Friday notebook

Prodigious putter Loren Roberts is excelling at getting the ball up and in from off the greens this week. Plus, Kiyoshi Murota by the numbers, Hale Irwin has his eye on history, Nick Price handles the hardest hole, and more.


Loren Roberts could only smile at his prowess for getting the ball in the hole from off the green this week. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

By The PGA of America

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A total of 29 players were still on the course when play was called at 8:22 p.m. ET on Friday. Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
HOW ABOUT THE CUT?: It appears that the 36-hole cut will fall at 4-over-par 148. The low 70 scores, and ties, advance to the final two rounds. In the 2004 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, the cut here at Valhalla Golf Club fell at 5 over par.
THIRD-ROUND STARTING TIMES: Starting times for the third round on Saturday will be from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Play will begin from both and the first tee and the 10th tee.  
MUROTA BY THE NUMBERS: Kiyoshi Murota had 20 one-putt greens over his first two rounds and holed another putt from off the green for a birdie on the fifth hole in the second round. Other notable number associated with Murato's play over the first two rounds:
0: Number of times that Murato has three-putted a green in the first 36 holes
4: Birdies made by Murato on the four par 5s in the second round
7: Birdies made by Murato on the eight par 5s he has played thus far
22:  Number of fairways hit, out of a possible 28
26: Number of greens hit in regulation, out of a possible 36 
50: Total putts needed over his first 36 holes (26 in the first round and 24 in the second round)
THE BOSS OF THE MOSS, PLUS: It should come as little surprise that Loren Roberts had just 48 putts over the first 36 holes. Nicknamed "the Boss of the Moss" for his putting prowess, Roberts also showed an ability to avoid putting altogether in the opening round, which he completed on Friday. Roberts holed out three times for birdie from off the green at the start of the first round -- from a greenside bunker at No. 10, from the fringe at No. 13, and from another greenside bunker at No. 14.
ANOTHER PIECE OF HISTORY FOR IRWIN?: Hale Irwin will turn 66 on June 3, and should he prevail this week, Irwin will become the oldest winner of the Senior PGA Championship. Jock Hutchison, who was 62 when he won his second Senior PGA Championship in 1947, is the oldest winner of the Championship.
Irwin already holds the distinction of being the oldest Senior PGA Champion since the start of the Champions Tour in 1960. Irwin was 58 years, 11 months and 31 days when he captured the 2004 Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
"Oh, it would be an absolutely wonderful," Irwin said of winning his fifth Senior PGA Championship. "Forgetting the age. It would just be, just to win this championship again would be fantastic. It would be absolutely fantastic. I think this is one of those events, one of those tournaments that we all cherish and we want to play well and have the opportunity to win."
PERRY BACK TO EVEN: With six bogeys on his second-round scorecard, Kentucky native and resident Kenny Perry shot 75 and fell back to even par.
KITCHENAID ACE, MICHAEL SYMON APPEARANCE: There was one hole-in-one on the golf course Thursday and it wasn’t with one of the professionals. Louisville resident Jeff Bringardner sunk his 120-yard approach shot on the 13th hole at Valhalla in the golf simulator in the KitchenAid Fairway Club. Bringardner, who is the president of Humana in Kentucky, used a pitching wedge for his fourth career "ace."
Iron Chef Michael Symon will host a culinary demonstration in the KitchenAid Fairway Club from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Saturday. A Midwest native, Symon is best known for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and “The Best Think I Ever Ate.”
Symon will also host a private dinner for the three winners of the KitchenAid Make the Cut Sweepstakes in the KitchenAid Fairway Club on Saturday night.
LEHMAN'S DEFENSE DOES NOT REST: Tom Lehman, the defending champion, kept alive his hopes for a "two-peat" by bouncing back from an opening-round 73 with a 70. Lehman was tied for 16th place when darkness halted play in the second round on Friday night.

BRING ON THE SIXTH FOR PRICE: The par-4 sixth ranks as the toughest hole of the championship, but for Nick Price it has been a land of birdies. Price is the only player in the field to birdie the sixth hole both days, which is remarkable considering that only six birdies had been made on the sixth hole when play was suspended on Friday night. Price rolled in a 30-footer from just off the green in the first round and then hit two hybrids to 12 feet and birdied the hole again.
"I'm very proud of those two birdies," said Price, "because that hole is a beast."
OH ASSISTANT CAPTAIN, MY ASSISTANT CAPTAIN: Olin Browne, whose rounds of 68-70--138 have him tied for fourth place after two rounds, has great memories of Valhalla from another role he played -- serving as an assistant captain to Paul Azinger for the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup Team in 2008.
"It was a great week," Browne said. "Paul really set a tone for the week and everybody bought into it. And the fans ... but when we went down to the pep rally the night before [the matches started], it was just like going to a football game. It was one of my fondest memories in golf and I will always appreciate and be grateful to Paul for having invited me to be a part of that team."
A TRUE INSPIRATION: PGA Professional Tom Dawson of Plant City, Fla., the last player to gain a berth into the field Wednesday, was part of the threesome that included Morris Hatalsky and Ken Green, the first amputee to compete in a PGA of America-sanctioned championship.
“It was incredible to watch and it was inspirational,” said Dawson of watching Green complete 30 holes Friday, 12 of which were the close of a suspended first round at Valhalla Golf Club. “I think that he’s capable of good golf, but he is battling so much pain. I don’t know how it could have been any worse for him. He had a great attitude throughout the day and never got mad.
“The crowd was tremendously supportive, and I would love to play again with him any time,” Dawson added. “I don’t know of any time that I played in an event with someone who suffered an injury like he did.”
Hatalsky said it “was a privilege to play with Ken, from a perspective of him being as courageous as he is, because he is playing in a lot of pain. But he's courageous and he represents all the good things in the human spirit, in terms of trying to still be the best that he can be at this point in time.
“And, he’s very gracious out there. He said something that I thought where we had kind of a good laugh. He said before he used to get real upset because of maybe an easier hole and just kind of give something away, whereas every hole is a tough hole for him. So he appreciates each and every shot, each and everything that he does.

It's very inspiring for me from a personal standpoint to see him give everything he has out there and just be who he is,” he added. “It was a really good two days to be a part of that.”