JASON DAY AND Lee Westwood made early charges in the pouring rain on Friday but it is Day’s compatriot Adam Scott who leads the way during the second round of the PGA Championship.
Morning showers had drenched the Oak Hill Country Club, where Masters champion Scott Jim Furyk had shared the lead after opening with five under par 65s on Thursday.
In the early stages Day, who opened on 67, birdied the 10th and 12th holes to match the lead duo on five under just as Scott teed off at the 10th hole alongside the year’s other major winners, US Open champion Justin Rose of England and US left-hander Phil Mickelson.
Moments later, Westwood birdied the 12th to reach five under himself.
Then unheralded American Scott Piercy, who opened with a bogey at the first, ran off three birdies in a row starting at the par-5 fourth to join the pack at the top.
And while Scott chipped in for birdie at the 10th to reach six under and Piercy made bogey at the seventh to fall back, the early scoring made it clear that soggy conditions were going to produce another day of strong scoring chances over the 7,163-yard layout.
In 62 major starts, Westwood has finished in the top three eight times, while Day has twice been a US Open runner-up and both second and third at the Masters in the past three years.
Scott made five birdies in a row Thursday, calling it “probably the best run I have ever had,” and added three more in his first seven holes on Friday.
Darren Clarke is best of the Irish, even par for his round through 12 and -1 for the tournament while Paul McGinley has dropped to 11 over after three bogeys in his opening 12 holes.
Elsewhere, Rory McIlroy is in danger of missing the cut (projected at +2) after a double bogey on the par three 15th (his sixth) and bogey on the 17th left him on +2 for the tournament.
Graeme McDowell (E), Shane Lowry (+1) and Padraig Harrington (+6) are still to tee off in their second round.
Additional reporting from AFP.