JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Tiger Woods wasn’t the only star to miss the cut at the PGA Championship on Friday, just the biggest.
Masters winners, U.S. Open stalwarts, British Open champions and Ryder Cup heroes were all heading for the exit after two long, hot days at Atlanta Athletic Club. Seven of the past 11 major winners are gone after failing to reach the 4-over cut.
Gather 100 of the world’s top 102 golfers for a tournament and even some of the sport’s major stars won’t measure up.
The wreckage included 2009 British winner Stewart Cink, who was especially down about heading home since it’s only a short drive to Duluth.
“Just really quite difficult to say, you know, when you play a major right here in your backyard and you have high hopes to come out here and do this,” Cink said after his second-round 8-over 78.
“Embarrassing and just unpleasant.”
He’s got plenty of stellar company in the underachievers club.
Defending PGA winner Martin Kaymer is out, along with last year’s hard-luck loser Dustin Johnson – denied a spot in the playoff because he grounded his club in a ragged patch of dirt that was turned out to be a bunker after driving far right of the fairway.
“Overall, it was a frustrating tournament because nothing went my way,” said Kaymer, who finished at 5-over.
Angel Cabrera, the Masters champ two years ago, came up short at Bobby Jones’ home club.
Darren Clarke came here off a victory at the British last month, holding off Johnson over Royal St. George’s. But Clarke was gone by tea time after rounds of 78-76 on the par-70 layout.
“I’m just going away,” Clarke said. “I need a rest. I’m tired.”
There were several claret jugs winners who probably felt the same way.
Besides Cink and Clarke, 2010 champ Louis Oosthuizen and 2002 winner Ernie Els aren’t sticking around for the weekend.
Cink and Els, who also has two U.S. Open titles, missed cuts at a major for the third time this season.
Other U.S. Open winners to fall included ’06 champion Geoff Ogilvy, ’09 winner Lucas Glover and his successor, Graeme McDowell.
McDowell was also a Ryder Cup star, clinching the winning point for Europe. None of that helped at the PGA, where he shot 12-over 152.
“The game is just kicking me right now,” he said. “But, you kick on.”
Maybe two-time U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen had the right idea, withdrawing before Friday’s second round began.