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Fowler: Two back, fighting through oblique strain

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ST. LOUIS – Through two rounds at soggy Bellerive, Rickie Fowler finds himself just two shots off the PGA Championship lead held by Gary Woodland.

Fowler was 2 under on his round, and 7 under for the week, when thunderstorms halted play Friday, prompting Saturday's early return.

After waking up a 4:45 a.m. CT for the 7 a.m. restart, Fowler opened with a birdie on his first hole, the short par-4 11th. He filled out the conclusion of his round with a bogey at No. 13, a birdie at No. 17, and three key pars saves at Nos.12, 15, and 18. He called his up-and-down from the bunker at the home hole, where he rolled into a 13-footer to close out his 3-under 67, "the best of them all."

"To finish it off with that and have the putter going, that's always a nice little bonus for the weekend," he said.

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News trickled out late Friday that Fowler has been fighting through an oblique strain he suffered last week at Firestone. He acknowledged the injury during Friday's weather delay after it was first mentioned on TV.

"I’m playing with it, no excuses,” he answered in an interview with TNT, per The Associated Press. “It hurts from time to time but that’s the way it is.”

In his major championship career, Fowler has racked up eight top-5 finishes including three runner-ups. 

He'll resume the hunt for his maiden major title later this afternoon after he heads back to his rental house to get changed and maybe take a nap.

"I'm looking forward to getting a little bit of hour or two of rest and get right back out," he said.