Notes: Stricker makes 11th straight major cut

Steve Stricker waits on a tee during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

Steve Stricker waits on a tee during the second round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England –- When Phil Mickelson and Charl Schwartzel bowed out of the Open Championship Friday, it left Steve Stricker in possession of the longest consecutive streak of cuts made in the majors. Stricker, who opened 67-71 to sit in a tie for 11th, hasn’t missed a major cut since the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.

He’s the only player to have made the cut in each of the four majors in both 2010 and 2011 and his streak is now at 11.

Mickelson and Schwartzel had both been at 11 in a row before missing at Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC. It was especially surprising for Schwartzel, given the way he had played in these things. From the 2009 PGA Championship to the 2012 U.S. Open, Schwartzel finished inside the top 20 seven times in 11 majors, but his streak came to an end in surprising fashion – he was without a birdie in a second-round 75 after having opened with 69.

The list of those who have made the cut in each of the majors this year includes Stricker and 16 others: Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Fredrik Jacobson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, Lee Westwood, and Tiger Woods.

• • •

EARLY EXITS, AGAIN: It’s been a tough year for a handful of players when it comes to the majors. Five have missed the cut in each of the three stops thus far: Tim Clark, Ryo Ishikawa, Alvaro Quiros, Chez Reavie and Mark Wilson.

It’s particularly notable when it comes to Quiros, the long-hitting Spaniard whose world ranking, 44th, doesn’t seem to be warranted given the way he plays in the majors.

Quiros in his six rounds of major championship competition this year has shot 78-77 (Augusta), 75-75 (Olympic Club), and 74-75 (Royal Lytham), leaving him at 30 over on the big stages.

Ouch.

What’s more, Quiros’ performances in the majors has been consistently weak, given his stature in the world order. In four Open Championship starts, he has missed the cut three times and he’s 26 over for 10 rounds.

His bottom line: In 15 major championship starts, the Spaniard has made four cuts and his best finish is a T-24.

• • •

FRIDAY HEROICS AND HEARTACHE: The chase to survive the cut is always a fun storyline late in Round 2, but it’s especially enjoyable at the majors. Easily the best stuff came from Tom Watson, whose birdie at 18 in a cool twilight enabled the 62-year-old and five-time champion to make the cut on the number, 3-over 143.

He didn’t have a monopoly on the late-round heroics, however. Gary Woodland, for instance, birdied Nos. 13, 14, and 16 to shoot an inward 33 and make the cut on the number.

There were two players – Rickie Fowler and Brazilian Adilson DaSilva – who made the cut on the number despite a double-bogey at the 18th.

As for those who failed to provide a finishing kick, the list included Anders Hansen, whose double-bogey at 18 capped off a homeward 40 and left him one over the cut. Koumei Oda, Marc Leishman, and Raphael Jacquelin all bogeyed the 18th to miss the cut by one and Aaron Townsend scripted one of the bigger collapses – he bogeyed five times in six holes coming home to miss by one.

Of course, some of the magic of Watson's performance was dulled early Saturday when the icon made two double-bogeys, shot 76, and fell to 9 over, a score that when he finished had him only ahead of John Daly (77, 10-over total).

Daly's third-round adventure included a triple-bogey at the par-4 10th.

• • •

HE THOUGHT HE HAD THEM FIGURED OUT: Chez Reavie seemed to have a good feel for the par-5 seventh and par-4 14th as he eagled each of those holes in a first-round 74.

Sadly, he did not.

Reavie double-bogeyed the seventh and bogeyed the 14th in Friday’s 75 that left him well outside the cut.

• • •

RARE ROSE: Justin Rose played the front in 8 over, the back in 4 under. Put them together and he missed the cut by one.

It halted a stretch of exquisite play in tournaments that count toward his European PGA Tour membership. Coming into Lytham, Rose had played in seven tournaments, winning one (the WGC Cadillac Championship) and finishing top 10 in four others (Master, Volvo Match Play, BMW PGA Championship, French Open).

It’s the first missed cut of the year in 16 starts between the tours in America and Europe.

• • •

THIS ‘N THAT: Kyle Stanley shot 70-69 and made the cut, after having missed at both the Masters and U.S. Open. He’s made two cuts in the majors, both on English soil . . . . . Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar share the lead with 15 consecutive cuts made on the PGA Tour . . . . . Paul Casey’s 2012 misery continued. He played his final 24 holes in 14 over par to miss the cut and in 11 tournaments between the U.S. and European tours, he has earned just three checks . . . . . Very curious record being put together over here by Ben Curtis. He missed the cut here and in 10 Open starts has won once, finished top 10 two other times, and missed the cut on seven occasions. In his last seven rounds in the Open Championship, Curtis is 35 over . . . . . A whopping 31 percent of the weekend field here is American – 26 of 83 players . . . . . But here is one man’s top entry for befuddlement: Geoff Ogilvy, who seemingly embraces links golf and appreciates the history of the championship, made the cut after having missed it each of the last five summers. In 10 tries in the Open, Ogilvy has played on just three weekends.

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