AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods didn’t need it, but Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald and amateur Patrick Cantlay – to name a few – did.
What was it? The 10-shot rule.
After two rounds, the Masters cuts to the low 44 players and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. That meant Woods slid in on his own (147, T-40) while the others needed those two shots of grace to make the cut at 5-over 149.
Sixty three players in all made the cut.
Stricker and Bradley shot 77s, but eased in at 4-over 148 along with Fowler and Donald. Cantlay shot 78, but made it at 149.
Who didn’t make it? Among others, former Masters champions Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Larry Mize and Tom Watson (151) , Bernhard Langer and Rory Sabbatini, who both shot 80s Friday and finished at 152, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (153) and Darren Clarke, who shot 81 and finished at 154.
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Honda Classic have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at PGA National.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Jim Furyk/Y.E. Yang/Henrik Stenson
Yang has owned PGA National in recent years, with a win and a second-place finish.
Kyle Stanley/Keegan Bradley/Rory McIlroy
Three of the best players in the world under the age of 30, and all three bomb the ball.
Mark Wilson/Rory Sabbatini/Camilo Villegas
These three players won at PGA National in 2007, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Villegas and Wilson squared off in a four-man playoff (with Boo Weekley and Jose Conceres) on a steamy Monday in 2007, which Wilson won.
Lee Westwood/Ian Poulter/Tiger Woods
No introduction needed for this trio. Tiger makes his first start at PGA National. This is the third consecutive year Westwood has teed if up here. Tied for ninth in 2010.
John Huh/Charl Schwartzel/Ernie Els
The PGA TOUR's newest winner (Huh) immediately graduates to an A-list tee time with a pair of major champions.
Anthony Kim/Mike Weir/Mark Calcavecchia
Can Kim and Weir get their games turned around at the start of the Florida Swing? And don't count out Calcavecchia, who has lived in Palm Beach for many years. He tied for fourth here in 2008.
Now, it’s your turn: Which groups are you most interested in following this week?
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Mike Weir, who has been sidelined since elbow surgery last August, is planning to make his 2012 season debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he announced on his website earlier this week.
“I think that’s a realistic target but I probably won’t know for sure until a week or 10 days before I have to commit,” Weir said in a blog post. “I’m very anxious to get back out there, which makes all this waiting tough.”
Weir, who lost his PGA TOUR card after finishing outside the top 125 on the money list and failing to earn it through a major medical exemption, has received a sponsor’s exemption into the event. Only recently, however, has Weir been cleared to play full rounds.
“I had considered playing in the Abu Dhabi and Qatar, but it was just a long way to go to test things out,” said Weir, who joined the European Tour in the offseason through an exemption he retained from winning the 2003 Masters. “Of course it would also be nice to play well at the start of the PGA TOUR and then be able to choose when and where I tee it up.”
Last year, Weir made just two cuts in 15 starts on TOUR. His low point came last July at the RBC Canadian Open, where he withdrew after just six holes. Weir made just three starts the rest of the year.
Also expected at Pebble Beach is Ian Poulter.
“I will be playing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Proam this year for the first time,” Poulter tweeted Friday. “Very much looking forward it. Game is really coming on.”
Poulter and his wife Katie are expecting the couple’s fourth child in about a week.
Mike Weir hopes to return to the PGA TOUR at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am next year.
"I'm not sure if I'll make that deadline, but I'm going to shoot for that right now," Weir, who had elbow surgery in August, wrote in the blog on his website.
Weir said he's targeting Pebble Beach because he has a comfort zone there after posting seven top-10s, including two seconds and a pair of thirds, in 14 starts. He also said that the turf there would likely be soft at that time of year.
Weir has recently begun hitting wedge and pitch shots -- all off a tee.
"At first, I was swinging at about 50 percent of normal, but I have gradually moved that up to 75 percent," Weir wrote. "And in the last few sessions, I even hit four or five drivers. They all felt really good."
Due to doctor's orders, though, Weir said he will wait until the four-month mark before hitting any full shots. "It can be a bit frustrating but I know patience now will pay off down the road," the former Masters champ wrote.
Weir said he has noticed he has more grip strength than he did before the surgery.
"I can really feel my fingers on the club these days and that's something that was missing the last few years," Weir wrote. "t's one of those gradual thing that's so subtle I guess I never really noticed it, but since the surgery, it's evident how much I'd lost over time and how much I have back."
Weir, who has battled the injury to his right elbow for two
years, finished outside the all-exempt top 125 on the money list in
2011. He does have some status as a past champion due to his eight
TOUR victories, and he would be eligible for sponsor's exemptions,
Weir also wrote that he recently discovered the European Tour offers a 12-year exemption to major champions. So Weir, who won the 2003 Masters, paid his dues and -- while he said he wants to play most of his golf in North America -- "I'll likely use that to fill in when I'm unable to play over here," he wrote.
Mike Weir, the eight-time PGA TOUR winner who has battled elbow problems for the last year, will miss the next 3-6 months after undergoing surgery on his right elbow Thursday.
