Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama secured their positions as joint-overnight leaders of the 99th USPGA Championship after severe weather conditions disrupted the second round at Quail Hollow. He shot 1-over-par 72.
Rickie Fowler's first two rounds have included some mistakes, including this chip shot on the 13th hole that rolled right back to him.
Patrick Reed (69), Gary Woodland (69), Scott Brown (70) and Francesco Molinari (74) are also at two under. Ranked third in the world behind Americans Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, Matsuyama hails from Japan, a country that has never had a male victor of a major championship.
Phil Mickelson's 100th major appearance ended with a far more disappointing statistic as the five-time major victor suffered an early exit at Quail Hollow.
No player has ever won the final major of the year after trailing by more than nine strokes after 36 holes and McIlroy, whose last major win was the 2014 US PGA, looked incapable of bucking that trend, starting round three with bogeys on the second and fifth.
Except for two swings and a cruel lip-out, Kisner could be in total command instead of clinging to the lead. Day lost five shots over the two holes and finished seven off the pace.
"I like to think that I'm mature now and I can manage an under-par round when I don't have my best stuff, " Thomas said. "I had a chance to run away from guys and take people out of the tournament that were four or five, six back, and I didn't do it". "Now I'm in a dogfight tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that". He then hit another wedge shot just short of the green, used his putter to knock it to 7 feet and missed that putt.
Jason Day began the day in the final threesome, two strokes off the lead, and had the usual ups and downs on Saturday before his quadruple-bogey at the Quail Hollow gauntlet known as the Green Mile. His shot from that thick grass stopped 65 feet shy of the stick, and he three-putted.
That took the world number 25 back to eight under and briefly level with Stroud before the latter bogeyed the 17th moments later and did the same on 18. "It was the worst lie I had seen all week, a downhill lie".
But mental errors led to a double bogey at the 16th where he went into the water, and by the time he had the ball into the cup, it was a double. He was at 5 over, right on the cut line, but facing the two easiest holes on the front nine of Quail Hollow.
"I found a little something that I was trying [to find] out there".
"I was disappointed in myself on 18". He plays within himself and then can let it go.
Matsuyama's iron approaches simply weren't able to get the ball close to the hole, and the 12-footer he holed for par on No. 9 proved to be his longest make of the day. "I don't know anything", Stroud said.
Like Matsuyama, Stroud is happy to be in the hunt.