Sport

Fowler, Lowry join leaders with Tiger lurking at PGA

Rickie Fowler, seeking his first major title despite eight top-five major finishes, and Ireland's Shane Lowry charged into contention Saturday at the PGA Championship while Tiger Woods lurked six adrift.

In contention: Rickie Fowler plays from the sixth tee
In contention: Rickie Fowler plays from the sixth tee (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

Rickie Fowler, seeking his first major title despite eight top-five major finishes, and Ireland's Shane Lowry charged into contention Saturday at the PGA Championship while Tiger Woods lurked six adrift.

With Gary Woodland setting the pace on 10-under par 130 for 36 holes, one ahead of fellow American Kevin Kisner, ninth-ranked Fowler completed a three-under par 67 to share third with US Open champion Brooks Koepka on 132.

Lowry, who hasn't had a top-10 finish this year, shot 64 to share fifth as a storm-interrupted second round resumed in the year's final major tournament at rain-soaked Bellerive Country Club.

"It's going to be a long day," Fowler said. "If you miss a fairway the rough is thicker with the rain. The golf ball being wet makes it a little tougher to control.

"It can be dicey at times but nice that we navigated our way around and ready for the weekend. It's going to be a long day."

Woods, a 14-time major winner in the eighth month of his comeback from spinal fusion surgery, finished a round of 66 to stand on 136, boosted by a quick birdie at the par-5 eighth.

"It was a nice way to start the morning," Woods said.

The 42-year-old American sandwiched five-foot par putt misses for bogeys at the 10th and 12th holes around a birdie from half that distance at the 11th. He later made a tap-in birdie at the par-5 17th and a five-footer to par the 18th.

"I missed two short ones that I've been making. That kind of stemmed the momentum a little bit," Woods said.

"Hopefully I can go shoot a low one. It's going to take that. I just have to make birdies."

McIlroy, Thomas in hunt

Second-ranked playing partner Justin Thomas, the defending champion, had five morning birdies against a lone bogey to conclude a 65.

"I was happy to finally see some putts go in," Thomas said. "I just need to make a lot of birdies."

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy fired a bogey-free 67 to stand on 137, his round highlighted by a 58-foot chip in at 14.

"It seemed like that was the only way I was going to make birdie out there," McIlroy said. "I only hit one green in the last six holes but I played them in two-under."

Lowry joined a pack on 133 including world number one Dustin Johnson, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Belgium's Thomas Pieters. South African Brandon Stone and Americans Thomas and Pat Perez shared ninth on 134.

Fowler birided the par-5 17th after dropping his approach three feet from the cup but also crucial were sand saves for par at the 12th, 15th and 18th holes, the last from 13 feet.

Back-nine starter Lowry, who hasn't won since the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational, birdied the seventh and ninth after putting his approach inches from the cup at the former and six feet away at the last.