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PGA Championship: Hiroshi Iwata ties single-round major record

Hiroshi Iwata of Japan speaks with the media

Hiroshi Iwata of Japan speaks with the media after shooting a nine-under par 63 during the second round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on August 14, 2015 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Getty Images

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Hiroshi Iwata of Japan matched the lowest single round in a major with a 63 at the PGA Championship, almost holing a 90-yard wedge from the rough on the last hole that would have given him the record.

That shot skidded 3 feet past the cup for a tap-in par. His round Friday was 14 strokes better than his opening-day score of 77, which came in much windier conditions. Iwata is at 4-under 140 for the tournament, three shots behind clubhouse leader David Lingmerth.

Just two months ago, Iwata shot a 10-under 62 in the second round of the Thailand Open. Asked the difference between those rounds, he laughed and said through an interpreter, "Just one shot different. Nothing else."

Iwata, who's won twice on Japan's tour and currently is No. 2 on the money list, said courses on this side of the Pacific were considerably more challenging because of the long par 4s.

"In Japan, I don't shoot a long iron a lot, but here I have to," he said.

This was the 27th round of 63 recorded at a major. The previous one came from Jason Dufner at the PGA in 2013 at Oak Hill Country Club. Johnny Miller hit the mark first, at the U.S. Open in 1973. He remains the only player to close a major with a 63 to win the tournament.

Iwata said after a birdie at No. 13 -- the last of three straight -- he thought he might shoot 27 on the back. Instead he settled for 29.

He also seemed prepared for the attention, wearing a black polo shirt with a black-and-white, cross-hatch design on one side of the placket that looked as if he was wearing a tie.

Asked what he was thinking as he stepped into the post-round interview, Iwata smiled mischievously and replied, "I'm honored to be here to be interviewed. But when I came in, I thought it was going to be more people."


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