Hale Irwin shot his age – and was so frustrated afterward he might switch putters before playing again.
A little more than a week before his 67th birthday, Irwin shot a 5-under 66 on Friday in the second round of the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Mich. He trailed leaders Roger Chapman and John Cook by two strokes, but Irwin wasn’t the least bit satisfied with his work on the greens.
“I know the greens are difficult, but some of the putts I missed today are not that difficult,” Irwin said. “So I’m a little discouraged with that to the point where I might even change to another putter (today) that’s similar, but a different putter. I can’t putt any worse.”
Cook also had a 66 to match Chapman at 7 under after a more forgiving day at Harbor Shores. Chapman had a 67.
Michael Allen broke the course record with a 64, recovering nicely from a first-round 77. But Irwin was the focus afterward. He even arrived for his post-round news conference while Cook was still finishing his.
“When you can shoot your age in a major championship, they ought to give you bonus points,” Cook said. “Lift, clean and throw or something – for the rest of the week.”
Starting his round on the back nine, Irwin birdied four of his first six holes. He went on to add birdies on Nos. 2 and 5. Most of Irwin’s birdies came on short putts from about 5 feet and in. The par-5 fifth was the exception.
“A long putt there – made one of about 12 feet,” Irwin said. “Really a big putt, in case you can’t see the cynicism in my comments.”
Irwin has won this major championship four times, although not since 2004.
DUFNER REMAINS HOT AT COLONIAL
Jason Dufner moved into position for his second straight victory and third in five weeks, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead in the Colonial at Fort Worth, Texas.
The Byron Nelson Championship winner last week, Dufner had an 11-under 129 total at Hogan’s Alley. First-round leader Zach Johnson was second after a 67, and Bo Van Pelt and Tommy Gainey were third at 7 under. Van Pelt had a 64, and Gainey shot 67.
Puyallup’s Ryan Moore followed Thursday’s 67 with a 69 Friday and was seven strokes back at 4 under. Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley missed the cut at 6-over par.
Defending champion David Toms also missed the cut, shooting 74-71.
MCILROY COULD LOSE WORLD RANKING
England’s James Morrison shot an 8-under 64 to take a four-stroke lead in the BMW PGA Championship at Virginia Water, England, while Rory McIlroy had a 79 to miss the cut and leave himself in danger of losing the top spot in the world ranking to No. 2 Luke Donald.
Morrison had a 12-under 132 total on Wentworth’s West Course in the European Tour’s flagship event. Donald, the defending champion, was tied for second with David Drysdale. Donald had a 68, and Drysdale shot 70. Donald must finish solo eighth or better to reclaim the No. 1 position.