Adam Scott has jumped into a share of the lead at the PGA Championship, riding a birdie streak of five straight holes to get to 5-under and match Jim Furyk. The 2013 Masters champ was not a bad bet to bookend the majors season with his second win, so it's not surprising to see Scott playing the best in a threesome with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose.
When Scott won at Augusta, the popular sentiment was that the victory might open the floodgates for multiple majors in the second half of his career. He has what many consider to be the best swing in golf, but could never finish things on Sunday at the majors. After making the cut at Merion, Scott held the lead on the back nine on Sunday at the British before flaming out and making four straight bogeys down the stretch for the second straight year at that event. That implosion flew under the radar thanks to Mickelson's round of 66, but the entire weekend was another reminder that Scott is now as good a bet to be there as Phil and Tiger.
On Thursday, he has the anchored putter rolling on some Oak Hill greens that took on water overnight and have been receptive throughout the day. The birdie streak started on Oak Hill's gettable par-5 fourth hole, and then he put on a clinic over the next four to go out in 30, the low nine of the day. There will be more birdie chances ahead of him now that he's made the turn, so Furyk's lead is likely in jeopardy.
The other player in the afternoon wave making a run is Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spaniard made only one par on his opening nine, rolling in five birdies, a bogey, and a double bogey on the outward ride. It's never a bad thing to have more coverage of the Mechanic, so here's hoping he continues to post the red numbers and gets the same kind of exposure as last month at Muirfield.
Rory McIlroy, who was once just two shots off the lead, started his back nine with two bogeys and has fallen back to 1-over. This is Rory's favorite major with three finishes inside the top 3 in his past four appearances. He always excels on these American parklands courses, and the receptive greens play to his strengths. He's not in the same form as he was last year during the blowout at Kiawah, but this should be a better week than Muirfield for young Rory. The man one spot ahead of him in the rankings, Mickelson, struggled at the start of his round but is back to 2-over.
Here's a current snapshot of the leaderboard on Thursday afternoon:
|T3||Miguel Angel Jimenez||-4||12|