KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Both Ryder Cup captains — combined age: 103 — made the cut at the PGA Championship. Three of the top four players in the world did not.
Even though 5-over 149 through 36 holes was good enough to play the weekend at Kiawah Island, top-ranked Dustin Johnson couldn’t manage it. He finished eagle-bogey-birdie Friday but only had two other birdies over 36 holes and finished at 6 over.
Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Greg Norman in 1997 to miss the cut at back-to-back majors. He played only 36 holes in his title defense at the Masters last month. He declined to speak to reporters about missing the weekend at the first two majors for the first time in his career.
No. 2 Justin Thomas could have overtaken Johnson in the rankings with a win but instead matched him a shot outside the cut line by shooting 75-75. Fourth-ranked Xander Schauffele also missed by a shot, making bogey on the 18th hole for a 77.
Others departing at the midpoint were European Ryder Cup hopefuls Tommy Fleetwood, Victor Perez and Sergio Garcia. Their 49-year-old captain, Padraig Harrington, secured a weekend tee time with solid rounds of 71 and 73.
“I really want to be competitive with the young guys, and physically I am. Sometimes mentally not,” Harrington said. “What I see here this week, I’m easily able to swing the club well enough, and my routine and my mental game has been a lot better.”
The 54-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Steve Stricker, was 3 over after a second-round 71. Starting on the back nine, he made five straight pars on the bullying stretch of holes 14-18 and then holed out from 55 yards for eagle on the par-5 second hole.
Among the 20 club professionals in the field, two made the cut. Brad Marek, a former mini-tour player and Alameda, California-based instructor of elite juniors, shot consecutive round of 73. Ben Cook of Yankee Springs Golf Course in Wayland, Michigan, dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch on the back nine but parred the last two to finish at 5 over.
Jason Day, who needs to move into the top 60 in the world to be exempt for the U.S. Open, got up-and-down from a bunker on his final hole to make the cut on the number.
The wind-battered Ocean Course was playing so difficult — nearly a shot tougher than on Thursday — that unsightly scores got more attractive as the day wore on. Sam Horsfield followed his opening-round 69 with an 80, but will play the weekend. Jordan Spieth missed a putt from inside 3 feet on the ninth hole to fall to 4 over — disappointed, but safe.
Patrick Reed seemed to sense the moment when he stuffed his approach to 9 feet on his final hole, the ninth.
Reed and caddie Kessler Karain took their time on the read, with Karain laying flat on his stomach on the putting surface. Reed buried the putt and walked over to Karain, who greeted him with a handshake and fist bump.
At the time, the cut line was 3 over. The birdie got Reed to 5 over. But he knew it could be good enough.
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