PGA.com, 18 May 2019: Tiger Woods wasn’t the only prominent player to miss the cut at the PGA Championship.
Bethpage Black also claimed Sergio Garcia; Steve Stricker, who had not missed a cut in a major since the 2009 PGA Championship; Jon Rahm; Bryson DeChambeau; Jim Furyk; Bubba Watson; Ian Poulter; and Marc Leishman, who won the season’s opener, the CIMB Classic.
John Daly, who drew headlines for being allowed to use a cart because of a medical issue, also missed at 11 over.
Garcia has played well here. He was in the last group with Woods in 2002 and had the 54-hole lead at Barclays in 2012.
Stricker, the captain of next year’s Ryder Cup team, missed by a stroke after a second-round 72. He missed a birdie putt of less than five feet on his final hole. So did Watson, who also missed by a stroke.
BOTTLE OF WINE
Justin Thomas might be getting a bottle of wine soon.
The 2017 PGA Champion withdrew earlier this week because of a wrist injury and his place in the field was taken by Kelly Kraft, who had missed the cut in four of his last five events.
Funny thing happened at Bethpage Black: Kraft found his game and shot a second-round 65 — his best in a major. He is now tied for fourth place at 5 under, seven shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
After his round, he said Thomas’ might be getting a bottle.
THE SOUTH AFRICANS
Louis Oosthuizen is the well-known South African on the leaderboard. The 2010 British Open champion is in a group of nine players at 2 under. It includes countryman Eric Van Rooyen.
The 29-year-old Van Rooyen is a former University of Minnesota player who joined the European Tour last year. He still hasn’t won on it, but he had a tie for second in the Qatar Masters and a solo second-place finish in the Trophee Hassan II. This is his first PGA Championship.
Marty Jertson, who works and designs golf club for PING Golf Inc., in Phoenix, topped the group with a 1-over total after a second-round 69. Ryan Vermeer of Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, and Rob Labritz of GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York also got in, landing on the cut number.
The 47-year-old Labritz won three New York State Opens (2008, ’11 and ’16) on Bethpage Black. He shot 69 Friday. Vermeer had a second-round 74.
It’s the highest number of club pros to make the cut since 2006, when the PGA of America designated 20 exemptions into the field.
According to John Daly, playing partner Rich Beem was playing in a tournament for the first time since last year’s PGA Championship.
The 2002 PGA winner showed it didn’t make a difference, making birdies on five of his last six holes to finish at 144 and make the cut.
After making a 17-footer on No. 18, the 48-year-old pumped his fist in the air in celebration.
Hours later, he tweeted it looked like he was going to get some FedEx points this week.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
The PGA Championship is keeping its prize money at $11 million, with $1.98 million going to the winner. That trails the other two U.S. majors, with the Masters at $11.5 million and the U.S. Open last year at $12 million.
The Players Championship this year was at $12.5 million, the largest purse to date.
Last place receives around $19,000, which is $6,000 more than Jack Nicklaus earned for his first PGA Championship title in 1963.
Unlike regular PGA Tour events, everyone goes home with something here. Players missing the cut, or anyone who has to withdraw on the weekend, still receives $3,100.
DIVOTS: Matt Wallace (67) carded his fifth consecutive sub-70 PGA Championship round going back to the second round in 2018 . After missing the cut in both of his PGA Championship appearances (2017, ’18), Luke List is tied for fourth after back-to-back 68s . Bethpage caddie master Dave Casper was supposed to be on Jazz Jannawattananond’s bag. However, he broke a bone in his left hand and fellow Bethpage caddie Jack Miller of Farmingdale got the job for the golfer from Thailand. The 63-year-old has been a caddie here since 2009. He is a full-time frozen food manager for King Kullen Grocery Company.
Jazz shot a 68.