CHARLOTTE — The heavy rains at Quail Hollow Club couldn’t damper Kevin Kisner’s Friday.
That’s because the Aiken, S.C., native didn’t have to worry about the inclement weather that suspended play on Friday afternoon at the PGA Championship.
Going out with the morning groups, Kisner took full advantage, firing a 4-under 67 for the second consecutive day to sit at 8 under for the event, tied with Hideki Matsuyama atop the leaderboard.
Kisner hasn’t fared well in a dozen major appearances, but that hasn’t changed his attitude when it comes to vying for the biggest wins in the sport.
“I’ve been upset with how I’ve played in the majors so far in my career,” he said. “I feel like I have the game to compete in majors, and tons of 30th, 40th and 50th-place finishes. … We haven’t played well in them yet this year, but every year you learn more about the majors.”
Kisner started with six pars before picking up momentum on the par-5 seventh hole by rolling in a 50-foot eagle putt. He finished with a trio of birdies over the final nine holes and one bogey.
And he can’t wait to compete over the final two days of the tournament in hopes of raising the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m just excited about the opportunity. I’m really fired up about it the way I’m hitting the golf ball,” he said. “I haven’t hit it this well this whole summer. … I’m sure there will be nerves in there but that’s what we play for and that’s what we practice for.”
While Kisner was the story early in the day, the weather took the stage as the afternoon wave of players took to the course. It’s the sixth consecutive year that the PGA Championship has been halted due to a suspension of play because of inclement weather, a key factor in the PGA’s decision earlier this week to move the tournament to May in 2019.
Matsuyama, who won the Bridgestone Invitational last week, motored through the dampened course with a 7-under 64 to surge into a tie with Kisner. Jason Day, who played a four-hole stretch in 5 under around the turn and before the storms, shot 66 and was two shots behind.
“The greens here at Quail Hollow, as you know, are really fast. And there’s a lot of putts that honestly, I’m not trying to make,” Matsuyama said. “I’m just trying to get it up near the hole, and a lot of them are going in.”
Francesco Molinari, who was grouped with Fairmont native William McGirt, also shot a 64 and was at 5 under, along with Louis Oosthuizen.
McGirt, who teed off at 1:10 p.m. Friday, completed 11 holes before the horn sounded while he was preparing for a putt on the par-4 third hole. After a delay of 1 hour and 43 minutes, McGirt returned to birdie the par-4 fifth hole to get back in the mix at even par and 6 over for the tournament, but carded bogey on two of his final three holes to post a 2-over 73.
After starting his round with bogeys on two of his first four holes, McGirt bounced back with a pair of birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 to get back to even par for the day. He followed with a bogey on the par-4 18th hole to make the turn at 1 over.
He finished the tournament at 8 over, three shots off the cut line.
McGirt will stay in the Tar Heel state for next week’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro at Sedgefield Country Club.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.