Monday qualifier extends cut line

HONOLULU – While you were turning in for the day late last night – or perhaps you had already slipped into sleepland – a Monday qualifier named Aaron Goldberg was playing havoc with the cut line here at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Of course, it never should have come down to a slippery 4-foot putt on the 18th green in a fast-falling twilight. The fact that it did, however, made a lot of players breath easier, since Goldberg’s stumble at the end allowed them to make the cut.

Playing in the final pairing, Goldberg had pushed it to 3-under through 15 holes. Making the cut wasn’t a thought; getting closer to the lead was.

What followed was quite a roller-coaster ride, a drive pulled out-of-bounds at the par-4 16th. Double-bogey. A tee shot pushed right and into a devilish bunker at the par-3 17th. Double-bogey.

Now at 1 over and on the cut, Goldberg was in position to determine who got in and who didn’t. If he made birdie, there’d be 70 players at even par or better, and 10 players at 1 over, including Vijay Singh, would be out.

Instead, Goldberg hit a wayward drive, then laid up into rough, and still didn’t reach the green with his third shot. His fourth left him a 4-footer for par and suddenly he was down to this: Make it, or miss the cut.

Goldberg made it to shoot 71. But he’ll face more pressure in Round 3, because with 80 players having advanced at 1 over or better, the field will be slimmed to the low 70 and ties.

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