SAN FRANCISCO: China's Li Haotong used a red-hot putter on his outward nine to grab a two-shot lead midway through his second round at the PGA Championship on Friday while a slew of big-name players in contention had yet to tee off.
Li made the first of four front-nine birdies at the par-four first hole and then drained a 22-footer at the second, a 16-footer at the fifth and a 12-foot birdie at the ninth to reach the turn at four under on the day and seven under on the week at TPC Harding Park.
That left Li two shots clear of overnight co-leaders Brendon Todd, who was even par after three holes, and Australian Jason Day, who was due to tee off at 1:03 pm PT (2003 GMT).
Two-times defending champion Brooks Koepka, who was a shot back of the overnight co-leaders after the first round, and 15-times major champion Tiger Woods, who was a further two shots adrift, were also going out in the afternoon wave.
Among some notable names further down the leaderboard who will try to make a second-round charge and position themselves for a weekend charge at the year's first major are world number one Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy was at even par after the first round, Thomas was a further shot back and Spieth, who is looking to complete golf's career Grand Slam this week, was three over and two shots outside the projected cut line.