Morikawa leads PGA amid Scheffler arrest drama

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Scottie Scheffler, hours after being arrested, got cheered by the crowds at Valhalla.
Scottie Scheffler, hours after being arrested, got cheered by the crowds at Valhalla.

Scottie Scheffler has flourished on the Valhalla course despite an extraordinary early-morning arrest and police altercation, while Collin Morikawa just ignored all the ballyhoo surrounding the world No.1 to take the early clubhouse lead.

On a day unlike any other in his career, world No.1 Scheffler was arrested on four charges, including second degree assault of a police officer, after what he said was a “big misunderstanding” as he tried to enter Valhalla Golf Club on Friday morning.

Scheffler, seeking his fifth win in six starts, then went on to shoot a five-under-par 67 to get to nine under and hot on the heels of Morikawa (66).

Overnight leader Xander Schauffele, whose nine-under-par 62 in the opening round tied the major championship record, went out with the late starters as the rain stopped and was one under through three holes.

Despite the chaos, Scheffler looked as calm as ever during his round which he began with a birdie at the par-five 10th hole where his third shot from 97 yards settled three feet from the hole.

The Masters champion went bogey-birdie over his next two holes, carded three birdies over a five-hole stretch around the turn before nearly holing out for birdie at the par-four fifth. Scheffler added another late birdie.

Morikawa, who started on the back nine, caught fire at the par-four fourth, his 13th hole of the day, where he made the first of five consecutive birdies — the longest streak of his major championship career — to grab control.

Morikawa made his lone bogey at the final hole, which dropped him to 11 under and one shot shy of the PGA Championship record for lowest score in relation to par through 36 holes set by Brooks Koepka in 2019.

Belgian Thomas Detry (67) was in the clubhouse level with Scheffler with Austin Eckorat (67) a further shot back.

The leading Australians, finishing among the early wave, were Min Woo Lee and Jason Day, both of whom were on four-under for the tournament at halfway after enjoying an impressive morning’s work.

Day went round in 67, with Lee going one shot better with a 66 that included six birdies.

Morikawa
Collin Morikawa watches his tee shot on the 17th as he took the clubhouse lead. (AP PHOTO)

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, bidding to win his first major in a decade, was one of seven players four shots off the lead after the first round and went out with the late starters, two groups behind Schauffele.

Tiger Woods, who opened with a one-over-par 72, also went out in the afternoon wave and will likely have to improve if he hopes to make the projected even-par cut line.

Woods made a rough start, however, and was three over through two holes after carding a triple-bogey at the second that left him at four over par.

The start of the second round was delayed 80 minutes after a worker with one of the tournament vendors was killed after being struck by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club.

“This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones,” the PGA of America said in a statement.

Reuters