Adam Scott shot well enough to preserve his share of the lead at the PGA Championship on Friday, but several other players excelled in the wet conditions to contend for the top spot.
Scott started the second round of the tournament tied for first place with Jim Furyk at five shots under par. A persistent rain fell throughout his morning round and he shot three bogeys to dampen his five birdies on the day.
The conditions, though, smiled upon Robert Garrigus, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson, among others.
Garrigus entered the day at three shots under par. He shot five birdies on the front nine alone, and as of 4 p.m. (2000 GMT) he was tied with Scott and Dufner for the lead.
Dufner excited the crowd early in his round with an eagle on the second hole. He proceeded to shoot two more birdies on the front nine and had already notched one more on the back nine, with seven holes to go.
Rose, who played in the major winners group with Scott and Phil Mickelson, also had a good day, shooting four under par to finish at six under for the tournament.
Rose, who won the U.S. Open this season, said he and Scott prepared thoroughly for the PGA Championship and the extra work has paid off.
“Adam [Scott] had showed us how you can play this golf course and made it look pretty easy for a couple of days,” Rose told reporters after his round. “Obviously, it was my turn to get going.” Simpson shot a 64 on Friday, tying the competitive course record, after coming into the second day of play at two shots over par. He strung together back-to-back birdies on several holes and managed to shoot only one bogey despite the wet surface and unforgiving rough that was the backdrop for day two at Oak Hills.
Ben Hogan also shot a 64 at Oak Hills in 1942 and Curtis Strange equalled the feat in 1989.
Mickelson continued to slip in the rankings. He finished one shot over par for the day and two shots over par for the tournament.
“I struggled these first two days for sure,” he told a reporter after he finished. “Playing with Adam [Scott] and Justin [Rose], who played really terrific golf, made it look even worse. But I fought hard to stay in it.” Mickelson may yet have time to redeem himself, though. Many commentators predict players who shot two over par will be the last ones to make the cut leading into the weekend.
The rain had petered out at Oak Hills Country Club by the time players with afternoon tee times began their rounds.
Tiger Woods, one shot over par to begin the day, teed off at 1745 GMT. After bogeying the second hole he seemed to find his stride and tapped in back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth hole.
Furyk began shortly after Woods, and sunk a long birdie putt on the troublesome first hole to improve his overall score to six under par.
He is looking to remain near the top of a leaderboard that is becoming evermore crowded as players shoot surprisingly low rounds at Oak Hills.