Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

For the second successive day, Brooks Koepka laid waste to the feared Black Course at Bethpage, rewriting golf’s record books in the process, then declared: I wasn’t at my best.

Koepka, 28, added a second round 65 to an opening day’s 63 to get to 12-under-par at the halfway stage of the year’s second major.

That’s seven better than his nearest challengers: career grand slam chasing Jordan Spieth and former Masters champion Adam Scott.

• “Sick” Woods rues mistakes after missing cut

• US PGA contender hit with penalty after missing tee time

Defending champion Koepka’s lead is the lowest 36-hole total in major championship history and the largest lead at this stage of the US PGA. He is now a remarkable 67-under in major championships since the start of the 2016 US PGA – 24 shots better than any other player during that stretch. 

 Barring a minor miracle, he will surely secure his fourth major victory this Sunday – despite having not been at his best at Bethpage on Friday.

“This probably sounds bad, but today was a battle,” said Koepka. “I didn’t strike it that good. I was leaking a few to the right. The way I hung in there today and battled it, I think that was probably more impressive than yesterday. Not having your ‘A’ game but still being able to shoot a great score. I was very, very pleased with the way I played today.”

The plan from here on in? Pretty simple: build the lead.

• Daly wants permission to use buggy at Portrush

“I’d like to see it grow as large as it possibly can,” added Koepka. “I still have to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do. Keep putting the ball in the right spot and make sure that I don’t make any double-bogeys, and I should have a good chance of winning the championship.”

• Eddie Pepperell has hilarious reaction to missed cut

At this stage, it looks less a case of ‘if’ Koepka will win and more one of ‘by how many’. To that point, it’s worth nothing that the record winning margin in a major championship is within his reach: 15 shots, set by Tiger Woods at the 2000 US Open.

Buckle up. Another piece of golfing history is, potentially, just 36 holes away.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute - Day 1 LIVE from Augusta