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With Sergio Garcia's popular victory at the Masters earlier this year, Fowler has in some minds inherited the dreaded title of "Best Golfer To Never Win A Major" - although Japan's Hideki Matsuyama is another strong contender for that moniker and another strong contender this weekend.

You can't particularly blame him.

Kisner backed up his first-round 67 with another four-under showing to reach eight under before the afternoon wave teed off at Quail Hollow.

McIlroy was two under par after 12 holes at Quail Hollow, a venue where he has won twice on the PGA Tour and holds the course record of 61.

"I'm just excited about the opportunity", he said.

Jason Day has had great success at this tournament, winning in 2015 and finishing second a year ago.

Play was suspended due to darkness with some two dozen players still on the course. It suits my eye. "I was defensive and still had to make 4- to 5-footers for par on a couple of them".

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Kevin Na had a stretch of five birdies in six holes and shot 69, which was 10 strokes better than Thursday, but his six-over total of 148 missed the cut.

It was disaster from there.

Kevin Kisner tamed the devilishly hard greens at Quail Hollow to assume a healthy lead at the end of his second round, but expects putting to become even tougher as the US PGA Championship heads into the weekend. He made five bogeys on the front nine and ended his day at 9 over par, 62 spots lower than his starting position and well below the cut line.

He finished with six birdies in all. "If I can just keep hitting fairways, I'm going to like my chances", the 33-year-old said.

"No reason to waste any extra energy", Fowler said. "I'm just hitting it in the wrong spots".

Mickelson, playing his landmark 100th major, will not be back, though, after shooting a three-over 74 in round two to finish at 11 over. Thomas, 24, is on most short lists of young players who could win their first major in the near future, and after a 66 in Round 2, don't be surprised if he plays his way into one of the final pairings on Sunday. "I'm sure going to give it a try". Earlier I had three-putted the 14th from around 25 feet. Rory McIlroy also signed off on a 72.

"I feel like the last two months, I feel like I've been playing very well without getting any really results", Olesen said. "Yeah, hopefully we can push each other a little bit (Friday) morning and get moving in the right direction".