He struck two birdies in the last three holes on a golf course that was not playing easy by any means.
American hopeful Kisner was tied for the lead after the first round, and a second consecutive four-under-par 67 saw him move four shots clear of Gary Woodland, who had completed two holes, and Thorbjorn Olesen, who had not yet begun his second round.
The Wiltshire man, who bounced back superbly on day one with five birdies in his final 13 holes having opened his round with a double-bogey on the first, made a contrasting start today.
It'll take another such round for Thomas, a four-time PGA Tour victor to bring home his first major championship trophy on Sunday, he said. I am trying not to compound errors and it was good today, but this was the first tournament since we worked on that aspect in the last couple of weeks.
"For the most part", said Fowler, who grew up in Murrieta, "if you look at the majors, this is probably the hardest test we've had this year".
The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Fowler won the Honda Classic in February and has six top-five finishes this season.
So far, around Quail Hollow, Kisner has been able to do what no other player has managed - figure out the greens and roll in some decent-length putts. That was the longest of his seven birdie putts, although he also made a 20-foot par putt on the ninth hole.
McIlroy was carded a one-over-par 72 Friday and is 10 strokes behind tournament leader Kevin Kisner heading into the weekend.
Needless to say, Kisner will be breaking new ground as he heads to the weekend with the lead.
Dutch golfer Joost Luiten produced one of the main highlights of the day as he hit a hole-in-one on the fourth.
It's the first time since 1995, or 22 years, since he's missed the cut at the PGA Championship.
His final bogey came on twelve as he finally steadied down to some good golf, making birdie on 15 and holding out with a number of par putts to claim an average opening round of 74, three over par.
He finished with six birdies in all. "Just said, 'OK, I'll bounce it up the cart path and see where this goes". "So, to actually get away with a five, I actually felt pretty good about myself going to the next tee".
"Going back on the previous experiences I've had at the PGA, I know I can (win)". "I'm just hitting it in the wrong spots".