Ryan Fox shoots one of the low rounds at the PGA Championship to race up the leaderboard
Ryan Fox has carded the third-lowest round of the PGA Championship to catapult up the leaderboard in the second round of the year's final major, at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Kiwi golfer had six birdies and a bogey to shoot five-under 66 after a morning tee-off, jumping from a share of 80th to a share of 11th in the second round, which didn't quite finish on Saturday (NZT) early due to inclement weather.
After a four-over 75 in the first round, Fox climbed to one-under for the tournament and is seven shots behind American Kevin Kisner, who carded a second successive four-under 67, and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who usurped Fox with the lowest round of the tournament.
Matsuyama carded a seven-under 64 to join Kisner at eight-under, two clear of Australian Jason Day, a former PGA champion, whose 66 saw him get to six-under and third position. Among a group of players tied for fourth at five-under is Italian Francesco Molinari, who equalled Matsuyama's 64 in the afternoon group.
Fox's 66 was the low round of the tournament till that point, and comprised four birdies on the front nine and a further two, plus a lone bogey on the par-four 11th, on the inward nine.
The big-hitting Kiwi, who averaged 330 yards off the tee, birdied two of the three par-fives and was unlucky not to have eagled the short par-five seventh, after hitting his second from 205 yards to 5 feet but then watching the putt slide by.
He admitted he had his butt kicked by the course in his opening round, but responded just how he needed to by hitting a lot straighter off the tee as things got rolling second time out.
"It was just one of those days. I got everything going," Fox told Radio Sport after his second round. "I got my arse kicked a little bit yesterday on my back nine. It's a pretty tough golf course if you're not in the fairway.
"I managed to hit in the fairway today for the most part and gave myself a lot of chances. It was nice to see a few putts go in and nice to be here and have a chance on the weekend."
The Kiwi said his dramatic turnaround came down fairly and squarely to just tightening his game off the tee.
"The golf course is an absolute brute this week. You don't really have too much choice, you just get driver out and hope you hit it straight.
"Yesterday I struggled with that but I sort of found something in my last couple of tee shots and took that into today and drove it a lot better and gave myself some pretty good looks and took advantage of it."
Fox said the long and demanding course at Quail Hollow suited his game and with some bad weather around, he wouldn't be too disappointed if things got a bit heavy.
"I'd quite like it to play wet. The longer it plays the better for me, and the golf course gets a little bit wider as well. It will be a pretty strong test of golf regardless on the weekend."
The other New Zealander in the field, Danny Lee, will miss the cut after a horror second round, carding a seven-over 78 to follow a five-over 76 in the first round.
Lee had just four pars in a round that also included nine bogeys, a double bogey and four birdies. At 12-over, he was tied for 137th in the 156-strong field.