A lot of big names were missing from the top of the leaderboard Friday, but the remaining group of challengers is also very strong. (Martin/Getty Images)
Friday Notebook: Nine major champions miss the cut
Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller and Nick Price were among those out after two days. Plus, defending champ Jay Haas has some ground to make up, Lonnie Nielsen and Joe Ozaki make big jumps, and more.
By The PGA of America Media Staff and Dave Senko
BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- A total of 77 players will compete over the weekend, with the 36-hole cut falling at 7-over-par 147.
Among those who failed to qualify for weekend play are nine major champions (listed based in order of finish): Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jerry Pate, Nick Price, Ben Crenshaw, Sandy Lyle, Lanny Wadkins, Bob Charles and Charles Coody.
THE MAGIC NUMBER: With both Michael Allen and Ross Drummond shooting 66 Friday, four players over the first two rounds have now tied the Canterbury Golf Club competitive course record for low score. Scott Hoch and Tom Purtzer also shot 66, in the first round.
DRUMMOND GOES LOW: Drummond made four birdies on the back nine Friday and posted a 4-under-par 32. Drummond and Lonnie Nielsen are tied for lowest score on the inward nine over the first two rounds.
James Blair, Scott Hoch and Tom McKnight each shot 3-under-par 31 in the opening round, and those remained the best front-nine scores after 36 holes.
TOUGH DEFENSE: The good news for defending champion Jay Haas is that he made the 36-hole cut. The bad news is that he struggled throughout the second round and finds himself nine strokes back at the midpoint. Haas had five bogeys for the round and shot 74 for a two-day total of 5-over 145.
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Haas and six other Senior PGA Champions made the 36-hole cut: John Jacobs (3 over), Tom Watson and Hale Irwin (4 over), Mike Reid and Haas (5 over), Allen Doyle (6 over) and Tom Wargo (7 over). Fuzzy Zoeller (8 over) and Denis Watson (11 over) missed the cut.
LANGER'S EAGLE MAKES THREE: With his eagle-3 at the 15th hole Friday afternoon, Bernhard Langer joined Kiyoski Murota and PGA Club Professional Jim Woodward with eagles over the first two rounds. All eagles have come on No. 15, a 549-yard par 5.
MAJOR ROOKIES MAKE CUT: Larry Mize (1987 Masters), Tom Lehman (1996 British Open) and Bob Tway (1986 PGA Championship) all made the 36-hole cut in their Senior PGA Championship debut.
Mize carded his second straight 69 and is tied for second at 2-under-par 138. Lehman bounced back from an opening-round 75 to shoot 2-under-par 68 Friday and is 3 over. Tway just survived for weekend play after rounds of 75-72--147.
STREAK ENDS AT 20: John Jacobs, who made 18 consecutive pars in his opening round, parred his first two holes Friday before making a bogey. He had two more bogeys for 73--143.
STOCKTON MATCHES JACOBS: Dave Stockton and Jacobs, playing partners over the first two rounds, each shot 70-73--143.
THE FUNK MAN PLAYS ON: Fred Funk, one of the most popular players in the game, posted back-to-back 71s and is 2 over par, only six strokes out of the lead.
TOUGHEST, EASIEST: Through 36 holes, the 461-yard, par-4 12th hole ranks as the toughest on the course. Interestingly, only 23 birdies combined have been made on Nos. 17 and 18 -- that's seven less birdies than on the 12th hole alone.
The easiest hole by far is the par-5 15th, where the field made 85 birdies over the first two days. That's 23 more birdies than the next-closest hole (No. 16).
The field scoring average was 73.742 on Friday, a drop from Thursday's average of 74.213.
SUB-PAR ROUNDS UP: There were 17 rounds under par Friday, compared to 10 in the opening round.
SOME POTENTIAL FIRSTS FOR ALLEN: With a second-round 66 Friday, Michael Allen has put himself into position to be the 23rd player to win the Senior PGA Championship in his debut. Denis Watson, in 2007, was the most recent player to do so.
Allen also is shooting to become just the 14th player to capture his first event on the Champions Tour. Arnold Palmer won the 1980 Senior PGA Championship, and remains the only player to capture the Senior PGA Championship in his debut on the Champions Tour.
THE BOYS OF 1979: After playing poorly in the opening round while paired together, 1979 U.S. Amateur finalists Mark O'Meara and John Cook improved in the second round. O'Meara, the U.S. Amateur Champion at Canterbury 30 years ago, shot even-par 70 and is at 6-over-par 146. Cook finished four strokes better than his playing partner, after rallying with 69 for a 2-over-par 142 total.
RUINING HIS ROUND: Greg Norman was coasting along Friday, 2 under par for the round, until his game unraveled at the par-5 16th hole. From the rough, Norman pitched his third shot over the green, into a wooded area and out of bounds. Norman then dropped from the same spot where he had previously hit, pitched the ball on the green and three-putted for triple-bogey 8.
Norman then bogeyed the 17th hole and finished with 72 for the round and a 5 over par total.
ROLLER-COASTER BACK NINE: Keith Fergus parred Nos. 10 and 18, but in between Fergus had four birdies and three bogeys on his closing nine Friday. Fergus shot 69 and is 2 over par after 36 holes.
ROSS THE BOSS: Halfway leader Drummond is bidding to become the first European player to win this event since Jock Hutchinson won in 1947. The last international player to win was Denis Watson in 2007, which ended a 17-year drought by a foreign-born player. Prior to Watson's victory, Gary Player was the last, winning in 1990.
Drummond needed just 24 putts in the second round, the fewest so far in this event. He shaved eight putts off his Thursday total and had a dozen one-putts on Friday after having just six in his opening round.
JUMPING UP: Lonnie Nielsen and Joe Ozaki made the day's biggest moves, jumping 67 places on the Friday leaderboard. Ozaki shot a 3-under-par 67 after opening with a 5-over-par 75 (T89 to T22), while Nielsen shot a 1-under-par 69, an improvement of seven strokes from Thursday (T110 to T44).
Also making big moves were Michael Allen (T73 to T11) and Tom Lehman (T89 to T27). Allen matched Drummond with the day's low round, a 4-under-par 66, tying the competitive course record.
BIRDIE MEN: Chris Starkjohann and Ian Woosnam lead all players with 10 birdies through two rounds.
HELLO, LARRY: Larry Mize is the lone player in the field to have recorded back-to-back sub-par rounds after shooting consecutive 69s.
O-H-I-O: Former Ohio State standouts Joey Sindelar and John Cook both made the cut. Sindelar is tied for 15th, seven spots better than Cook.