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Gillis makes Champions cut after flying home, opts to WD

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Cut sweats are few and far between on the PGA Tour Champions, but Tom Gillis ended up on the right side of one this week at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Unfortunately for Gillis, he didn't come to that realization until after boarding a plane and flying home.

Gillis shot 9 over for 36 holes in difficult conditions at Oak Hill, and when he walked off the course Friday afternoon that total left him three shots off the projected cut line at the over-50 major. So he packed up his things, headed to the airport and flew from Rochester to his home in Michigan.

Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

As Gillis told the Detroit News, he realized once he landed in Detroit that the cut line had actually ballooned to 9 over, meaning he had made it on the number. Faced with a choice of withdrawing or hopping back on a plane and returning for two more rounds in upstate New York, Gillis decided to stay in Michigan to celebrate Memorial Day with family at his lakeside home.

"I wasn't going back," Gillis said. "It was more about spending the weekend with family."

Gillis, 50, never won during a lengthy PGA Tour career but did have a pair of notable runner-up finishes: he was second at the 2012 Honda Classic behind Rory McIlroy, and he lost a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the 2015 John Deere Classic. 

Gillis received unofficial, last-place money for his Oak Hill withdrawal. He has made six starts this year on PGA Tour Champions, withdrawing three times and topping out with a T-21 finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic.