Notes: Notables who missed the cut at The Players
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It’s all about the marquee names who decided to stick around for the weekend of the 2013 Players Championship, guys like Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan.
We’re just not used to that much firepower atop the Saturday and Sunday leaderboards here at TPC Sawgrass.
Now, sure, Kevin Chappell or David Lingmerth could catch fire and add their names to a roll call that already includes Craig Perks and Fred Funk, Stephen Ames and Tim Clark, but with humidity thickening, so, too, is the anticipation for a heavyweight battle and let’s not spoil the hype.
But before we give the weekend stage to those who are here, how about a few notes on those who aren’t. The list of casualties who didn’t survive the cut included some stunning names. Most notably, Phil Mickelson, who bogeyed two of his last three holes Friday – the par-4 seventh and par-5 ninth – to miss the cut by one, at 1-over 145. It’s the first missed cut for Mickelson at this tournament since 2000.
While Mickelson stood on the tee at his final hole, the ninth, at level par, which would be the cut, it was the morning and at the time 1-under was needed. But all that aside, it’s a par-5, for goodness sakes, and clearly the lefthander is justified in trying to make birdie. Playing it aggressively, which is to be on the right hand side of the fairway, the lefthander pulled his tee shot into water and made bogey.
Mickelson’s was the brightest of names who sat in the group at 1-over, but there were other notables to miss by one. To whit:
• Vijay Singh bogeyed his 35th hole, the par-3 eighth, and has now missed the cut in five of his last six starts in this, his hometown tournament.
• Rickie Fowler made just four birdies in two days, none on the back nine, which he played in 4-over. He’s missed the cut here in three of his four starts.
• Jim Furyk missed the cut for a second straight year, another who has not been treated nicely by his hometown tournament. In Round 2, Furyk had 17 pars and a bogey, and he had just one birdie over his final 25 holes.
• Robert Garrigus bogeyed his final two holes, the eighth and ninth. For two days, the long-hitting Garrigus played the par-5s in level par.
• Jason Kokrak played his first 17 holes in 4-under, his last 19 in 5-over.
• Both Russell Henley and Nicholas Thompson backed up 69s with 76s to miss by one.
Among the notables who missed the cut at 2-over 146:
• Justin Rose, ranked fourth in the world, doesn’t seem to have a good feel for TPC Sawgrass. After shooting 72-74, he has missed the cut in five of his 10 starts.
• Ian Poulter missed the cut for a second straight tournament and is locked into a minor funk. In five full-field stroke-play events, Poulter hasn’t finished inside the top 20.
• Nick Watney shot 76-70 to miss the cut for the third time in seven starts at TPC Sawgrass. In 22 rounds he has shot in the 60s just four times.
• At 70-76, Graeme McDowell missed the cut here for a second straight time.
• Ernie Els (73-73) has now missed the cut at the Stadium Course four consecutive years.
• Lucas Glover (73-76) continues to struggle here. He has missed the cut in six of his eight starts and has broken 70 three times in 20 rounds.
• Scott Stallings was 5-under for his first 10 holes, 9-over for the next 26. He played the par-5s in 3-over.
• Bill Haas has missed the cut in four of his seven starts here.
• Then there’s David Toms. He seemingly had figured out Sawgrass, having finished T-10, second, and T-9 the last three years, but he went for 79-70 and has now missed the cut in 11 of his 21 appearances at the Stadium Course.
As for crashes, there were two that stood out:
• Keegan Bradley overcame a bogey on his second hole Thursday to get as deep as 5-under, only to finish bogey, bogey, bogey and post 70. Then Friday, Bradley went out in 35 to get to 3-under, then doubled the par-4 12th, bogeyed the par-4 14th, bogeyed the par-3 17th, and doubled the par-4 18th. With an incoming 42 he was on the wrong side of a cut for a second straight tournament.
• Playing before hometown fans and as a onetime Florida Gator standout, Billy Horschel had a loyal following. He also had all the momentum one could desire, his opening 76 nearly forgotten when he birdies Nos. 6, 7, 11, 13, ad 16. At level par, Horschel stepped to the final tee needing par to make the cut, but in front of a vocal following he pulled his tee shot into water, then followed with another. It put a halt to Horschel’s tour-best stretch of consecutive cuts made; Jimmy Walker at 22 now has the best.
Of course, not all the cut news was made by those who sat at 1-over or better. Some drama was provided by those who grinded away and made it into weekend play; Brian Davis, for instance. The Englishman shot 78 Thursday, then came back Friday with a sterling 66, culminated by a 15-foot birdie at 18 to make the cut on the number.