Friday's Birdies and Bogeys

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Friday's Birdies and Bogeys

August 07, 2014

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Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

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Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

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Birdie: Rory McIlroyA late start to the morning, a petulant playing partner, a couple of early bogeys -- none were enough to derail McIlroy in the second round. Not long ago we were talking about how McIlroy was bedeviled by Fridays. At Valhalla, he put together a 67 -- his 14th round in the 60s in 15 starts -- to move to within 36 holes of his fourth career major. His deftest move of the day, though, was in deflecting questions about playing partner Bubba Watson, who spent most of the morning pouting through wet conditions. "Hey, I've complained after a lot of shots before and everyone out here moans about something," McIlroy said. "It didn't affect me today, no." Well played.--Sam Weinman

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Bogey: Tiger WoodsHe made two birdies all week, was bested again by his old nemesis Phil Mickelson and looked as if he was one clunky swing away from packing it in. FedEx Cup? Forget it. Ryder Cup? Please. With his fourth missed cut in a major as a pro, Woods will end this season before he ever really started it. Whether it's injury or swing mechanics, or some complicated combination of the two, it's apparent Woods has plenty of work to do to get back to the player he was even a year ago. Let's forget about 18 majors in a career. At this point 18 tournaments in a season seems like a worthwhile goal.--S.W.

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Birdie: Tiger WoodsWoods won't play the weekend at Valhalla, but he deserves credit for at least playing 36 holes. After withdrawing from the Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday, the 14-time major champ made a late decision to play this week and seemed to tweak his back again teeing off No. 7 on Friday. This time, though, he played on despite the pain and actually finished with a solid back nine, shooting a one-under 35. Questions about his golf game remain, but as Jim Nantz said, "You can't question his desire" -- or his toughness -- after this performance. --Alex Myers

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Bogey: Bubba WatsonDuring last month's British Open, Watson said he's stopped following coverage of him because it's too negative. He better stay away from any golf media outlets for the next couple days then. Watson's Friday 72 wasn't that bad, but his on-course behavior didn't go over well with those watching. Watson moped around Valhalla, constantly complaining about the wet conditions ("Water on the clubface, bro.") and even uttering profanity (Watson later apologized on Twitter). Combine with the criticism he got for "proving a point" at the Long Drive contest on Tuesday and it hasn't been the best week for Bubba Golf. --AM

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Birdie: Jason DayThere were a lot of question marks hovering over Day coming into this year's PGA Championship, but they all seemed to melt away Friday at Valhalla. He showed no signs of the thumb injury that has plagued him in recent months or the dizziness that caused him to withdraw in Akron last week during his six-under 65, which featured five birdies and and eagle and matched the low round so far this week. Day already has seven major top 10s in his career, and he'll be in great shape to put himself in position for a first win when he tees off in Saturday's final group with Rory McIlroy. --Luke Kerr-Dineen

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Birdie: Phil MickelsonIt's not often that Mickelson gets so heavily overshadowed, but that was the case during the first two rounds at the PGA Championship. But while everyone was focusing on Tiger and his bad back, Phil kept plugging along, his putting back to a similar level that won him the British Open last year. He followed his two-under opening round with a 67 Friday, leaving him three back of McIlroy after 36 holes and still very much in contention for the final two rounds. --L.K.D.

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Bogey: Lee WestwoodThe 41-year-old Englishman didn't play himself out of the tournament in the second round at Valhalla, but he made the capturing his elusive first major plenty more difficult. After shooting 65 Thursday, Westwood made two birdies to sit at eight under overall through 10 holes Friday, one back of Rory McIlroy, with a soft course and calm afternoon conditions in front of him. From there, Westwood proceeded to make a pair of bogeys and a double in a four-hole stretch on the back nine, rinsing approach shots on the 13th and 15th holes. A late birdie on the 18th kept the damage only to a 72. Still, with McIlroy showing no signs of backing up, Westwood falling four back after 36 holes leaves little margin for error over the weekend. --Ryan Herrington

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Birdie: Fortunate WeatherThe ominous radar images Friday morning led to the assumption the window for golf would be limited. There was one delay for 45 minutes, and with intermittent rain throughout the day, a second one seemed inevitable. But it never came. While hardly ideal, particularly given the resistance to playing lift, clean, and place, the fact that the second round was played at all was a victory. Well, at least for most players.--SW

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Bogey: Webb SimpsonThe Ryder Cup may be more than a month away, but Tom Watson's team is already in desperate need of heroes. Webb Simpson is one of those on the outside looking in, and a good week from him at the PGA would have crept him up the standings, perhaps into the bottom-end of the team. But instead, Simpson followed his two-over 73 Thursday with three-over 75 Friday, leaving him outside the cut line and offering Watson no indication that he deserves a pick. --L.K.D.

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Birdie: Graham DeLaetIf DeLaet wasn't still waiting for his first PGA Tour victory, his rock-solid ball-striking and eight top 10 finishes this season would have probably made him one of the odds-on favorites to win at Valhalla. The 32-year-old Canadian proved as much on Friday, shooting a three-under 68 that included a four-putt double bogey on the second hole. He remains inside the top 10 going into the weekend, and if he manages to putt a little better, he could get that first win, after all. --LKD

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Bogey: Martin KaymerThe reigning U.S. Open champion revealed earlier this week his disappointing 70th-place finish at the British Open a month later was due to a sore shoulder that has since healed. What then explains the missed cut at Valhalla after shooting a second-round 74 that included a pair of double bogeys? Kaymer's no-doubt-about-it win at Pinehurst, coming shortly after a wire-to-wire victory at the Players, are starting to feel like they happened a lot longer than two months ago. While he looked so dominant then, the two wins are his only two finishes inside the top 20 on the PGA Tour in 2014. --RH

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Birdie: Rickie FowlerThe scary thing about Rickie Fowler's rapid ascension this season is not just that he's turned himself into a regular contender in majors, but how utterly at ease he seems in the process. With an eventful 66 moving him to two shots off the lead and within reach of a fourth straight top five in majors, Fowler was already talking about ways to slide into the final group alongside friend Rory McIlroy on Sunday. He even used the "r" word when referencing the world No. 1. "I look forward to him and kind of growing the friendship and also kind of growing the rivalry between us," Fowler said. Bold words for a guy who's only won once on tour. But at this rate, perhaps we shouldn't doubt him. --SW

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Bogey: Seung-Yul NohAfter an opening 68, Noh ballooned to a 77 on Friday to miss the cut. Unfortunately for the 23-year-old South Korean this is becoming a trend. Since picking up his first PGA Tour win at the Zurich Classic, Noh has failed to make the weekend in five of nine events. Yes, he's only 23, but for someone with such a highly-regarded swing, the results aren't matching up. --AM

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Birdie: Steve StrickerAnnounced as a Ryder Cup assistant captain on Tuesday, Stricker made a case that he should play for the U.S. team on Friday. Stricker started his second round with a four-under 32 on the back nine and played a scrappy front nine to shoot his second straight round in the 60s at Valhalla and put himself in contention for a first major. "Strick has got game. If he should win here, there would be no question that he would be on the team rather than a vice captain -- no question," captain Tom Watson said. With the way things are going for an injury-plagued U.S. squad, it might not take that much. --AM

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Bogey: Club ProsSteve Schneiter can proudly claim the record for the most appearances in the PGA Championship by a golfer who qualified as a club professional: 12. Yet for the 11th time the 50-year-old from Sandy, Utah, (shown) played just two rounds rather than four after shooting a Friday 78. Unfortunately, he's got company among his club-pro brethren going home early; for the third straight year, none of the 20 in the field made the cut. (Ryan Helminen came closest, missing by one stroke.) Given how tough major championship venues are set up these days, it's asking a lot for those who sacrifice their own games to help improve the games of their members to shine. But the Cinderella stories are a whole lot better when there's somebody fitting into the glass golf shoes. --RH

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