For younger fans of golf who only know Tiger Woods for his infidelity and frequent surgeries, what’s going on in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend is the closest the world of golf has been to Tiger-mania in about a decade.
On a day when the legendary Jack Nickalus said McIlroy could win 15-20 Majors, the 25-year-old Northern Irishman moved into position to win his fourth, firing a 4-under 67 to take over first place at the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
McIlroy was 2-under entering the final hole, and smacked an eagle 3 on No. 18 leaving his gallery roaring in approval.
He had to stay hot to stay ahead of Australia’s Jason Day, who recorded Day 2’s lowest round, a 6-under 65 that has him tied for second at 8-under with American Jim Furyk,
Day was nearly perfect, his only blemish a bogey on No. 15. Otherwise he compiled five birdies and one eagle on the day.
A pair of Americans – Ryan Palmer and Rickie Fowler – and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen are tied for fourth at 7-under. Fowler sizzled his way to a 5-under 66.
At 6-back are Bernd Wiseberger and Phil Mickelson, who shot a 4-under 67 to stay in contention. Like McIlroy, Mickleson hit an eagle on No. 18.
The cut was set at 1-over, with the biggest names missing it being US Open champion Martin Kaymer (+2), 2013 PGA Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth (+6) and Woods, (+6). Woods had two birdies, three bogeys and two double bogeys in Round 2.
This is the second time in four years that Woods has missed the cut at the PGA Championship.
Between 1997 and mid-2008, Woods played 46 straight Majors and missed just one cut, winning 14 titles.
Since mid-2008, Woods has played in 20 Majors, but missed six others due to injury or time off. On the 20 he’s played in, he’s missed three cuts and won zero titles.