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Justin Rose, of England, watches his tee shot on the 10th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club on Friday in Pittsford, N.Y.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Justin Rose watched Adam Scott shoot 30 on his front nine Thursday, so he outdid his friend with a 29 on the back nine Friday at the PGA Championship.
Seems only appropriate for two guys born a couple of weeks apart who have followed similar paths ever since.
At the start of 2013, neither had a major title. Now both have the chance to become the third player in the last 15 years to win two in a season.
Scott, the Masters champion, headed into the weekend at 7 under, two strokes behind leader Jason Dufner. Rose, the U.S. Open champ, was 6 under.
"I was hungry before the Masters, and I might even have a bigger appetite after it," Scott said after a 68 on Friday. "It might be greedy, but I feel like this is my time to get everything I want out of my career, and I'm going to keep pushing until I do. My game is in great shape. I've got to take advantage of it. Otherwise, it's all a waste."
The refrain that now is their moment to shine became famous with these two when Rose revealed what Scott texted him after the Aussie won his first major title. "This is our time" proved prophetic once the Englishman went out and broke through in his next opportunity for his first major victory.
This week, Scott looked ready to contend again right from the start, shooting 65 on Thursday to share the lead after the first round. Rose wasn't as sharp early on and made the turn Friday at even par for the tournament.
Then the rain started clearing up and he started cranking out the birdies, six in all.
Rose has noticed how Scott ensures that his game peaks for the biggest four tournaments of the year. He believes he's starting to do that, too.
"I feel like my game suits the tougher golf courses," said Rose, who shot 66 in the second round after a 68 on Thursday.
Chip Sullivan improved on his first-round performance, a result that he credits to reverting to clubs that he knew.
The head professional at Hanging Rock Golf Club in Salem shot a 6-over par 76 - eight strokes better than the 84 he shot in the first round. He did it after chucking a new driver and 3-wood that he used in the first round, and went back to the equipment that helped him to qualify for the PGA Championship.
"It looked great on the range, but those [new] clubs ended up on the first day putting me in the left woods six times yesterday," said Sullivan, who finished 20-over par and missed the 36-hole cut. "It just killed me. I can't play out of the left side of the woods. I mean, anything that goes left, I'm in trouble."
Sullivan added that since the PGA club professionals championship, he has been trying to get rid of a fundamental flaw in his swing, but that secret was solved prior to this weekend.
McIlroy makes cut
PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Rory McIlroy already was 5 over for his round and appeared headed to another short week in a major. He finished with four birdies on the last eight holes, including a 40-foot putt from off the green, and achieved a first in his PGA Tour career.
He made his first cut at a tournament when he was the defending champion.
The sample size is small - this was only his fourth time as defending champ - but the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland was no less pleased. Considering the way his season has gone, he'll take even the most modest of victories.
"I'm obviously standing up pretty happy about the day," McIlroy said after rallying for a 71 to post two rounds at even-par 140. "Had a nice finish to the round. I was letting the round get away from me somewhat, but making four birdies on the last eight holes was nice to redeem the round a little bit and keep myself in the tournament."
Martin Kaymer of Germany reached No. 1 in the world in early 2011 and stayed there for eight weeks. He has won only one tournament since then, and he has yet to finish in the top 10 of a major since winning the PGA Championship in 2010 at Whistling Straits.
Kaymer resurfaced at Oak Hill with a pair of 68s, leaving only five shots out of the lead going into the weekend.
Getting to the top of the ranking came sooner than he expected, and Kaymer said he felt his game was still a work in progress.
"To be honest with you, when I became No. 1, it was a surprise," he said. "I was not playing like the best player on the planet. I didn't feel like the best player. And therefore, I needed to change a few things."
He tried to retool his swing, and even as he plunged in the ranking, he wasn't concerned. He just wanted to be a better player.
"If other people see you as being No. 1, but you don't see yourself as No. 1, how can you play like No. 1?" he said. "That's not possible. Therefore, I became a better player."
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