Notes Hole Baffles Bryant Legends Miss Cut

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2006 Senior PGA ChampionshipEDMOND, Okla. -- Brad Bryant, tied with Gil Morgan for second place, has gone 7 under on Oak Tree's back nine through two rounds, but is 1 over on the front. He's struggled particularly on the 590-yard par-5 5th, bogeying the hole each day.
 
On No. 5, golfers must drive over a large oak tree -- the one used to design Oak Tree's famous logo. The green is reachable in two shots, but players must avoid sand and water that almost completely surround it.
 
'It's really not my favorite,' Bryant said.
 
On Thursday, Bryant said he chose the wrong club, hit into a bunker and then hit the ball over the green into another bunker en route to a bogey. On Friday, he decided to lay up with a 7-iron, but still ended up with another bogey.
 
'I think they ought to just destroy that hole,' Bryant said. 'I don't like that hole. It is OK, but they didn't ask me about it to start with. I like the rest of them pretty good, but I don't like that hole.'
 
Bryant fared much better on another par-5, the 528-yard No. 16. He hit an 3-wood off the tee and a 3-iron to within 18 feet of the hole before making an eagle putt. It was only the second eagle of the tournament by any golfer.
 
'Loren (Roberts) kind of chipped his ball right down my line, so I really knew the line of the putt and ... it was just a beautiful putt,' Bryant said. 'It just went right in the middle of the hole.'
 
GROUP SKIN:
For at least one hole Friday, two of the players on the leaderboard at the Senior PGA Championship wished they were playing in an event held during golf's so-called silly season.
 
The threesome of tournament leader Peter Jacobsen, second-place Gil Morgan and Bruce Fleisher all birdied the par-3 13th hole during the second round at Oak Tree Golf Club. That led Morgan and Jacobsen to wonder if there were such a thing as a 'group skin' -- a reference to the format used in the Skins Game when a golfer wins a hole.
 
'We'll maybe see it posted in the locker room tomorrow,' said Morgan, who shot a 1-under 70 and is at 6 under for the tournament. 'It would be great.'
 
Jacobsen and Morgan each hit a pitching wedge off the tee on the 171-yard 13th, with Jacobsen's shot ending up 2 feet from the hole -- located on the front of the green -- and Morgan's about 7 feet away. Fleisher's tee shot landed about 5 feet out.
 
'That was a scary pin,' said Jacobsen, whose 3-under 68 put him at 7 under.
 
UP AND DOWN:
Tom Watson recorded what he humorously called a 'no-brainer' birdie at No. 16 with an impressive up-and-down.
 
Watson's second shot -- a 4-wood out of the rough -- landed in a ravine, on the edge of a creek that runs along the hole's left fairway. Standing in the water and using a sand wedge, Watson chipped onto the tiered green to within about 25 feet, then rolled in the birdie putt over a hump in the green.
 
As the ball dropped in the hole, he raised his putter high with his left hand and pumped his right fist as the crowd roared. Watson said the chip onto the green 'wasn't that difficult a shot' but acknowledged it was crucial to his being able to salvage an even-par 71.
 
'I saved two shots there,' he said. 'That turned my round around.'
 
FOND MEMORIES:
Jay Overton was a little-known club pro from Palm Harbor, Fla., in 1988 when he stunned the golf world by entering the third round of the PGA Championship at Oak Tree at 8-under-par -- just one shot out of the lead -- and playing in the final group that Saturday with second-round leader Paul Azinger.
 
Overton's magic ride didn't last -- he closed with rounds of 76 and 74 and tied for 17th with an even-par 284, 12 shots behind the winner, Jeff Sluman.
 
Overton didn't fare as well in his return to Oak Tree for the Senior PGA Championship. His 77 on Friday left him at 15-over and far from the cut line.
 
'There were a couple of holes that they changed a little bit, some of the greens have been changed, but overall, it plays and looks and feels so much the same,' Overton said.
 
'I'm struggling a little bit. But you know what? To get back out here and see the guys and come back to Edmond, Oklahoma, it's just been a lot of fun.'
 
WITHDRAWALS:
Oklahoma's heat ended the tournaments of two players Friday, and two others also withdrew, dropping the field to 152 golfers.
 
Takashi Miyoshi of Japan, who shot an 81 on Thursday, withdrew due to heat exhaustion, and Jack Spradlin of Chula Vista, Texas, also cited the heat as the reason he withdrew after an opening-round 82.
 
Martin Gray of Scotland dropped out because of the flu and Bob Eastwood of Haltom City, Texas, did so because of a back injury.
 
DIVOTS:
Two legends that drew large galleries didn't make the cut. Lee Trevino finished at 11 over after a 74 on Friday, while 70-year-old Gary Player shot a 75 and closed at 10 over. Trevino said earlier in the week he planned to spend the weekend attending the NBA Western Conference finals to cheer on the Dallas Mavericks against the Phoenix Suns ... The last two Senior PGA champions are well off the pace. Defending champion Mike Reid is at even-par 142, seven shots back. Hale Irwin, the 2004 champ, is at 143.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Senior PGA Championship
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