Charl Schwartzel fell one shot short of matching Branden Grace, the only player to hit 62 in Major championship history, on Friday at the PGA Championship, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Schwartzel finished with a 63 to tie double defending US Open champion Brooks Koepka with the round of the day.
Two birdies helped the South African get off to the perfect start with the only wobble of the day – a failure to save from the sand on the par-three 6th – corrected by two more birdies in a row.
A trio of birdies from the turn with putts from 15, four and five feet helped to vault the 2011 Masters champion on to the first page of the leaderboard. A birdie on the 16th, which came on the back of a 220-yard par three, alerted the historians to a possible update to the Major records with countryman Branden Grace the only player to shoot 62 in one of golf’s four elite events.
Grace’s 62 in last year’s Open Championship was in danger of being matched with Schwartzel due to play a par five in one of his final two holes. But there would be no matching Grace as the 33-year-old finished par, par for a 63.
The strong performance moved Schwartzel into a share of fourth with world No 1 Dustin Johnson (66) and Thomas Pieters.
Leading the pack is Gary Woodland, whose second round 66 saw him write his name in the history books as he claimed the lowest 36-hole score in the tournament’s existence. Koepka is third on -8 with Kevin Kisner, fresh off his contention at the Open, one back of Woodland.
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