winning the WGC-Bridgestone title with a closing round 64, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is making a real bid for history.
Matsuyama fired a 7-under 64 to give himself a share of the lead at the PGA Championship, as he attempts to become the first player to win Bridgestone and the PGA title back to back.
He was 2-under at the turn, then blew the doors off Quail Hollow with four straight birdies from 12 to 15, plus another on 17.
He had to play brilliantly to catch Kevin Kisner, who calmly recorded his second straight 67. He drilled a 50-foot eagle putt on the par-5 No. 7 and was up by five strokes when his round ended, followed by a two-hour rain delay before Matsuyama heated up.
Kisner parred the first six holes of the day before his eagle. He was 4-under through 12 before a bogey finally tripped him up.
Former No. 1 Jason Day, who is third at 5-under, said Matsuyama is here because he’s worked for it.
“He’s on the range and he’s the last guy to leave. He’s always putting. He’s always doing something. He’s working hard,” Day said. “And I feel like he’s the hardest worker out here right now, just because he wants to win. And there’s no surprise that he’s obviously won last week and he’s up here again.”
Day rose 12 spots to third with a 66. He finished the front nine in eagle-birdie-birdie ashion and added another birdie on No. 10.
Also shooting a 64 was Italy’s Francesco Moilnari, who jumped 40 spots to a tie for fourth.