Golf

PGA Championship notes: Watson drops a few bad words, Woods misses fifth major cut

LOUISVILLE — Bubba Watson wasn't on his best behavior during the second round of the PGA Championship.

Watson, playing with Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer, let a profanity or two slip when he carded three bogeys in a six-hole stretch on his closing nine.

He didn't try to hide his frustration as he flipped clubs and loudly berated himself. That was in stark contrast to the decorum of his playing partners.

Watson finished with a 1-over 72 and is even-par going into the weekend.

Watson didn't stick around for interviews, although Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel tracked him down.

Sobel wrote that Watson told him, "What would I be frustrated about? I feel great."

Rickie Fowler, one of Watson's best friends, said "Bubba's Bubba. He's kind of hard to explain. He can get a little fiery on the golf course trying to motivate himself. He's just trying to play the best golf he can, and it's tough when he's struggling."

McIlroy was asked if Bubba's histrionics bothered him.

"No. I've campaigned after a lot of shots before," McIlroy said. "Everyone out here moans about something. It's just part of it.

"I don't pay attention to my playing partners. I could see how some people could maybe be affected by it.

"I've been guilty of it before and a lot of other players have done the same thing."

Watson later tweeted an apology to his fans: "Sorry for my actions today! Trying to get better as person. Thanks to all who support me. #YallDontGiveUpOnMe"

Rare cut for Tiger

Tiger Woods arrived at Valhalla late, and he's going home early. Woods shot 74-74 to miss the cut.

"I tried as hard as I could. That's about all I got," he said.

Woods, who withdrew from last week's Bridgestone Invitational because of back issues, said they flared up again Friday.

"It was sore, no doubt it was sore. I couldn't make a back swing."

This was the fifth time Woods has missed the cut in a major. He also failed to qualify for the weekend at the 2011 PGA, 2009 British Open, 2006 U.S. Open and 1996 Masters.

Woods withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational last week because of back problems. He didn't arrive at Valhalla until Wednesday.

Woods has failed to add to his 14 major titles since winning the U.S. Open in 2008.

Woods' troubles make it doubtful that Tom Watson will make him a Ryder Cup captain's pick.

Stricker strikes hot

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson earlier this week named Steve Stricker one of his assistants for the September showdown with the Europeans.

If Stricker has a great weekend at Valhalla, could he be playing in the Ryder Cup?

"I would have to do something very special and that would be either win or maybe finish second," he said.

Stricker has a shot at doing something special in this 96th PGA Championship.

After shooting 69-68 the first two days, he's 5-under par and within shouting distance of the leaders.

Stricker said making the Ryder Cup team "really hasn't crossed my mind too much.

"I haven't played all that well this year, and I'm just trying to have a good tournament here. Try to finish off in a positive form."

Stricker will enjoy the Ryder Cup either way.

"I'll cherish the moment of just being a part of it in any way, shape or form. Hopefully I can help out a little bit. It's all about the guys there."

Kentucky connections

J.B. Holmes and Kenny Perry booked their tee times for the weekend at Valhalla.

Holmes, the former University of Kentucky star who shot a 68 on Thursday, had to rally to make the cut. Playing the back nine first on Friday, he shot a 5-over 41, including four bogeys and a double bogey.

But Holmes turned it around on the front nine. He had had four birdies, including three in a row to close out his round and a 2-under total for the tournament.

"I needed that finish for sure," he said. "I knew I could put up a good score on the front."

Holmes was among those who played in the rain in the morning.

"It was definitely a factor," he said. "It's harder to reach the lies on the grass. Sometimes (the ball) sticks in the ground a little bit more."

Perry followed up his first-day 72 with a 2-under 69, including five birdies. He's at 1-under going into the weekend.

Perry and Holmes both had their home-state fans cheering them on even in the rain.

■ Brian Norman, a Henderson County graduate and now a club pro in Texas, didn't make the cut. After shooting 78 on Thursday, he had a 74 on Friday, including an eagle at the par-5 18th.

Splitsville at Valhalla

Chris Wood fired a first-round 66 with an unsual handicap: a pair of split pants. The 26-year-old Brit ripped his pants when he bent over a short putt on his second hole Thursday.

"The most embarrassed I have ever been on the golf course," Wood told PGA.com. "It wasn't just a little rip. It was 10 inches. Everybody was laughing at me, so we just laughed it off. That was about all I could do."

Wood borrowed some ill-fitting rain pants from Johan Kok. Wood's manager went back to Wood's hotel and got him a pair of pants, which Wood changed into later in his round.

On Friday, Wood said he was careful not to have another wardrobe malfunction.

"I was extra careful when I was doing the putts today," he said.

The 6-foot-6 Wood also revealed that the shop in England where he gets his pants contacted him after they heard what happened.

"They sent a message last night saying, 'I can't believe what's happened. Bring them in when you get back.'

"I'll be doing that."

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