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1996 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP | NOTES

Misjudgment Day for Norman Has Him All Wet

August 10, 1996|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An unfunny thing happened to Greg Norman, who was on his way toward something big in the PGA Championship and instead put up a big number--as in a double-bogey six--on the 15th hole.

Norman wound up with a 72 and a 140 total, six shots off the pace, but he was tied for the lead at one point in the round, then knocked his six-iron second shot into the water at No. 15.

What went wrong?

"I misjudged the wind, I misjudged the club and I mis-hit it," Norman said. "I just misjudged everything. I did three things wrong on one shot."

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The cut at one-over-par 145 claimed a number of big names, among them Davis Love III, John Daly and Jack Nicklaus, who all missed by a shot.

Love birdied the closing hole Friday, but still didn't make it, mainly because he had bogeyed the 18th hole in the first round. Love also missed the cut at the British Open. The last time he missed the cut in consecutive majors was in 1988.

Daly's miss was his third consecutive in the PGA, which he won in 1991. He hasn't finished better than 51st since.

Nicklaus, who shot 77-69 on the course he designed, missed the cut for the sixth time in the last eight years.

Others missing the cut were Colin Montgomerie, Tom Kite, Craig Stadler, Scott Simpson, Loren Roberts, Bob Tway, Lanny Wadkins, Sam Torrance and Hal Sutton.

Larry Nelson, the 1981 and 1987 PGA champion, made it at 145, but withdrew because his father, Vernon, is seriously ill in Atlanta.

Peter Jacobsen withdrew because of a back injury.

The only club pro who made the cut is Stu Ingraham, 37, of Ardmore, Pa., at 145.

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History lesson: Fifty years ago at Portland Golf club, 34-year-old Ben Hogan won the PGA Championship, the first of his nine major titles and one of his 13 tournament victories in 1946.

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Journalism 101: Justin Leonard said he missed a two-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole, which prompted a brief exchange with reporter Walter Dierks of Vero Beach, Fla.

Question: "How can you miss a two-foot putt?"

Answer: "Have you ever misspelled anything?"

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