SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Robert Streb became the latest player to shoot 63 in a major, and hardly anyone noticed in a PGA Championship with endless action across Baltusrol on Friday.
Streb was on the far end of the rain-soaked course when he holed a 20-foot birdie putt on his last hole, the par-3 ninth, to become the 28th player with a 63 in a major. It was the third 63 at Baltusrol, following Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf in the opening round of the 1980 U.S. Open.
It gave him a share of the lead with Jimmy Walker (66), and they tied the 36-hole record at the PGA Championship at 131.
Most of the crowd was at the par-5 closing holes at Baltusrol, and there was no shortage of entertainment.
Defending champion Jason Day went on a tear after taking a double bogey on No. 7 by making seven birdies over his next eight holes and having a chance at 63. He needed birdies on the final two holes, both pars, but instead drove left next to the hospitality tents, and then hit an iron into right rough off the tee at No. 18. He had to settle for two pars and a 65.
Even so, the world's No. 1 player was in solid shape to try to join Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back PGA champions in the stroke-play era. Day was at 7-under 133 with Emiliano Grillo, who sent the tone for an afternoon of birdies on his way to a 67.
By the end of the day, it was easy to overlook a familiar figure — Henrik Stenson, the British Open champion who made eagle on the 18th at the turn and polished off another 67. He was only four shots behind in his bid to match Ben Hogan as the only players to win two straight majors at age 40.
Phil Mickelson made the cut, and that might have been the most entertaining of all.
He began his round with a tee shot so far left that it sailed off the property, bounced along Shunpike Road and caromed to the left down Baltusrol Way. Wherever it finished, it was out-of-bounds, and Mickelson had to scramble for a triple bogey. He spent the rest of the day battling to get back, and he delivered on the 18th with a birdie to post a 70.
A dozen players were separated by five shots going into the weekend, a group that included Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed, and even Rickie Fowler, who salvaged his round with a birdie-eagle finish.