Tiger Woods was playing beautifully when play was stopped due to inclement weather on Friday.
Tiger Woods was on the par-5 8th hole, in good position to pick up his fourth birdie of the day, when a dreaded sound rang around Bellerive.
It was the horn that announces a weather delay, and it came at the worst of times for the 14-time major champion. After opening the PGA Championship with an even-par 70, Woods was three under through seven holes when he was forced back into the clubhouse by a not-insignificant thunderstorm. He was in a tie for 23rd, seven shots behind Gary Woodland's PGA 36-hole record 10-under total, when he walked off the course.
Tournament organizers kept providing periodic updates, holding out hope that the second round could be completed Friday, before coming to their senses and calling it a day at 5:30 p.m. local time.
That means Woods, and playing partners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, will play the remaining 10 and a half holes beginning at 7 a.m. local time. If the weather holds up, Woods will play 28 holes tomorrow, which will certainly test the durability of his four-time surgically repaired back. However, he perhaps caught a small break by not having to come back to the course on Friday—Woods has spoken about the difficulty presented by stopping-and-starting; it can be difficult to loosen his back again after stopping play for an extended period of time.
His first shot of the day will be a wedge into the 8th, a hole he could possibly have reached in two had he not driven it in the left rough.
On Thursday, Woods got off to about the worst start possible. He bogeyed 10, his first hole of the day, before inexplicably finding the water on 11 en route to a double-bogey 6. In typical Woods fashion, he buckled down from there and played his final 16 holes in three under to salvage a 70, a respectable score but one that saw him finish in the middle of the pack on a day ripe for scoring.
Scoring conditions were even more ideal on Saturday, and Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka both took advantage by firing 63's in the early wave, both tying the PGA's single-round scoring record. Woods absolutely had to get off to a good start to have a realistic chance of playing himself back into the tournament.
He did just that, birdieing 2, 3, and 5 and displaying far more control over his ball than in the early portion of Thursday's round.
Woods thought he had chipped in for birdie at 4 and was mid-fist pump motion when it caught the left lip and refused to fall.
And so the quest for major No. 15 will resume early Saturday morning. It will be interesting to see whether the crowds following this supergroup—which, to this point, have been comically large—will make it out to the course at the crack of dawn on a Saturday.
Don't be surprised if they do. Tiger Woods at a major is always a can't-miss show. Tomorrow it starts early.