Bubba Watson gets the best nine birdies of his career in the main round and equals the PGA Championship scoring record

TULSA, Okla. — Bubba Watson brought his blowtorch to Southern Hills on Friday and set the course on fire by tying the PGA Championship’s 18-hole scoring record with a 7-under 63 that took him from 2-over after Round 1 to 5 unter brought after Round 2. The incredible performance, which included a career-best nine birdies in a single big round, put him squarely into the weekend mix and alongside Tiger Woods and Raymond Floyd as the only golfer to hit 63s at Southern Hills .

Watson made nine birdies for just two bogeys on Friday and hit an astounding 8.68 shots from tee to green, the most in the field with more than three shots. He also ranked second among all golfers in strokes won in Round 2. Only once in major championship history has a golfer had a lower score (Branden Grace 2017 at the Open Championship).

“Without the heat, the cloud cover softened it a bit. But when the wind dropped you just felt like you had a chance to score,” said Watson. “I’m not saying it wasn’t easy by any means. I was just hitting a few putts, hitting a few shots that helped me — you know, my whole goal was to make the cut, so I was just trying to stay ahead of the line, and every time When I made a birdie, I always just said, ‘That’s another one for the better [side].'”

Watson threw back five birdies to end his record-breaking day. Every time he bogeyed (on the third and 14th) he turned and got it back on the next hole.

The PGA of America decided against overnight greens mowing because of the predicted wind and the high probability that balls would fly around on greens if the greens were mowed. For Watson that made the speed a bit more manageable and gave him the green light to really attack the course on approach as well.

“Slower greens obviously help,” Watson said. “It slows down the chips and everything, all those shots that you hit there. The ball gets better gripped because you have a little more grass there to grab shots and spin.”

Watson will go into the Moving Day after moving up more than any other golfer in the field in Round 2. His 5-under par through 36 holes has put him fourth on the leaderboard and is in position to possibly win his first ever PGA championship.

Rick Gehman, Jonathan Coachman and Greg DuCharme recap Friday’s action at the PGA Championship. Follow and listen to The First Cut Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Bubba Watson gets the best nine birdies of his career in the main round and equals the PGA Championship scoring record

Justin Scacco

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