Will Zalatoris leads through 36 holes

TULSA, Okla. – Next Sunday, the heavy silver Wanamaker trophy will be hoisted by Will Zalatoris.

Yes, there are 36 holes left in the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club. Yes, the Lone Star State skinny kid hasn’t won on the PGA Tour. And yes, there is some serious firepower in pursuit.

But history is on the side of Zalatoris. Of the seven major championships played at Southern Hills, all have been won by a player who has managed or co-managed the 36-hole tournament. And Zalatoris is at the top of the ranking.

After a first-round 66, Zalatoris came home with a bogey-free, 5-under 65 on Friday to drop to 9-under halfway through. He is one step ahead of Chilean Mito Pereira, who is also seeking his first PGA Tour title. He is playing in only his second major. Pereira, who grew up playing with Joaquin Niemann, added a 64 in the second round to his 68 in the first.

“I got away with murder a few times today for sure, especially starting the day by hitting the trees on the left and punching it,” Zalatoris said. “Same thing on 17, being able to get out of there with a birdie where it looked like I was going to make 5.

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