There's nothing nicer for an overnight leader of a golf tournament to extend his margin over the rest of the field before even having to hit a shot. For Brooks Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship, it happened before he even woke up on Friday.
Koepka's closest challenger (by far) on Thursday, Danny Lee, shot a six-under-par 64 at Bethpage Black to start his event. But a brutal start to his second round saw him give back all six of those shots in just seven holes.
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Teeing off on the more difficult back nine, Lee parred the beastly 10th, but then things got away from him quickly. He made back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12 before making back-to-back double bogeys on 15 and 16. Even with pars on 17 and 18, it added up to a disastrous 41 on his first nine.
For a man who hasn't competed in a major since missing the cut at the 2017 PGA Championship, this wasn't the most surprising development. Still, that was a pretty quick ejection from the top of the leader board.
Despite the bumps, though, Lee is still in the tournament at even par, which keeps him in the top 15 currently at a course that's set up more like a typical U.S. Open than a PGA Championship. But the 41 immediately benefits Brooks, who went to sleep on Thursday night holding a one-shot lead. Not that Koepka needs any help.
The man who fired a course-record 63 on Thursday is trying to win his fourth major title in his last eight starts. And now he's been staked to a four-shot lead early on Day 2. Good luck to the rest of the field.
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