By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Shaun Micheel started the second round of the PGA Championship four strokes off the lead. He ended it flirting with the cut line after shooting a 78 on Friday that was 12 strokes higher than his opening round.
Micheel headed in the wrong direction from the outset on Friday as the 2003 PGA champion started on the back and bogeyed his first two holes. That was nothing compared to the way he finished the back nine -- making three bogeys and a double bogey on Nos. 15-18 en route to a 41.
"There were a couple bad shots in there, really, but then there were a couple mistakes that I made," Micheel said. "It shouldn’t have been a 41. But just didn’t have the speed on the greens very well, and I left myself a lot of 7-, 8-footers. … Obviously I made them all yesterday, and then today I just didn’t make any.
"… I think I played better than 78, but it’s a very difficult golf course, and when you get going the wrong way, it’s hard to right the ship."
The 18th hole drew considerable ire from Micheel.
"There’s no place to drive it," he said. "That hole should be a par 5, if anybody is listening. There’s no place to hit the ball there. I’m just going to start hitting it in the crowd and just take my chances on hurting somebody. It’s a terrible hole.
Micheel did manage to drain a long putt for eagle on the fifth hole. But that was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise forgettable day.
"I’m more mad, really, at the mistakes that I made," Micheel said. "I didn’t play a great round of golf, but I made enough mistakes that I cost myself basically four shots today, and those are difficult to swallow. I can handle bad shots, but just the mental mistakes, those just kill you.
"… The eagle, hopefully that keeps me around for the weekend. If I get to play, I guess I’ll look at it like I shot 72-72 instead of 66-78. I’ll have to just change my mindset and figure it out tomorrow because if you can hit the ball in the fairway you can score, and I didn’t deserve that and I didn’t deserve to have a good round."