A cut above at 2012 US PGA Championship

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I have to admit, I expected to be beginning today’s short article expressing my woes that Luke Donald, current OWGR number one, was on a flight home after his pre-cut score of +6 ruled him out of competing for the second half of this year’s US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

At one stage last night, it was T65 up to +4 and that was it. Justin Rose had scraped through on that score, Lee Westwood was a half way around bang on that score and Luke was out of contention posting 150 for the first two days.

How shocked was I to find this morning, then, that the bar had dropped to +6 so that Luke had got through by the skin on his Srixon but a second round 77 by Westwood on top of a first round 75 saw him finish this Major +8 and two shots off the mark.

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How many Majors has Rory won? Win a signed t-shirt.

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Rory, erm, posing

To celebrate the start of the US PGA Championship, we’ve teamed up with EA Triple A to provide TWO LUCKY SPORTSVIBE READERS the chance to win an Oakley golf polo shirt signed by Rory McIlroy.

The task is simple; answer this ONE question: how many Major titles has Rory McIlroy won, prior to the US PGA Championship that he looks certain to qualify for the weekend sessions for after day two?

ONE quick question: what has happened to Luke Donald? The world number ONE looks unlikely to make the cut finishing +6 for the first two days, with the cut line projected at +4.

On the same note, Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose will only just get through if that’s the case as they have just about made the 148, +4 mark at the half way point. Lee Westwood, half way round his second punt, is also on the cut line, 9 shots off Carl Petterson, similarly half way through round two, but beginning his second day on the back nine.

Anyhoo, that’s a brief resume of UK Golf in the States as it stands. Back to this competition being hosted by sportsvibe.co.uk.

Tiger’s PGA Tour 13, on both Xbox 360 and PS3, is one of EA Sports best-selling games; featuring on the cover is the man who would be king, Rory McIlroy.

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RoMac is back with a -5 round 1 in US PGA

Rory in action - US PGA 2012

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Mm, Rory McIlroy – remember him?  The guy who burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, culminating with a sensational 8-shot victory at the US Open?  Well he’s doing it stateside again, with an exceptionally impressive first round in South Carolina on day one of the 2012 US PGA Championship.

The majors have not been the greatest of events for the Northern Irishman this year, it has to be said.  Fortieth has been his highest finish in Augusta back in April; he only just scraped into the top 100 at the defence of his US Open Championship title and mustered only 60th at the Royal & Ancient last month.

Yet whilst everyone over The Pond has been questioning his lack of podium finishes, he’s still in the top three of the OWGR and fifth in the Race to Dubai.  Okay, recent form hasn’t matched the start of the 2012 golf season on the European Tour.  The first four tourneys returned two seconds, a third and a fifth.

He’s had to wait a long time in between for another top five finish, just last week at Firestone in the Bridgestone Invitational; the Irish Open provided the only other top ten finish (European Tour) between that burst out of the blocks and last week’s seeming return to something like world-class form.

Although they are still playing at Kiawah Island, Rory’s first round 67 looks to have put him in prime position for at least mounting a challenge.  Indeed, only Carl Petterson, at time of writing, has shot below Rory’s tally, the Swede kicking off the last Major of the season with an opening 66, -6.

The Ocean Course has some exceedingly long holes, covering over seven and a half thousand yards in all; it has been these par 5s and long par 4s that Rory has handled with aplomb, three of his birdies coming on the par 5 16th and two 440-yard+ par fours, 6 and 10.

Factor in a clean round that saw not one single bogey and the only word to describe his aura at the end of the first round is “menacing”.

Will the number one spot swap hands again before the season is out?  On this form, you wouldn’t bet against it, would you?

TTFN, Thet Watson. xxx

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