KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina - Twice winner Vijay Singh overcame gusty, swirling winds on the Ocean Course to post an impressive three-under-par 69 in Friday's second round of the PGA Championship.
The 49-year-old Fijian, champion in 1998 and 2004, was one of the few players to cope well with the winds as he finished at four under for the tournament, two strokes behind overnight leader Carl Pettersson of Sweden who was yet to tee off.
After the early groups had completed their rounds, the average score was 77.71 on the par-72, 7,676 yard-long course.
“Nobody is used to winds like this,” three-times major winner Singh told reporters after mixing five birdies with three bogeys.
“You're contending for a major but we didn't expect wind like this. These are really strong winds.
“Yeah, I love contending in the majors, but you just contend with yourself and try to make a score if you can.”
Among those whose scorecards were battered by the winds was British Open champion Ernie Els of South Africa, who carded a 76, and American Rickie Fowler, who struggled to an 80.
Pettersson, who shot a six-under-par 66 in the opening round, was not due to tee off until 1820 GMT (1420 local) and he will be hoping the winds have died down for the later groups.
But he and other early leaders, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy who shot a five-under 67 on Thursday, could face delays with rain and possibly thunderstorms on the way.
The weather forecast predicted thunderstorms and winds of around 25-30 miles per hour.
Australian Adam Scott was one of those unable to break par in the challenging conditions - he made a three-over 75 on Friday after a 68 in more amiable circumstances on Thursday.
“It's very tough, I think I played pretty well. I consider 75 kind of a par round of golf out there today. It's really every tough. I'm not disappointed with 75,” he said.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who came into the tournament highly fancied after some good recent form, followed an opening 68 with a 76.
Masters winner Bubba Watson returned a 75 while four-times PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods, who opened with a solid 69, made a 12-foot putt for par on his opening hole. – Reuters