Friday Notebook: Plenty of big names miss cut
By T.J. Auclair, Stan Awtrey and The PGA of America
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Two rounds are in the books at the 95th PGA Championship, where the 36-hole cut fell at 3-over-par 143 with 75 players advancing to the weekend.
Among the notables to miss the cut were 2011 and 2012 Masters champions Charl Schwartzel (4 over) and Bubba Watson (4 over), 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III (4 over), former world No. 1 Luke Donald (5 over), 2012 Open Champion Ernie Els (6 over) and 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang (6 over).
David Muttitt, a 30-year-old PGA Professional playing in his first PGA Championship by virtue of a top-20 finish in the PGA Professional National Championship, missed the cut at 5 over, but will take Low Club Professional honors this week.
GOING UP, GOING DOWN: On a day when the course was ripe for low scores, several players went the wrong way.
David Hearn, who shot 66 the first day, was 10 shots higher with a 76 on Friday. That dropped him 47 spots into a tie for 50th. Rafael Cabrera-Bello fell 49 spots into a tie for 60th, which just made the cut, when he followed Thursday’s 68 with a 75. The worst was Billy Horschel, who went from 69 to 78, dropped 85 spots and missed the cut.
There were also several players who took advantage of the conditions and made up ground. John Merrick and Ken Duke both shot 68s on Friday, moved up 63 spots and made the cut.
COURSE RECORD: A mere five hours after Webb Simpson tied the Oak Hill course record at 6-under 64 (shared with Curtis Strange and Ben Hogan), 36-hole leader Jason Dufner made the record his own with a sensational 7-under 63.
Dufner’s round included five birdies and one eagle. The eagle was a hole-out from 105 yards with a sand wedge on the second hole.
WEATHER PUSHES AWAY: The weather was the story of the second round.
Heavy rain pounded Oak Hill Thursday night and well into Friday morning. At 8:25 a.m., a weather warning was posted on the course, but play was never halted. Because of all the wet stuff, the course was significantly softened – especially the greens.
Low scores were the norm on Friday, which isn’t the norm in a major championship. All told, 33 players recorded a score better than even-par 70.
Of the three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships previously held at Oak Hill, only 13 players have managed to finish 72 holes under par. Through 36 holes this time around, 27 players were under par.
KAYMER CLIMBS INTO CONTENTION: Martin Kaymer hasn’t contended in a major championship since he won the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. But the German is back in contention at Oak Hill after posting back-to-back 68s. He was a model of consistency on Friday, missing only two greens.
“A day like this, you don’t want to make silly mistakes,” Kaymer said. “You just collect your pars. You’re trying to hole long putts in order to make birdies, but you don’t force anything. I played safe, but in an aggressive way, which was really nice.”
Kaymer is coming off a tie for ninth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He has three top-10s on the PGA Tour and three other top-10s on the European Tour.
HENRY TAKES ADVANTAGE: J.J. Henry got in the field at the last minute when former PGA Championship winner Mark Brooks withdrew on Tuesday. Henry made the most of the opportunity by shooting back-to-back rounds of 71 and making the cut. Henry has now made the cut in five of eight PGA Championship appearances and will try to improve on his best finish of 41st in 2006, the year he made the Ryder Cup team.
TOUGH BREAK FOR AUSTIN: During the second round of the 95th PGA Championship, Woody Austin was assessed a four-stroke penalty under Rule 4-4, for exceeding the 14-club limit.
On his third hole, Austin discovered that he had 15 clubs in his bag. He declared the extra club out of play and reported this fact to a rules official when he finished the hole.
Under Rule 4-4, Maximum of Fourteen Clubs: “The player must not start a stipulated round with more than 14 clubs.”
The penalty is two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred, with a maximum penalty of four strokes. Austin added two strokes to his score for the first and second holes.
“Can't say I was angry, because it was more ... I don't know, it was more of a shock, so you're kind of pretty bummed,” Austin said. “I think after 20 years, you do one stupid thing of each, and that's the first time I've ever done something like that. Now all I've got to do is figure out how to get DQ'd.”
Austin shot a 5-over 75 in the second round and finished 36 holes at 4-over 144 to miss the cut by one.
CABRERA, DONALDSON OUT: Jamie Donaldson withdrew from the 2013 PGA Championship before the start of the second round due to a back injury. Angel Cabrera also withdrew Friday, during his second round, due to a left wrist injury.
A HISTORIC DAY AT OAK HILL: History was made in several ways as Jason Dufner shot 63 to tie the all-time low score in a major championship and set the new competitive course record at Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course. Dufner, runner-up in the 2011 PGA Championship, is the 12th player in PGA Championship history to shoot 63. This is the 26th time (by 24 players) that a 63 has been shot in a major golf championship.
Dufner eagled the par-4 second hole from 105 yards and added birdies at Nos. 4, 5, 11, 13 and 16. Through 36 holes, he leads the PGA Championship by two strokes over Adam Scott, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar.
Dufner shared the lead after the second and third rounds in the 2011 PGA Championship at The Atlanta Athletic Club, before losing in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.
