Before we get to the sad news of those who are going home empty-handed this week, let’s take a moment to congratulate PGA Tour veteran Nick Watney, who ended a streak of 12 consecutive missed cuts that began at the Valero Texas Open in April. That was the week before the Masters for context. After missing the cut at the 3M Open, Watney said enough was enough and flew to Las Vegas to see instructor Butch Harmon, who quickly found a fix.
“If nothing was wrong and I was just playing terrible, that would have been kind of frustrating to me,” Watney told Golf Digest. “But you go to Butch and he says, ‘Oh, wow, this is pretty messed up,’ you’re like, ‘OK, good. Let’s fix it.’ I mean, where do you go from there if everything looks fine?”
Watney, 41, entered the week at No. 116 in the FedEx Cup standings. He made birdies on five holes in a seven-hole stretch on Thursday en route to posting an opening-round 5-under 67. He made three birdies in shooting an even-par 72 on Friday. He’s got a tee time for the weekend.
But not everyone was so lucky. It took shooting 3-under 141 at Detroit Golf Club for 75 players (top 59 and ties) to survive the 36-hole cut.
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Jul 29, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Gary Woodland hits his tee shot on the par 3 ninth hole during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
The former US Open champion missed the cut by one stroke, marking his second straight weekend off and fourth missed cut in his last six starts.
After an opening-round 70, Woodland made a birdie at the fourth hole but gave the stroke back at the fifth. That turned out to be it for the birdies and bogeys as Woodland made par on his final 13 holes to shoot even-par 72.
Woodland drove it just fine, ranking eighth in SG: Off the Tee for 36 holes, but hit only 11 greens on Friday and ranked 129th in SG: Approach the Green.
Ryan Palmer was recently inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Palmer was inducted to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame last week, but that didn’t help him go down this week in MoTown. Palmer shot 71-72—143. A cumulative five birdies and four bogeys just doesn’t cut it when the 36-hole leader is 15 under. Palmer’s putter is to blame for Friday’s 72. He lost more than three strokes to the field on the greens and ranked 150th in SG: Putting, and 137th for two rounds.
Kevin Kisner putsts on the 13th green during Round 1 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Thursday, July 28, 2022.
Kiz will have some extra time to prepare for his title defense at next week’s Wyndham Championship. Kisner shot rounds of 72-71—143.
On paper, the Donald Ross layout seems a good fit for Kisner but he struggled with his ball striking Thursday (149th in proximity, 147th in SG: Off the Tee), but held it together with a good putting day (28th in SGP). However, it just wasn’t this week. On Friday, he improved his ball-striking (37thin proximity, 15th in SG: Off the Tee), so, of course, his putter decided to let him down (136th in SGP).
That makes five missed cuts in Kisner’s last seven starts, and his 10thth missed cut of the season in 21 total starts.
Matt Kuchar hits out of the par-3 9th rough during Round 1 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Thurs., July 28, 2022.
Kuchar snapped a streak of cashing a check at eight consecutive tournaments. His last MC? The Players Championship in March. But he shot 69-74—143 at Detroit Golf Club and was sent packing.
After making seven birdies on Thursday, Kuchar was shut out on Friday. Not a single birdie on the card and that just won’t be due at a venue where birdies are being made in bunches. Blame the putter: Kuchar lost nearly four strokes on the greens in the second round and ranked 150th in SG: Putting. That spoiled a strong ball-striking performance. Kuchar ranked third in the field in SG: Approach the Green.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 29: Davis Riley of the United States plays his shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 29, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
The rookie with nearly $3 million in earnings missed his second straight cut after shooting 71-73—144 at Detroit Golf Club. It’s the first time Riley has missed two cuts in a row since his first two starts of the season in September.
Riley was cruising along in the second round at 5 under when disaster struck. Riley was sitting pretty, 92 yards from the hole at the par-5 14thth when he deposited not one, but two balls into the water fronting the green. It resulted in a quadruple-bogey nine, and before he knew it, Riley was trunk-slamming his way out of Detroit Rock City.
Brian Stuard tees off on the par-4 16th hole during Round 2 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Friday, July 29, 2022.
Not even some home cooking could help Stuart.
The Michigan native, who finished T-5 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s inaugural year of 2019, missed the cut at his hometown event for the second straight year. It continued a miserable run for Stuart, who missed his 11th straight cut dating to May’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Stuard was 3 under for the tournament early in the second round when he made three straight bogeys and then the coup de grace: a triple-bogey eight at No. 14. At least it is a short trip home for the veteran pro, who will need a good finish next week at the Wyndham Championship in order to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 29: Joel Dahmen of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 29, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Dahmen missed his second straight cut, digging himself a big hole with an opening-round 77.
He ranked 147th in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 151St in SG: Approach the Green. It didn’t help that he was 4 for 10 in scrambling in the first round. Dahmen shot 70 in the second round but the damage was done. On the bright side, Dahmen announced this week that he and his wife are expecting a child. Congratulations, Joel!
Rickie Fowler puts on his cap as he walks off the 9th green during Round 1 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Thurs., July 28, 2022.
Fowler changed putters this week, returning to a Scotty Cameron model he’s used for more than eight years, but it didn’t prove to be a quick fix for his woes. Fowler lost nearly a full stroke to the field on the putting greens, ranking 120th in Strokes Gained: Putting on Friday and 101St for the week.
But the short stick wasn’t his only problem. He lost more than five strokes to the field in SG: Tee to Green and ranked 147th in that category. His iron play is going to need some work as he really struggled in SG: Approach the Green (151 out of 153 in the field). Fowler signed up for the Wyndham Championship to try to improve his chances of qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Cole Hammer tees off on the 12th hole during the Memorial Health Championship.
Cole Hammer’s impressive amateur career has helped earn him some sponsor’s exemptions since turning pro following his role in the University of Texas winning the men’s golf national championship in June.
But the play for pay ranks has been a tough go for the 22-year-old Hammer so far. Making his third PGA Tour start of the season, Hammer posted rounds of 75-76—151 at Detroit Golf Club. He’s failed to play the weekend on Tour: Travelers Championship, 3M Open and now the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Hammer did make the cut at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Memorial Health Championship, shooting a second-round 63 and finishing T-7, but it’s been a slow start for a golfer who first made waves on the PGA Tour when he qualified for the 2015 US Open at age 15.
Harris English tees off on the second hole during Round 1 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Thursday, July 28, 2022.
Harris English just hasn’t been himself since returning from hip surgery.
He missed the cut in his return at the Memorial in early June, then made three straight cuts with pedestrian finishes (a best of T-19 at the Travelers Championship), and now has missed two straight cuts.
At the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he shot a pair of 71s. English hit just six of 14 fairways in the first round, but doubled that total in the second round. He failed to take advantage, ranking 129th in proximity in the second round. English’s golf wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t good enough to earn weekend plans in the Motor City.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek