2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational: Three of the world’s top 20 among the players to miss the cut
ORLANDO —Padraig Harrington spends most of his time on the PGA Tour Champions these days, but it doesn’t mean he no longer appreciates what it takes to make the 36-hole cut.
Harrington made birdie on five of his first 14 holes on Friday to shoot 2-under 70 and make his 219th career cut on the PGA Tour.
“Playing the cutline is one of the toughest things in golf,” Harrington said. “Fifty-four holes, no cut, that’s an easy life.”
The 51-year-old is among the 72 golfers to survive difficult, windy conditions at Bay Hill Club and Lodge to play the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It took a 36-hole total of 2-over 146 to be among the pros to be paid on Sunday. (Amateur Ludvig Aberg also made the cut.)
Finally made a cut at Bay Hill… Golf course is playing like a major. Bring on the weekend ☘️💪🏻
— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) March 3, 2023
Play was suspended due to darkness on Friday with two golfers still on the course. PGA club pro Greg Koch held the fate of several players in his hands. Needing to complete the ninth hole on Saturday morning, Koch could have moved the cut to 1-over had he made birdie but he and Justin Suh (-2) made pars to wrap up the second round at 7:08 a.m. ET.
With the announcement this week of no-cut, reduced field designated events beginning next season, this likely was the final 36-hole cut at Bay Hill and three players in the top 20 in the world didn’t make it. But Alex Noren took care of business on his final hole.
Needing a birdie on 18 to have a chance to make the cut, Alex Noren comes up clutch 🔥
He finishes +2 overall and is likely to make the cut on the number @APInv. pic.twitter.com/0K0tZN1lk1
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 3, 2023
Here’s the lowdown on some of the players who weren’t so lucky.
Collin Morikawa, 3 over
Collin Morikawa of the United States plays his shot from the 12th tee during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 02, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Collin Morikawa doesn’t miss many cuts, but this marked his second in his last three events as he also had the weekend off at the WM Phoenix Open.
The world No. 10 made an uncharacteristic six bogeys on Thursday, hitting just 6 of 14 greens in regulation and opened with 2-over 74. On Friday, he played better but still carded four bogeys in posting 1-over 73 for a 36-hole total of 3-over 147.
Morikawa likely will be working on several parts of his game ahead of the Players next week, but can’t be happy with going 10-of 18 in scrambling.
Billy Horschel, 4 over
Billy Horschel of the United States plays an approach shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 02, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Billy Horschel went from 54-hole leader a year ago and eventual co-runner-up at Arnie’s Place to having the weekend off this year. Horschel shot 73-75—148, just the second time in 11 appearances that he’s missed the cut at Bay Hill.
Horschel, ranked 20th in the world, started his second round on Friday with three consecutive bogeys out of the gate and just didn’t make enough birdies – four total through 36 holes – to be a factor in this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Blame the putter for Horschel’s struggles. He lost more than a stroke to the field on the greens in both rounds and ranked 104th in SG: Putting this week.
Justin Rose, 4 over
Justin Rose hits his drive on the ninth hole during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Rose’s 18th appearance at Bay Hill had a few too many thorns. He missed the cut three of the last four years and withdrew the other time (in 2021) with a back injury.
Rose shot 40 on his first nine of the tournament and opened with 75. He was going along swimmingly on Friday, 2 under through 13 holes, when he made a bogey at 5 and then rinsed his tee shot at 6 and made a snowman. He signed for 75-74—149 and is headed down the road to the Players.
Hideki Matsuyama, 5 over
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan looks on from the fourth hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Hideki Matsuyama missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the first time in nine career starts.
Matsuyama started well enough with a 1-under 71 on Thursday. But the high winds on Friday got the better of him. He stumbled to two double bogeys in his last five holes to shoot 6-over 78 and a 36-hole total of 5-over 147.
Gary Woodland, 5 over
Gary Woodland of the United States catches a golf ball on the 17th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Woodland held the lead last year after an eagle at 16 on Sunday, but finished double bogey-bogey and a T-5 result. This year, he’s going home early.
Woodland didn’t make a single birdie on Thursday and posted 3-over 75. He had battled back to inside the cutline until he made a mess at No. 8. He knocked one ball in the water and made a quadruple-bogey 8. That drowned his hopes of making the cut as he shot 74. Woodland’s struggles were primarily with his approach game. He ranked 105th for the week (-3.317).
Sam Burns, 7 over
Sam Burns (right) and his caddie discuss the shot from the eighth tee during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Burns, World No. 14, was sent packing on Friday at his second straight tournament – he also missed the cut at the Genesis Invitational. It’s the second time in three years he’s missed the cut at Arnie’s Place.
Burns struggled out of the gate with a 5-over 77 on Thursday, which included a pair of double bogeys. He hit just 4 of 14 fairways in the opening round and ranked dead last in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green (-6.179).
Friday’s effort wasn’t much better. Burns was 2 for 7 in scrambling (T-107) and while he only lost three strokes in the second round to the field in SG: ATG compared to six in the first, it was still a recipe for failure.
Kevin Kisner, 13 over
Kevin Kisner of the United States plays a shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 02, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Kevin Kisner, who finished T-2 in 2017, missed the cut for the second straight year at Bay Hill and fifth time in nine career starts. He shot 77-80—157 and tied for last with Brian Harman.
Kisner is firmly planted on the struggle bus – it marked his third straight MC, all of them in $20-million designated events. Kisner was shutout on Friday — no birdies — and ranked last through two rounds in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Tee to Green.