Just as it looked like Robert Allenby was set to turn his wretched year around, he’s missed another cut.
Entering the second round of the US PGA Tour’s event in Virginia just four shots off the lead, the Australian carded a four-over 75 on Friday to drop back to even-par overall and ensure he won’t be around for the weekend.
The cut score was two-under, with Steven Bowditch (68) at six-under – five shots behind leader Ryo Ishikawa – and Aaron Baddeley (68) at five-under the only Aussies to sit north of the line.
It was the 11th cut Allenby has missed this year – along with three withdrawals – as the 44-year-old struggles to retain his tour card.
Five bogeys and a double bogey blighted his scorecard a week after his caddie walked off the course midway through the first round at the Canadian Open after an expletive-filled exchange, he finished with an 81 and pulled out to return home to Florida.
At the top of the leaderboard, Japan’s Ishikawa birdied the last three holes to grab a one-stroke advantage while long-struggling Tiger Woods roared into contention.
Ishikawa had four birdies and four bogeys in the first 13 holes but closed with authority to post a three-under 68 and stand on 11-under.
He’s one stroke ahead of Americans Rickie Fowler and Kevin Chappell and two better than Sweden’s David Lingmerth.
“I’m looking forward to the next two days,” said Ishikawa, seeking his first US PGA win in his 116th start. “I’m not sure what the victory number will be. My goal this weekend is 15, 16-under.”
Tournament host Woods, a 14-time major champion on a two-year win drought due to injuries and swing changes, fired a 66 to stand in a pack of nine players sharing fifth on 134.
“I’m in a good spot,” Woods said. “I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’m looking forward to getting after it.”
Ishikawa, who made his first US hole-in-one in shooting a 63 on Thursday, nearly added another at the par-3 16th, his 9-iron from 15 yards landing two inches from the cup.
Fowler, coming off wins at the Players Championship in May and the Scottish Open three weeks ago, welcomes Woods being in contention.
“It’s great to see him back on the front page of the leaderboard,” Fowler said. “Sounds like he has started to feel better about his game and felt good out there. Hopefully he can get out there and get it going and we’ll have some fun over the weekend.”
The group on 134 includes Woods, fellow Americans Pat Perez, Charles Howell, Brice Garnett, Jason Bohn and Jimmy Walker plus New Zealand’s David Lee, England’s Greg Owen and South Korean Kim Whee.
Australians Cameron Percy (73) and John Senden (71) also missed the cut.