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Jim McCabe
Adam Scott made the cut in all of 2014's majors, extending his streak to 14.
Adam Scott made the cut in all of 2014's majors, extending his streak to 14.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There are still two rounds to be played before the book can be closed on the 2014 major championship season, but one thing can definitively be said: Thirteen players can lay claim to having made the cut in each of the four stops.

Talk about cream rising to the top; three of those names – Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jim Furyk – are sitting atop the leaderboard at the 96th PGA Championship, and another, Rickie Fowler is in a share of fourth.

The others who made the cut here to complete a four-for-four sweep in 2014 are Henrik Stenson ...

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Golfweek Staff
Rory McIlroy during the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Rory McIlroy during the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Rory McIlroy and Jason Day will make up the final pairing in Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

McIlroy is coming off rounds of 66-67 and enters the third round at 9 under, one shot ahead of Day, who shares second place with Jim Furyk.

Rickie Fowler tees off 20 minutes ahead of McIlroy, while Phil Mickelson tees off another 10 minutes earlier.

• • •

Here are the complete tee times and pairings for Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. (all times EDT):

8:30 a.m.: Brendon Todd ...

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Jeff Rude
Tiger Woods grimaced quite a bit on Friday, fighting through a back injury that contributed to a 3-over 74 on Friday at the PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods grimaced quite a bit on Friday, fighting through a back injury that contributed to a 3-over 74 on Friday at the PGA Championship.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For a while Friday at the PGA Championship, watching Tiger Woods felt like viewing a funeral procession. As he went 4 over on the first seven holes, his game and body hardly seemed alive and his mood was stuck on somber. At other times, it seemed as if we were observing an aging, beat-up heavyweight boxing champion.

Pick your analogy. When he hit wild hooks on Nos. 6-7 at Valhalla Golf Club and made double bogey and bogey, an old Willie Mays with the New York Mets came to mind.

Clearly Woods was bothered by a sore back ...

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Alex Miceli
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson during Friday's second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson during Friday's second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Tom Watson and his potential first nine charges have only two rounds left to earn enough points to play on the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

At the start of the week the top nine on the points list were Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson.

Matt Kuchar withdrew before his first round Thursday and Jason Dufner withdrew after the 10th hole Thursday. Of the remaining seven players, all but Spieth made the cut Friday and will play on the weekend.

The first five on the ...

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Jeff Babineau
Phil Mickelson during Friday's second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Phil Mickelson during Friday's second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Phil Mickelson will go into the weekend at the 96th PGA Championship possessing something he has not had in any of this year’s previous three majors: a fighting chance to win.

As darkness descended on a long and mostly gray day, Mickelson punctuated his round with a dramatic closing eagle – set up by a 4-iron from 216 yards to 9 feet – that electrified a huge crowd that covered the hills and had weathered a challenging day to watch. It put a ribbon around a second-round 67 for Mickelson, and at 6 under through 36 holes, he is ...

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Nick Masuda
Rickie Fowler waves after a par on the 17th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship.
Rickie Fowler waves after a par on the 17th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There was Jack vs. Arnie. And then there was Tiger vs. Phil … and Vijay … and Duval …

On a soggy Friday afternoon in Kentucky, we might have had a glimpse of the next duel on the docket – especially if Rickie Fowler has anything to say about it.

Rickie vs. Rory.

It has a bit of a ring to it, although the track record isn't quite there for half of that match-up. But Fowler has been working hard on joining the victory train that McIlroy seems to be on.

"I look forward to (playing with) him and kind of ...

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Rich Skyzinski
Ryan Helminen during the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Ryan Helminen during the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The skid continues. For the third consecutive year, no club professional made the cut at the PGA Championship.

“It’s a nice bonus that the PGA of America gives its members if you can finish in the top 20 (at the Professional National Championship),” said Dave Tentis, the head professional at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis., who posted rounds of 79-79. “It would be nice if I was a little more competitive.”

This is the longest streak of no club professional qualifying to play on the weekend of the PGA since records were kept starting in ...

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Golfweek Staff
Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the 12th hole during his second round at the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the 12th hole during his second round at the PGA Championship.

Lee Westwood, surely somewhere in the conversation for the ignominious honor of "best to never win a major," began Friday at the PGA Championship among three co-leaders ahead by a shot before red-hot Rory McIlroy passed them in the afternoon.

McIlroy's morning 67 got him into the lead at 9 under while overnight co-leader Ryan Palmer shot 70 to head in at 7 under. Westwood, Kevin Chappell and others are taking aim at McIlroy this afternoon amid soft conditions at Valhalla.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, has missed the cut with his second-straight 74.

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Nick Masuda
Tiger Woods' tee shot on No. 3 and second shot on No. 5 at the PGA Championship on Friday.
Tiger Woods' tee shot on No. 3 and second shot on No. 5 at the PGA Championship on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It definitely wasn't the front nine that Tiger Woods needed in order to play the weekend at the 96th PGA Championship, making the turn with a 4-over 39 to put himself at 7 over for the tournament.

That didn't keep the crowds from coming out to cheer him on – as well as Phil Mickelson, who was 2 under on his round through 15 holes.

Here is a look at the first eight holes through Instagram:

• • •

No. 1, Par 4, 446 yards

Tiger misses his drive left, comes up short of the green in two and scrambles ...

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Jim McCabe
Steve Stricker reacts after making a birdie on the 14th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship.
Steve Stricker reacts after making a birdie on the 14th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Steve Stricker was named an assistant captain on Tom Watson's U.S. squad for next month's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, but after a 3-under 68, Stricker might just make the squad.

So was Watson premature in naming the Wisconsin native as a coach now?

Here are some news and notes from second-round action at Valhalla:

• • •

VICE CAPTAIN OR PLAYING CAPTAIN? It was a pick that made sense since Steve Stricker had struggled much of the 2014 season with a torn labrum in his left hip, but a mere 48 hours later, Tom Watson’s pick for ...

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Jeff Babineau
Rory McIlroy celebrates his eagle on the 18th hole during a second-round, 4-under 67 on Friday at the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy celebrates his eagle on the 18th hole during a second-round, 4-under 67 on Friday at the PGA Championship.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – If Tiger Woods is the man bringing great drama to big golf tournaments these days, then credit Rory McIlroy as the man who busily has been extracting it.

If it’s an exciting major championship finish you yearn for, well, you might consider asking McIlroy to stay home. He is golf’s speeding train, and the rest of his peers simply are having a difficult time just staying on the same track. At the 96th PGA Championship on a soft and soggy Valhalla Golf Club track, he's threatening – again – to just run away.

By mid-afternoon Friday, there ...

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Jim McCabe
Ryan Palmer during the second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
Ryan Palmer during the second round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –– As breakfast choices go, Ryan Palmer would have preferred a little more time.

Ditto Shane Lowry.

But golf championships sometimes wait for no man and so a request for a brief reprieve was politely rejected. “We asked the referee (if we could wait). It was borderline dark. You couldn’t see the flight of the ball after 150 yards,” Lowry said as he and Palmer (and club professional Bob Sowards) stood on the first tee of Valhalla Golf Club.

“He said, ‘No, play on.’ "

And so they did, with different results.

Palmer kept his composure and good form ...

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Jim McCabe
Golf fans wait for the the first groups of the day to start the second round of the PGA Championship.
Golf fans wait for the the first groups of the day to start the second round of the PGA Championship.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Major championship? More like major headache.

The view of the first hole just after 7:30 a.m. Friday told the story at the 96th PGA Championship, because after slogging through pounding rain just to get into putting mode, Ryan Palmer, Shane Lowry, and Bob Sowards could barely find space.

It was SRO at the green, what with three players, three caddies, a half-dozen umbrellas, and a host of volunteers with squeegees.

Finally, this ill-advised 20-minute attempt was halted. Second-round play was halted at 7:50 a.m. because of torrential rain and main areas of standing water ...

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Nick Masuda
Ben Crane withdrew from the 2014 PGA Championship on Friday.
Ben Crane withdrew from the 2014 PGA Championship on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ben Crane has withdrawn from the 96th PGA Championship, citing lingering back issues.

Crane posted a 3-over 74 and faced an uphill battle to make the cut, which is currently estimated to be at even par. He also withdrew at last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational due to the back injury.

Crane has enjoyed an odd season that saw him win the FedEx St. Jude Classic, but also miss six cuts in 21 events.

Alex Miceli
Tiger Woods has not broken par in his last five rounds in major championships.
Tiger Woods has not broken par in his last five rounds in major championships.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tom Watson effectively is off the hook.

By any conceivable measure, Tiger Woods no longer should be under consideration by the U.S. captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup team.

Perhaps that's not really a revelation, especially after his first-round 3-over 74 in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. But many observers still think that Woods, by some miracle, will morph back into his early-2000s form and save a reeling U.S. team. Dustin Johnson has taken a leave of absence, Matt Kuchar cited an ailing back in withdrawing from the PGA and Jason Dufner left ...

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