Love has a busy weekend ahead, and couldn't be happier

Davis Love III avoided the big mistake on Friday. (Photo: AP)
Davis Love III avoided the big mistake on Friday. (Photo: AP)

After ruining a potentially great opening round at Medinah with a late triple-bogey on Thursday, Davis Love bounced back Friday with a solid 69 that has him just off the lead -- and in great shape to improve his Ryder Cup status.

MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) -- Davis Love III has a busy weekend ahead of him, exactly the way he likes it at a major championship.

Love shot a 3-under 69 at the PGA Championship on Friday, putting him one stroke behind co-leaders Henrik Stenson, Billy Andrade, Luke Donald, and Tim Herron. Better yet, it guarantees him of playing the weekend after missing the cut at both the U.S. and British opens.

"Who knows what they're going to shoot this afternoon," Love said after his round. "But wherever I am, I'm in good position. Seven-under after two days, I'm excited about the weekend."

Love needs a top finish here to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team. He's been on every team since 1993 -- the longest active streak for the Americans -- and was fourth in the standings at the start of the year.

But it's been a rocky season, and he came into this week 15th. Fitting, then, that he's been all over the board at Medinah. He had the lead briefly Thursday until a triple-bogey on the 17th dropped him back into the pack.

He followed an opening birdie Friday with three straight bogeys. He found sand on the par-4 11th, then three-putted on the par-4 12th. On the par-3 13th, he had a shot very similar to that one on 17 on Thursday.

Love went with the wrong club off the tee Thursday and it cost him when he pulled the ball into thick rough. He had a bunker in front of him and the prospect of Lake Kadijah if he hit the ball too hard.

Love was hoping for a flop shot, but he whiffed on the first try, went into the bunker on the second and then two-putted for a triple-bogey.

This time, Love flipped his ball onto the middle of the green and two-putted for a more tolerable bogey.

What was he thinking about the bogeys?

"Just be patient and that things happen in majors," Love said. "You're not going to par every hole. It's going to be hard to hit every shot in the fairway and every shot on the green and you're not going to get a good lie every time you hit a shot. So you've just got to be patient."

He was back to even by the turn, thanks in part to holing a bunker shot on 16. Then he played the first six holes of his back nine at 3-under to jump into contention.

"I felt like if I would just get some good rhythm this week and be patient," Love said, "I could play well."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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