Tulsa (USA), May 21 (PTI) The morning wind took its toll as Anirban Lahiri hit a second straight three from 73 to miss the PGA Championship cut, his first Major appearance in just a few less than three years.
Lahiri’s woes were mainly with his putter as he missed three putts within eight feet and another five between 10 and 15 feet. That the morning wind rose to 30 km/h didn’t help either because the wind was almost absent in the afternoon.
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Will Zalatoris, a 25-year-old from Dallas, leads as he added 65 in his first round 66 and was nine under, the third best 36-hole opening score in PGA Championship history.
Zalatoris is playing his eighth major and he already has four top 10 finishes.
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So a week that began with the arrival of her second child, an Avyaan son, and a surprise round of practice with Tiger Woods, ended early for Lahiri.
There was, however, a moment of excitement for Lahiri as his tee shot on the Par-3 sixth came within six inches for a near hole-in-one.
Lahiri, needing a solid under-par second round, opened with a bogey and added one more on the third. A birdie in the sixth was followed by another bogey in the ninth.
The back nine saw him start with a birdie on 10, but bogeys on 10 and 16 meant an early start.
Meanwhile, Woods, despite the pain and discomfort, made his second straight major cut after the car accident 15 months ago.
Woods followed his first-round 74 with a second-round 69, a superb effort in itself, to make the cut at T-53.
It was Woods’ 18th cut in 22 PGA Championship starts. Woods is 12 strokes behind Dallas golfer Zalatoris, 25.
It all seemed over for Woods as he double-bogeyed on the par-3 11th. But he fought back, saving par from a bunker on the No. 12, hit a 4-foot corner for a birdie on the par-5 13th.
He saved another with a 15-footer on the next hole and hit his best shot on the 16th from 4 feet out.
Chilean Mito Pereira (68-64) finished second, while Justin Thomas with a redone swing is 6 under with pair 67.
The day belonged to Bubba Watson (63) as he moved up to fourth with rounds 72-63.
He tied the PGA Championship goalscoring record with a 7-under 63, becoming the third player to do so at Southern Hills after Raymond Floyd (in 1982) and Tiger Woods in 2007).
Watson had never scored better than 68 in his previous 49 rounds in the PGA Championship. Now he has a chance this weekend.
Scottie Scheffler became just the third world number one to miss the PGA Championship cut, while first-round leader Rory McIlroy (65-71) trails five shots after a 1-of-71.
The afternoon saw the wind ease and Zalatoris took advantage, as did Bubba Watson, who had a shot at the first 62 in PGA Championship history.
He missed just inside 25 feet on the 18th hole and had to settle for round 18 of 63 at this major, and third at Southern Hills. He joins Woods (2007) and Raymond Floyd (1982).
Like Watson, Chilean Pereira also had a chance to set a record at 63, but missed a seven-foot putt on the ninth hole to close out his round.
In the morning, as the wind raged, Justin Thomas dropped just one shot on his way to another 67 that set a daunting goal for everyone in the afternoon.
McIlroy got the good side of the draw but failed to capitalize on it. He didn’t birdie until the 13th hole and it was his only one in a round of 71 that left him five strokes behind.
Jordan Spieth, playing alongside McIlroy and Woods, eventually tied for the tournament until he took the plunge on the 18th for a bogey and a 69.
He was 10 shots behind and needs to win the PGA Championship to complete a career Grand Slam.
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