The news was posted on Weir’s official website.
Weir was forced to withdraw from this year’s RBC Canadian Open during the second round because of the recurring problem that was diagnosed last year as a partial ligament tear in his right elbow. The surgery on Thursday was to repair the extensor tendon in his elbow and was performed in Pensacola, Fla. by sports orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Doctors expect a full recovery.
“My elbow has caused me problems over the past year and during the RBC Canadian Open it essentially became unplayable," Weir said in a release. "Dr. Andrews is the best in the business, and it's my hope with patience, and diligent post-surgery rehab, I will be able to put my elbow problems behind me and look forward."
The 41-year-old Weir was playing on a medical exemption and sponsor's exemptions this year and made just two cuts in 15 starts. He tied for 77th at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and tied for 70th at the AT&T National in July.
Weir’s last TOUR win came at the 2007 Fry’s Electronics Open.
Canada’s best-known golfer, Mike Weir, withdrew after six holes in Friday’s second round due to re-aggravating an injury to his right elbow by hitting out of the rough.
Weir had birdied his second hole on Friday, but then bogeyed the third hole, and double bogeyed the next two holes, leaving him at 5 over on his round and 8 over for the tournament.
After making par at the sixth hole, he then hit his tee shot on the seventh hole before withdrawing. He and his caddie were taken back to the clubhouse in a cart.
"It's very disappointing," he told reporters after withdrawing. "This is our national championship. I want to play and have great fan support. But I'm just not going to re-injure (the elbow) again."
The decision to withdraw was made in part as a precautionary measure to prevent further injury.
“I’ll probably get another MRI and check it and see what’s going on,” Weir said. “But definitely precautionary right now, and hopefully it’s not worse than that.”
Weir, who shot a 74 in Thursday's first round, hurt himself in the deep rough at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club. He said he felt soreness during Thursday’s round, especially after a shot out of the rough on the ninth hole.
He said he woke up Friday morning and “knew I was in a little bit of trouble.”
"I thought I could play through it," he said. "(I) had a couple of shots in the rough this morning. And I just don't want to go down that road again where it becomes a bad injury again. It's very tender, very sore right now. With this deep rough, I just can't hit it."
Weir has struggled this season, making just 2 cuts in 14 starts, with finishes of T-70 and T-77. He was plagued by elbow problems last year – doctors would eventually diagnosis it as a partial ligament tear in his right elbow. Weir said earlier this week that the elbow injury led to him developing “bad habits” with his golf swing.
Weir said Friday he couldn't open a water bottle because of the pain.
"I tried to play through it a little bit last year and ended up being off for three or four months because I did that," he said. "I'm not going to do something stupid like that again. I want to get it right 100 percent before I get back."
Weir also had to withdraw earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com. He played nine holes then withdrew with an injury to his left wrist.
Weir began this season playing on a Major Medical Extension but failed to make enough money in five starts to maintain his fully exempt status on TOUR.
The past Masters champion has never won his country’s national championship in 21 starts, although he did finish second to Vijay Singh in 2004 after losing in a playoff.
Matt Hill, the 2009 NCAA Men’s Individual champion from North Carolina State, is in the field this week on a sponsor exemption. Not only is Hill Canadian, he’s from the same hometown as Mike Weir (Brights Grove, Ontario)
Hill played earlier this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and has six career PGA TOUR starts as a professional. In winning the NCAA crown in 2009, Hill defeated current PGA TOUR members Kyle Stanley (by two shots) and Rickie Fowler (by three shots).
Of course the last Canadian to win this even was Pat Fletcher … in 1954. Is Hill the answer to Canada’s hope? Click here for more on the state of golf in Canada .
As for Weir, he’s making his 21 st career start at the RBC Canadian Open with hopes of his ninth career win on TOUR. He’s struggled recently, though, after suffering a partial ligament tear in right elbow that’s been plaguing him since last year. He’s also focusing on some swing changes. In 14 starts, Weir has made just two cuts this year. Weir is one of five Canadian players in the field, joining Stephen Ames, Chris Baryla, David Hearn and Matt McQuillan .
By making the cut last week at the AT&T National, Mike Weir ended a streak of nine consecutive starts without making the cut (10 if you include his WD in Puerto Rico).
It was a step in the right direction for Weir, who has been plagued by a torn ligament in his right elbow since last season. It was also a short-lived one for Weir, who is 3 over through 16 holes here in the opening round of the John Deere Classic.
Still, just making it to the weekend would give confidence to the Canadian.
"It would," Weir told the Montreal Gazette. "I need to play on weekends. I need to start gaining some confidence back for sure. I need to get some good rounds under my belt so I can start seeing things. Take some positives and move forward."
So far in the first round at TPC Deere Run, Weir, however, has six bogeys to just three birdies.
"I got into bad habits with my game when I was injured," Weir told the newspaper. "I'm trying to iron them out and take the things that I'm working on and trust them.
"I need to start finding some more fairways and I need to start having fun myself. Finding fairways and making some putts brings the enjoyment back. Playing out of the trees and deep rough is not much fun at all."