Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tournament Cut at Even Carries Drama for Some; U.S. Open Champ McIlroy Vows to Return after Third Players Miss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tournament Cut at Even Carries Drama for Some; U.S. Open Champ McIlroy Vows to Return after Third Players Miss

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

As soon as Graeme McDowell signed his scorecard, he looked at his watch and shook his head.

"I've got six hours of sweating ahead of me," he said.

Six hours later, he still had a 2 1/2-hour drive home.

McDowell played in the morning session at TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course. A 1-under-par 71 left him 1-over at the halfway point of The Players Championship - and perilously close to the cut line.

The afternoon session offered no reprise to those who had to stick around to know their fate.

The cut came at even par as expected, but not without some tense moments down the stretch.

Webb Simpson got to even-par for the tournament with an eagle-3 at No. 9, but a bogey at 16 and a double-bogey-5 at 17 sent him home early.

Louis Oosthuizen was safe at even-par coming to his final hole of the day when he hit it 54 yards over the green at No. 9. From there it took four more shots - one too many.

For others, the stretch drive worked in their favor. Heath Slocum was even walking up 18, not knowing if that was going to be good enough to make it. He hit his approach 15 feet away and made the putt to give himself a cushion at 1-under after 36 holes.

"Once I got my drive in the fairway, you're trying to make it," Slocum said. …

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