SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Hiroshi Iwata joined the 63 Club on Friday at the 2015 PGA Championship, recording the 27th round of 63 in a major championship at Whistling Straits.
Iwata made eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey to shoot the 9-under score and overcome an opening 77 to post 4-under 140 heading into the weekend in Wisconsin.
The Japenese player, ranked No. 102 in the world, had a chance on the 18th hole to become the first player to shoot 62 in a men’s major championship. His second shot to the 520-yard finishing hole came up some 20 yards short of the green to the right, leaving a tricky pitch shot over several bunkers to a pin tucked close to where his ball would land. Iwata judged the shot almost perfectly, landing the ball in the rough. The ball then trickled past the cup, just inches to the left, before settling 3 feet away for an easy par save.
Iwata is the first player to shoot 63 in a major since Jason Dufner did in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship, which he eventually won. It’s the 13th round of 63 at the PGA Championship, with only three of the prior 12 hoisting the Wanamaker at the end of the week.