PGA NOTEBOOK From Whistling Straits
Missed opportunity: Jerry Kelly walked off his final green Friday and started applauding the gallery, tapping his heart to show his Wisconsin fans how much their support meant to him. Kelly wanted to return the favor by playing some good golf, but rounds of 76-77 sent him home for the weekend, the first cut he has missed all year. "And it's the one I didn't want to miss the most," he said. It couldn't have come at a worse time -- not just because the PGA Championship was played in Wisconsin for the first time since 1933, but it was his last chance to earn Ryder Cup points. Kelly is 11th in the standings, and needed them. Asked about the depth of his disappointment, he looked over his shoulder at the blue waters that hug Whistling Straits. "I know it's Lake Michigan, but it's an ocean," he said. Kelly said he would watch the final two rounds at home on television. After that, he has no choice but to wait for a phone call from Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton. "Hal knows what I can do," Kelly said. "He knows that you put me head-to-head, I'll give everything I have and more. Unfortunately, this is a glaring point." Kelly said the pressure of the week -- trying to get in the top 10, playing the final major in his home state -- wasn't a factor. He figured it would carry him this week. But he said his swing got out of kilter practicing in the strong wind earlier in the week, and sometimes that causes him to make adjustments by sliding through the ball. "I hit it awful," he said. "I felt like things were coming together, but I just plain played poorly. I thought it was going to shape up as a pretty good week, and my game didn't show up." Whether he shows up at the Ryder Cup depends on the phone call he gets Sunday night.
Daly doomed: An opening-round 81 left John Daly too far back to make the cut, and almost ended his hopes of making the Ryder Cup team. At 20th in the standings, he probably needed to play his way onto the team. Sutton has dropped subtle hints that Daly would not be a captain's pick, even though the two-time major winner is among the most popular attractions in golf. Friday was another of example of why Daly can leave his phone off the hook Sunday. "Right now, if anybody picks John Daly, it would likely be because you want to see John Daly out there, and you want to spike the crowd," Sutton said.
Faldo in the red: Six-time major winner Nick Faldo found himself on the leaderboard Friday, 5 under for the round and the tournament and only three shots out of the lead. But he bogeyed the last three holes for a 72, leaving him at 2-under 142. The 47-year-old Englishman harbors no illusions. He is in the twilight of his career, playing fewer tournaments and spending more time with his family, golf course design and his junior golf program. "I have three years of easy golf, as I call it, and maybe get myself ready for the Champions Tour," Faldo said. His goal for the week is to finish in the top 15.
Life of Riley: Chris Riley was ninth in the Ryder Cup standings when the season started, but after a playoff loss at Torrey Pines in February, he hasn't had a top-10 finish and has tumbled to 18th and needs to finish at least seventh this week to have any chance. Even if he does make the team, Riley might have a tough decision. His wife, Michelle, is expecting their first child Sept. 17, the day the matches begin. "It's a hard deal," Riley said. "I really don't want to miss the birth of my first child. It would be a good problem to have if I pull it out this weekend. I just want to have a chance on Sunday to make it." Riley had a 70 on Friday and was among those at 5-under 139.
Aces up: For the second day in a row, aces were up at Whistling Straits. Robert Gamez made a hole-in-one on the 17th, hitting a 5-iron from 228 yards that landed short and curled in the side. The previous day, Hale Irwin made an ace on No. 7. It was only the ninth time since 1970 that multiple players had an ace in the PGA Championship.
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