The golf world has been left in disbelief after three of the world’s top four players failed to make the cut at the PGA Championship.
Dustin Johnson has become the first World No.1 to miss consecutive major cuts since Aussie great Greg Norman 24 years ago.
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Johnson missed the cut by one stroke at the PGA Championship on Friday, firing a second-round 74 to go with 76 in the opening round.
He also missed the cut at last month’s Masters while defending the green jacket he won last November.
It marks the first time a World No.1 has missed back-to-back cuts at major events since Norman in 1997 at the Masters and US Open.
Johnson declined to speak to reporters about missing the weekend at the first two majors for the first time in his career.
World No.2 Justin Thomas, who could have overtaken Johnson in the rankings with a win, instead matched him a shot outside the cut line by shooting back-to-back 75s.
And fourth-ranked Xander Schauffele also missed by a shot, making bogey on the 18th hole for a 77.
Fans were left in disbelief over the absurd turn of events, with some calling Friday’s drama “insane” and “unbelievable”.
Phil Mickelson winds back the clock to lead
Meanwhile, veteran American Phil Mickelson sent roars around Kiawah Island with a vintage display on Friday.
Mickelson, a five-time major winner who last won the PGA Championship in 2005, surged home with five birdies in his last eight holes for a three-under 69.
It put the 50-year-old five-under for the championship, good enough to share the lead with 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.
Mickelson is looking to become the oldest player to win a major, besting Julius Boros who won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48.
“Right now there’s a lot of work to do … But the fact is I’m heading into the weekend with an opportunity and I’m playing really well and I’m having a lot of fun doing it,” Mickelson said.
South African Oosthuizen was one clear of his American rival for much of the late afternoon until a final-hole bogey left him on 68 and share of top spot.
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka also found his way to six-under during the afternoon thanks mainly to two stunning eagles.
However bogeys in two of his last four holes saw him card a 71 and sit third at four-under, just one back.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is chasing the rare feat of winning back-to-back majors to start the year – not done since Jordan Spieth won the Masters and US Open in 2015.
The Japanese star shot 68 to get to three-under where he was joined by South African pair Branden Grace (71) and Christiaan Bezuidenhout (70).
Aussies struggle in brutal second round
The Australian tilt took a huge body blow after round one pace-setter Cameron Davis imploded, his 78 leaving him three-over.
Cameron Smith shot 73 to sit at one-over for the tournament, six adrift of the lead as the best Australian.
Former World No.1 Jason Day looked almost certain to miss the cut, and the chance to earn a US Open berth, after a 75 left him five-over.
But high winds destroyed the afternoon wave and the cut line moved three-shots from when he signed his card to earn him a reprieve.
Lucas Herbert (72) Jason Scrivener (75) and Matt Jones (75) are four-over.
Two of Australia’s biggest names – Adam Scott (72) and Marc Leishman (76) – missed the cut by a shot with Leishman lamenting a double bogey, bogey finish.
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