Saturday, August 14, 2010


Simon Khan's late bogeys cost him joint leadership

England's Simon Khan, winner of one PGA title already this season, was the joint leader in another far, far bigger one in Wisconsin - until he bogeyed the last three holes of his second round at the USPGA Championship.
The 38-year-old had to cram 29 holes - more than any other player in contention - into a Friday that began with another long fog delay, so mental fatigue may well have had something to do with his disappointing finish on the demanding Whistling Straits course.
It handed Matt Kuchar a one-stroke overnight advantage over fellow American Nick Watney - and lifted 21-year-old Ulsterman Rory McIlroy up into a tie for third along with a group including Khan on five under par, three behind.
As for Tiger Woods, he had to wait until nearly 6pm to get back on the course and after three opening pars remained one under. He and 77 others will complete their rounds on Saturday morning local time - fog, of course, permitting.

Khan knew he was playing in the final major of the year only at the start of last week, but such short notice was never going to bother him - he was not in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May until just a few days before.

Victory for Khan would also catapult him into the frame for the unlikeliest of Ryder Cup debuts in October, so it could be a big weekend ahead for a man who feared for his future less than nine months ago.

It could be a great one too for McIlroy. Three over par after four holes of his first round on Thursday, he battled back for an opening 71 and then added a 68.

Compatriot Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, managed only a three over aggregate - 76 and 71 were his rounds - and his hopes of qualifying for the final two rounds were hanging by a thread.

For Justin Rose it looked even worse. Two 74s meant a four over total and, since he is not going back to Europe the next two weeks, it appears virtually certain he will now need one of Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie's three wild cards.

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