Advertisement

Jon Rahm's cut streak at majors ends at 18 following two so-so rounds at the PGA Championship

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A historically low cut line led to early exits for some big names at the PGA Championships.

Jon Rahm's run of 18 straight made cuts in majors ended when he posted a 1-over 72 during the second round at soggy Valhalla on Friday that left him at even par, one shot outside the projected cutline of 1-under, which be the lowest-ever at the PGA and just the third time in major championship history the cut was in red figures.

Rahm hadn't missed a weekend at a major since the 2019 PGA. In the interim, he's captured a pair of of them — the 2021 U.S. Open and the 2023 Masters — while stamping himself as one of the best players in the world.

Not so much in 2024. He finished a distant 45th at Augusta National, when he failed to break par in any round.

Ludvig Aberg, who was briefly tied with world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler on Sunday at the Masters before Scheffler pulled away, wasn't quite as sharp after trading Georgia pines for Kentucky Bluegrass. Aberg was even through two rounds, his chance to play likely undone by a double-bogey at the par-4 12th.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark (4 over) and two-time PGA winner Phil Mickelson (4 over) also left Valhalla early. So did Tiger Woods.

Michael Block, who put together a captivating underdog story by finishing 15th last year at Oak Hill, couldn’t muster the same magic this time around after a 2-over 73 pushed him to 7 over for the tournament and a trip back home to Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, where he is the head pro.

A few of the 21 club pros in the field will likely stick around: Jeremy Wells (2 under) and Braden Shattuck (1 under) are locked in and Kyle Mendoza (even) has a shot with three holes to play early Saturday morning after the second round was suspended by darkness.

Shattuck sweated out the final holes. He drained a 35-footer for birdie on No. 8 (his 17th of the day) then holed a nervy par putt on No. 9 to get to 1 under.

“The cup looked like the size a thimble on that last 4-footer,” said Shattuck, whose career nearly ended after a serious car accident in 2019. "But thankfully, it found its way to the middle.”

It could be a somewhat long night for Shattuck and everyone else at 1 under. There's a slim chance the cut could get to 2 under based on the results when players return to the course early Saturday to finish their second rounds.

HOMETOWN KID MADE GOOD

Louisville native Justin Thomas leaned on some advice from buddy Keegan Bradley to help navigate two emotional rounds and reach the weekend in solid shape at 6 under, six back of leader Xander Schauffele.

Thomas, a two-time PGA champion, knew this week could be difficult, with a lot of demands on his time. He asked Bradley, a New England native, how he handled the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club just outside Boston.

Bradley, the 2011 PGA winner, surprisingly suggested Thomas try to relax and soak in a unique moment in his career.

“I feel like (that) is kind of opposite of what you hear from some people,” Thomas said.

So Thomas did, and it might have helped as he posted a relatively stress-free 4-under 67 on Friday.

“I feel like I’ve never had this many people actually rooting for me,” Thomas said. “So I’m going to enjoy it for all it’s worth, because it’s been fun.”

HE'S ACES

Sebastian Soderberg made it to the weekend after shooting a 4-under 67 that moved him to 2 under for the tournament, firmly inside the cutline.

The highlight of the Swede's round came at the 169-yard, par-3 eighth when his tee shot hit a little right of the hole, bounced a couple of times and then dropped for a hole-in-one.

The shot was the 49th ace in 106 editions of the PGA and the fourth in four visits to Valhalla.

THRICE AS NICE

Min Woo Lee's 5-under 66 vaulted him to 4 under for the tournament. And he didn't really need his putter to cooperate much to help.

Lee holed out from off the green for birdie three times, chipping in twice and draining a pitch from 35 yards out on the par-4 16th.

“They weren’t easy ones,” the 25-year-old Lee said. “Sixteen was pretty special. It was in deep rough, into the grain, and I was just trying to get it on the green close, and it ended up going in. It was just one of those days where it kind of went my way. Yeah, they just dropped.”

ONE WAY TO MAKE PAR

Robert MacIntyre's 2-under 71 included making par from the deck of a hospitality stand at No. 7.

MacIntyre's third second shot on the 589-yard, par 5 sailed way right of the fairway and landed in casual water. A lengthy delay of over 20 minutes ensued while one official then another conferred on where MacIntyre could take a drop.

He opted for the deck of a hospitality tent. It landed just short of the green, and he got up and down for a five. The downtime may have affected MacIntyre's finish. He bogeyed his last two holes and is at 7 under through two rounds.

“It just took longer than it needed to, and I just lost all momentum,” he said. “Hadn’t swung a golf club in 25 minutes. Probably two bad swings, the worst shot I’ve hit all week on the par-3 eighth. I suppose we just get on with it.”

___

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf