Stenson: Troon repeat would do nicely


A relaxed Henrik Stenson joked that another closing 63 "would work pretty well" after enhancing his bid for a second successive major title on Friday.

Twelve days on from securing victory in The Open with a sensational eight-under closing round at Royal Troon, Stenson claimed the clubhouse lead midway through day two of the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

A stunning eagle on Stenson's ninth hole, the 18th, proved the turning point in a round of 67 that left the Swede six under at the halfway stage.

Asked if he would approach the weekend any differently after breaking his major duck at Troon, Stenson replied: "No, I think a 63 on Sunday would work pretty well here, too."

He added: "I'm going to stick to my game plan. The work I did with my caddie earlier in the week, we put a plan in place on how we think we play the course the best for myself and my game. And that's worked pretty well, so I'm sticking with the same plan. Not going to do anything different, really.

"Of course I'm very happy to be able to follow up the success at Troon with a couple of strong rounds here and be in a good position.

"We know it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's all about being there for Sunday afternoon, and so far, so good. You're not winning anything on a Thursday and a Friday, but you can put yourself in the wrong direction early days."

Like Stenson, Martin Kaymer - the US PGA champion in 2010 - also recovered from a shaky start on Friday to stay firmly in contention.

Three birdies in the final four holes saw the German complete a 69 to sit one behind his fellow European at five under.

"I shot a good score yesterday, a very good round today. So it's a good position to be in in a major championship," said Kaymer.

"It was very important for me to finish the way I did, to still shoot under par."

Argentina's Emiliano Grillo moved ahead of Stenson and Kaymer as the afternoon starters took on a course softened by heavy morning rain. Grillo turned in 32 after starting on the back nine to reach eight under.

Overnight leader Jimmy Walker also improved his score, birdies at the fifth and eighth leaving him one behind Grillo.