To say it's been a rough two years for Smylie Kaufman would be like saying it's been a rough season for the Miami Dolphins. Since a T-4 at the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship, Kaufman has played in a total of 26 PGA Tour events and made the cut in two of them. Even when he finally made his first cut in 15 months at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in June, he shot 80 in the third round and finished last among those playing the weekend. Like we said, it's been rough.
But Kaufman has reason to feel optimistic after Friday's second round of the Bermuda Championship. The 27-year-old shot a bogey-free 67 at Port Royal Golf Course, his best score on either the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour since the second round of the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson. PGA Tour's Sean Martin broke down Smylie's struggles further with a tweet after Friday's round:
Unfortunately for Kaufman, as was the case with his last 67, it still won't be enough to make the cut. Kaufman currently sits three shots off the cut line at the inaugural event in Bermuda at one over par thanks to an opening 76. But hey, baby steps.
It's been four years since Kaufman won his lone PGA Tour title at the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The next year, the LSU product played with Jordan Spieth in the final pairing at the Masters on Sunday but shot 81 to fall to T-29.
After battling an elbow injury, Kaufman made seven Korn Ferry Tour starts this past season (six missed cuts and one WD) and five PGA Tour starts (one made cut). He recently made a mini-tour start at the South Carolina Open before missing the cut at the Shriners.
“I’m just trying to stay out of the media and social world as I get my game back in order,” Kaufman, who gained notoriety as part of the #SB2K crew with friends Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Justin Thomas, told Golf Digest's Brian Wacker via text last month. “I’m just trying to focus on golf.”