Aussies Lee, Day make moves at the PGA Championship

Darren Walton |

Australian star Min Woo Lee has shot up the leaderboard at the PGA Championship with a fine 66.
Australian star Min Woo Lee has shot up the leaderboard at the PGA Championship with a fine 66.

Magical Min Woo Lee and Jason Day have made big moves to revive Australian hopes at the drama-charged PGA Championship in Kentucky.

Three brilliant chip-ins helped Lee to a five-under-par 66 that sent the Perth prodigy rocketing up the leaderboard during the second round at Valhalla.

He joined Day, who had a five-birdie 67, at four under for the championship to be trailing American clubhouse leader Collin Morikawa by seven shots and with a fighting chance of a weekend charge to the Wanamaker Trophy.

After starting the day at over par, in 85th spot and in danger of missing the halfway cut, Lee birdied his first and third holes before igniting his round with his first hole-out from off the green on the par-4 16th.

He also chipped in on the second and seventh holes after starting on the back nine.

“It was just one of those days where it kind of went my way. Yeah, they just dropped,” Lee said.

“That definitely helped the scorecard. But a bit more solid than yesterday. Yesterday I just had a few missed iron shots, and today it was trending in the right direction.

“Yeah, the chip-ins were nice, obviously, and those were three birdies, so yeah, it was most of the score – 16 was pretty special.

“It was in deep rough into the grain and I was just trying to get it on the green close, and it ended up going in.”

Champion in 2015 and runner-up in 2016, Day also gave himself an outside chance of contending on Sunday with a solid round containing just one bogey.

Lee and Day were the leading Australians in a tie for 24th after the morning wave signed off.

But Cam Davis is certain to miss the cut after a 71 left last year’s fourth placegetter languishing at seven over.

Cam Smith, after opening with a three-under 68, Lucas Herbert (69) and Adam Scott (72) are all playing in the afternoon.

The rallies from Lee and Day came hours after world No.1 Scottie Scheffler was arrested and released by Louisville police following an early-morning traffic incident en route to the course.

Despite being booked on four charges, including second-degree assault of a police officer after his vehicle dragged an officer to the ground and injured him, Scheffler held his nerve to carve out a 66 to be tied for third at nine under.

The Masters champion is two strokes behind Morikawa, who fired a six-under 65.

But first-round leader Xander Schauffele remains the man to catch.

After starting the day at nine under following his record opening round of 62, Schauffele picked up four more shots through the front nine on Friday.