Mayfair came off the golf course Friday after a second straight round of 69 in the PGA Championship and revealed his mother suffered a stroke and a heart attack two days earlier. She was in intensive care in Phoenix.
'I've talked to the doctors and there's not much I can do right now,' Mayfair said. 'Shoot low scores here, and that will make her feel better.'
Mayfair is doing his part.
He started the second round on the 10th hole and birdied Nos. 15 and 16, but bogeys on the next two holes put him even through nine. Three birdies on his back nine put him at 3-under for the day, 6-under for the tournament, two off the lead, and gave him 'a great chance going into the weekend.'
Fans have cheered him on all week.
'The fans here in Chicago have always been the greatest to me,' said Mayfair, whose best finish at a major is a tie for third at the 2001 British Open.
It wasn't long ago that Vijay Singh was a favorite whenever he teed it up. He was winning tournaments, and adding majors at a respectable clip.
Singh shot a 72 on Friday for a 1-over 145 total that wasn't good enough to make the even-par cut in the PGA Championship. It was the second straight missed cut in a major for Singh, who also failed to play on the weekend at the British Open. He had not missed back-to-back cuts in majors since the 1994 PGA and 1995 Masters.
Hurt by a balky putter, Singh is having his worst season since he was winless in 2001. His only win this year is the Barclays Classic.
Colin Montgomerie (4-over), who tied for second at the U.S. Open with Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, also missed the cut, as did David Duval (1-over), Justin Leonard (2-over), Paul Azinger (3-over), Fred Couples (3-over), Nick Price (4-over) and Tom Lehman (4-over).
SWEET HOME, CHICAGO
David Toms is getting a little inside information this week.
Toms' caddie, Scott Gneiser, is a member at Medinah Country Club. Well, actually, his wife is the member. Jane Gneiser's father is Chicago Blackhawks great Stan Mikita, and the family has belonged to Medinah for years.
Jane Gneiser is also the reigning club champion, a title she's won four times.
'I'm the spouse,' Gneiser said, laughing. 'And she lets me know it.'
Though Medinah's No. 3 course is pretty straightforward, Gneiser said he played it about 10 times this summer to get a better feel for it. Whatever he and Toms are doing, it's working.
Toms shot a 5-under 67 Friday. At 6-under for the tournament, the 2001 PGA champion was two strokes off the lead.
Knowing the course well should help on the tricky greens. But Gneiser said he misread a couple on the front nine Friday -- and Toms let him know it.
'He said, `That's good. Two missed reads on the first nine holes,'' Gneiser said, laughing again. 'That's OK. It keeps me sharp.'
Total prize money for this week's tournament will be $6.8 million, a $300,000 increase from last year. The winner gets $1.224 million.
The U.S. Open also went from $6.5 million to $6.8 million this year.
The richest major this year was the British Open at $7.35 million because of the strong exchange rate. The Masters was $7 million.
A ROUGH ENDING
Jerry Haas enjoyed playing in the same group as his older brother, Jay. Otherwise, he had two rough rounds on the course and was glad to be finished.
'I'm just a little bit out of my element,' said Jerry Haas, who shot 79 on Friday and was 9-over for the tournament. 'There is no question about that.'
Jerry Haas was 3-under for the day through six holes, but he bogeyed Nos. 7 and 8 and double-bogeyed the ninth. He bogeyed six holes on the back nine, including the final four.
'I had a couple of bad breaks out there today,' he said. 'I'd much rather enjoy the game. I'm just not good enough.'
It was the first time brothers were matched in the PGA Championship since Lanny and Bobby Wadkins in 1995. Jerry Haas, Wake Forest's golf coach, qualified for the PGA by finishing in the top 20 in the Club Pro Championship. Jay Haas, the reigning PGA Senior Champion, was 1-under through two rounds and made the cut for the weekend.