Tiger Woods inspired the sports world over a month ago by winning the Masters. After an 11-year majors drought, the 43-year old scored a 13-under par for a 1-stroke victory over Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.
Thursday at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black Golf Course, Woods put himself in position to miss the cut altogether, recording a 2-over par to trail Koepka by nine strokes entering Friday. He posted a trio of bogeys on the front 9, as well as a pair of double bogeys overall.
“It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure,” he said to The New York Daily News. “I felt like I was getting back into the round. I fought my way back and I had two double bogeys in through there and was still able to get it to under par for the day. Unfortunately, I had a couple three-putts there and hit a bad chip there at eight and left myself in a bad spot. Consequently, I’m a long way back.”
Let’s take a look at the PGA Championship cut rule and see how close Woods is to missing Friday’s cut.
PGA Championship Cut Rule & Chances Tiger Woods Misses It
PGA.com lays out the following rules regarding cuts at the PGA Championship:
- There is just one cut, which takes place after 36 holes.
- The top 70 players (including ties) make the cut. Any player in 71st place or worse is cut.
- Every player who makes the cut can finish all four rounds since there isn’t a second cut.
- The PGA Championship has the same cut rule as The Open Championship.
Simple enough. Woods is currently tied for 56th at 2-over par alongside other big names such as Rory McIlroy (currently 2-over after 12 holes). Competitors currently at 3-over par are tied for 86th, so if the cut was made today, they would be out.
In addition, there’s a lot of room between Koepka and Danny Lee, the current runnerup out of Australia at 6-under par. If Koepka and Lee maintain their strong play, and other golfers rise out of the logjam of even, 1-over and 2-over par golfers, Woods and company could get squeezed out of the top-70.
He likely needs to play even or slightly below par golf to stick it out through the weekend in New York. If he moves back anymore (3 or 4-over par), he’s probably toast.
Since his first-place finish at the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods has missed seven cuts at major championships. That includes three at the 2011, 2014 and 2015 PGA Championships.
His trails Jack Nicklaus by three in terms of major tournament wins (15 to 18). It’s almost certain that he is out of contention already at Bethpage; so much so that he is in dire risk of missing the cut.