June 12, 2008

Friday's Winners And Losers

Ron Sirak analyzes Friday's golf and tells you who's performance is a winner and who's is a loser

WINNERS

Tiger Woods

Maybe this is what the PGA Tour needs. If Tiger plays on one leg, the other guys stand a chance. After an erratic 38 on the back nine, which he played first, Woods' putter was awakened by a brilliant birdie off the cart path on No. 1, the first of four birdies in five holes. He closed with a tasty, back-nine 30 for a three-under-par 68. Woods is at two-under 140 with 36 holes to go, only one shot behind Stuart Appleby's lead. No lame excuses here.

Davis Love III

The 44-year-old Love, whose 19 PGA Tour victories are demeaned by the fact the 1997 PGA Championship is his only major, shot a 69 Friday to go into the weekend at one-under-par 141. The fact Davis had missed four cuts this year and has not finished better than T-24 meant he was getting no love from any of the experts going into this Open.

Padraig Harrington

The reigning British Open champion had the biggest turnaround of the day, improving 11 strokes over his opening-round 78 to be at 145 after 36 holes. Not only did he make the cut, he could still win this thing.

D.J. Trahan

The only other time Trahan played in the U.S. Open he missed the cut at Winged Foot in 2006. Since winning the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in his second PGA Tour start of the year, Trahan has done no better than T-17, including a missed cut at the Masters. His 69 on Friday moved him to 141 after 36 holes and allowed him to go into the weekend California dreaming.

Ernie Els and Geoff Ogilvy

These two former U.S. Open champs--Els in 1994 and '97 and Ogilvy in 2006--did a perfect job of positioning themselves for the weekend, both finishing 36 holes at even-par 142. They go into Saturday's "moving day" not needing to make a move as much as simply maintain their position to be in the hunt come Sunday.

LOSERS

Rickie Fowler

At 19 years, five months, the youngest player in the field stunned everyone with a 70 on Thursday, only to fade on Friday with a 79. The good news, however, was that his 149 made the cut and got him two more rounds at Torrey Pines.

Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks

Someone once said that the driving ranges of Chicago are full of guys who led the U.S. Open after one round. It's time to get these two a bucket of balls. Streelman, a native of suburban Chicago, and Hicks began the second round tied for the lead, but a triple bogey on No. 3 by Streelman started him on the path to a 77, and a front-nine 40 by Hicks set the stage for an ugly 80. At least both made the cut.

MAJOR LOSERS

Mark O'Meara, Ben Curtis, Lee Janzen, Michael Campbell, Zach Johnson and defending U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera have two things in common: All have won major championships, and every one of them is heading home for the weekend.