DUFNER ALSO EQUALS 36-HOLE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MARK: Dufner is at 131 through two rounds, which matches the 36-hole scoring record in the PGA Championship. Others who were at 131 midway through the Championship – Hal Sutton (1983); Vijay Singh (1993); Ernie Els (1995); Mark O’Meara (1995); David Toms (2001); and Shingo Katayama (2001).
Sutton and Toms went on to win the PGA Championship in those years.
8:25 A.M. FIRST TEE TIME, 2:55 P.M. LAST: Matt Jones is scheduled to tee off by himself at 8:25 a.m. ET on Saturday to start the third round. Otherwise, all groups will be in twos, with Jason Dufner and Adam Scott the last group off at 2:55 p.m. All play Saturday will begin on No. 1.
32 IS SIMPSON’S FAVORITE NUMBER: After shooting 5-over-par 40 for his first nine holes Thursday, 2012 U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson rallied with a score of 32 in each of the next three nines. His 6-under-par 64 Friday, following a 72, puts Simpson at 4 under par for the Championship and tied for ninth.
Simpson jumped 65 spots Friday.
HOFFMAN STICKING AROUND FOR WEEKEND: Charley Hoffman missed the 36-hole cut in his first four PGA Championships. He will make his first weekend appearance after shooting 67 Friday to get to 4 under par, and tied for ninth.
THE RAIN REPORT: A total of .3 inches of rain fell on Oak Hill on Friday morning, with total rainfall since Thursday reaching .67 inches.
PGA CLUB PROFESSIONALS COME UP SHORT: None of the 20 PGA Club Professionals in the field this week was able to make the 36-hole cut. David Muttitt, PGA assistant professional at Paa-ko Ridge Golf Club in Sandia Park, N.M., came the closest to playing this weekend. He shot 70 Friday and jumped 35 places in the field. However, Mutttitt’s 36-hole total of 5-over-par 145 was two shots too high to make the cut.
35 HOLES WITHOUT A BOGEY, THEN …: Matt Kuchar played his first 35 holes without a bogey, the longest such streak in the field. But Kuchar could not escape the tough 18th hole, where he made bogey 5. Kuchar is among three players who are two strokes back of Championship leader Jason Dufner.
K.J. MAKES THE BIGGEST JUMP: K.J. Choi rallied from an opening-round 76 to shoot 65 Friday, in the process making the largest jump (94 places) of any player in the field. Choi made six birdies against one bogey. Conversely, Thomas Bjorn shot 81 after a 70 on Thursday. He dropped 96 spots and missed the cut.
KAYMER BEST AGAIN AMONG PGA CHAMPIONS: Martin Kaymer, the 2010 PGA Champion, fired his second straight 68 and is tied for ninth at 4-under-par 136. Defending PGA Champion Rory McIlroy (69-71) and David Toms (71-69) are next, at even par.
Scores of the other PGA Champions in the field who made the 36-hole cut:
Keegan Bradley 69-72 -- 141
Tiger Woods 71-70 -- 141
Phil Mickelson 71-71 -- 142
Vijay Singh 70-72 -- 142
MICHEEL BIDS FAREWELL: A second 76 was not what Shaun Micheel had hoped for in his return to the course where he enjoyed the crowning moment of his professional career. Micheel had 12 bogeys and two double bogeys over his two rounds, and was far off from making the cut.
TOUGHEST, EASIEST HOLES SO FAR: The closing par 4s, Nos. 17 and 18, continued to bedevil the best field in golf. They are ranked as the two hardest holes through 36 holes, while the par-5 fourth hole continued as the easiest.
No. 17, par-4: 4.429 scoring average, 119 bogeys, 13 double bogeys, 1 score worse than double bogey, 15 birdies
No. 18, par-4: 4.377 scoring average, 105 bogeys, 14 double bogeys, 1 score worse than double bogey, 19 birdies
No. 7, par-4: 4.337 scoring average, 91 bogeys, 18 double bogeys, 23 birdies
No. 4, par-5: 4.794 scoring average, 94 birdies, 29 bogeys, 4 double bogeys, 1 score worse than double bogey
No. 14, par-4: 3.935 scoring average, 1 eagle, 78 birdies, 41 bogeys, 5 double bogeys, 3 scores worse than double bogey
No. 13, par-5: 4.942 scoring average, 2 eagles, 72 birdies, 39 bogeys, 8 double bogeys, 1 score worse than double bogey
CAPTAINS HEADING HOME: Neither Tom Watson nor Paul McGinley, the 2014 United States and European Ryder Cup Team Captains, respectively, made the 36-hole cut. Watson, competing in his 31st PGA Championship (third most all-time), shot 7-over-par 77 Friday (150 total) while McGinley finished with 74 for a 152 total.
95th PGA CHAMPIONSHIP … BY THE NUMBERS:
3: Eagles made in the second round (Jason Dufner, on the par-4 second: Gary Woodland on the par-5 13th; and Stewart Cink on the par-4 14th)
6: Rounds of 66 or better shot today
27: Players under par after 36 holes
34: Rounds under par in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club
35: Rounds under par in the first round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club
59: Putts by Tiger Woods over the first two rounds
1995: Last PGA Championship, until today, when rounds of 63 and 64 were shot in the same round (Brad Faxon, 63; Steve Elkington, 64)
72.13: Scoring average for the field in the first round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill
72.26: Scoring average for the field in the second round of the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill