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Ailing Gary Woodland shoots second straight 74 to drop to 8-over at 2020 U.S. Open

Gary Woodland, of the United States, lines up a putt on the first green during the first round of the US Open Golf Championship, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Gary Woodland, of the United States, lines up a putt on the first green during the first round of the US Open Golf Championship, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) by Matt Tait

Defending U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland followed up Thursday's 4-over 74 with another 74 on Friday to fall to 8-over for the tournament after two days.

Woodland finished Round 2 two shots off of the cut line and will not be around Winged Foot to defend his title in Rounds 3 and 4 this weekend.

The former KU All-American opened Friday's round with a double bogey and never got on track from there, recording five bogeys and three birdies the rest of the way.

Woodland started Friday's round on hole No. 10 and shot 39 on the first nine and an even-par 35 on the second nine.

In an interview with the Associated Press after his round, Woodland revealed that he has been dealing with a torn labrum in his left hip for the past several weeks.

“I’ve got a lot of pain in there, and I’ve been fighting through it,” Woodland told the AP. “But it gets to a point where you’re playing against the best players in the world. You just can’t play with pain. I’ve played with pain my whole life, but it’s getting a little tough.”

Woodland said Friday that he has had labrum issues for a while and always treated them with injections. Thursday was the first time he played 18 holes since the final round at Olympia Fields three weeks ago.

“My coaches didn’t want me to play today,” Woodland told the AP Friday. “But this meant a lot to me. My game was in a good spot. It would have been different if I wasn’t played well. But physically, I could do it. And it’s frustrating.”

Woodland said he may see a specialist on Monday.

“I’ve got to get healthy,” he noted. “Maybe I’ll call Brooks (Koepka). He’s dealing with the same (stuff). Maybe we can fix it together.”

After a strong return to play in June that included a pair of top-10 finishes, Woodland has not cracked the top 30 at an event since July and appears to be on his way to being cut for the second time in his last three tournaments.

The Topeka native entered the week ranked No. 26 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Fellow former-Jayhawk Ryan Vermeer, who works as the PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Neb., shot an 8-over 78 during Thursday's opening round and a 7-over 77 on Friday and was also cut.

Patrick Reed (-4) takes a one-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau (-3) into Saturday's third round.

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Gary Woodland opens title defense with a 4-over 74 in Round 1 of 2020 U.S. Open

Gary Woodland, of the United States, lines up a putt on the first green during the first round of the US Open Golf Championship, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Gary Woodland, of the United States, lines up a putt on the first green during the first round of the US Open Golf Championship, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) by Matt Tait

Former University of Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland opened defense of his 2019 U.S. Open title on Thursday with a 4-over 74 at the Winged Foot West course in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Woodland finished the day in a tie for 92nd and will have some work to do on Friday to make the cut to stick around for the weekend.

His U.S. Open victory in June of 2019 made Woodland the first Jayhawk to win one of golf’s major championships, and he began Thursday poised to challenge for another.

He birdied two of the first three holes and shot a 1-under 34 on the front nine before making the turn.

The back nine was not so kind. Woodland shot a 5-over 40 on the back nine and carded two double bogeys and two bogeys to go along with one birdie.

The birdie, a 3 at the par-4 16th hole, pulled him to 2-over for the day, but he doubled 18 to fall back to 4-over.

He trails leader Justin Thomas by nine strokes heading into Friday's second round and will tee off on hole No. 10 at 6:45 a.m. Friday.

Thomas took advantage of a surprising soft and gentle Thursday morning with a 5-under 65, the lowest score in six U.S. Opens on this tough Tillinghast design.

All that got him was a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Matthew Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian making his U.S. Open debut.

Rory McIlroy was among those two shots behind on a scoreboard filled with red numbers, an unusual site at a Winged Foot course that has never yielded so many rounds under par — 21 — in the opening round of a U.S. Open.

“It’s helpful with three days left, but it’s not even remotely close to being over,” Thomas said of his best start in a U.S Open or any major. “As great of a round and fun as it was, it’s over with now, and I need to get over it.”

Thomas went into the week saying it was a “different kind of fun” to grind over pars, to hit middle irons to difficult pins instead of the low scoring at so many other tournaments.

And then he delivered six birdies in the opening round, finishing with a 25-footer on the 18th on a putt he barely moved to get it started down one of the many wicked slopes on Winged Foot’s greens.

“Yeah, 65 is fun no matter where you play, especially at Winged Foot,” Thomas said. “I was in a really good frame of mind, and I was focused. I just was sticking to my routine and playing every shot, as opposed to getting ahead of myself. It’s one of those rounds where ... next thing you know, you make the putt on 18, you’re done for the day.”

He played with Masters champion Tiger Woods and PGA champion Collin Morikawa, who couldn’t get done fast enough.

Woods was in five bunkers through five holes and then appeared to steady himself with three straight birdies around the turn to get under par, but only briefly. He made three bogeys coming in, still had a chance to post a reasonable score and then let it get away.

From short of the steep shelf fronting the 18th green, he flubbed a flop shot, pitched the next one about 8 feet beyond the pin and missed the putt to take double bogey for a73.

“I did not finish off the round like I needed to,” Woods said, a feeling he conveyed five more times out of the six questions he faced after his round.

Neither did Morikawa, who shot 40 on the back nine for a 76.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Woodland’s 2-under in final round lands him tied for 33rd at BMW Championship

Gary Woodland tees on on the 10th hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Gary Woodland tees on on the 10th hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) by Matt Tait

At an event full of rounds over par, former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday to finish tied for 33rd at the BMW Championship in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Sunday’s round was Woodland’s only sub-70 round of the tournament and he finished at 7-over for the event after shooting rounds of 75-70-74-68.

After recording three birdies and a bogey on Sunday’s front nine, Woodland birdied two of his final six holes to deliver his best round of the week.

Woodland’s top-40 finish marked his best result since placing 22nd at the Memorial in mid-July.

Jon Rahm defeated Dustin Johnson on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the BMW Championship. The two finished tied at 4-under after 72 holes.

Just two events remain before Woodland heads to upstate New York to defend his title at the pandemic-delayed U.S. Open, which is slated to begin Sept. 17 at Winged Foot Golf Course.

Originally scheduled for June 18, — roughly one year after Woodland became the first former Jayhawk to win one of golf’s majors — the event was pushed back because of COVID-19 and will now be the second of three majors played this season.

The PGA Championship is already in the past and The Masters, in Augusta, Ga., has been rescheduled for mid-November.

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Gary Woodland misses the cut at the Northern Trust golf tournament

Gary Woodland hits from a bunker on the 15th fairway in the first round of the Northern Trust golf tournament at TPC Boston, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Norton, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Gary Woodland hits from a bunker on the 15th fairway in the first round of the Northern Trust golf tournament at TPC Boston, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Norton, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) by Matt Tait

Former University of Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland shot a 2-over 73 on Friday and missed the cut at the Northern Trust golf tournament in Norton, Mass.

Woodland, who shot a 2-under 69 in Thursday’s opening round, positioned himself on the cut line — at 3-under — midway through Friday’s round.

But two double bogeys and three more bogeys on the day proved to be too much to overcome.

Woodland, who took last week off, after finishing tied for 58th at the PGA Championship earlier this month, will now turn his attention to the PGA Tour’s next stop, the BMW Championship in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Just three events remain before Woodland heads to upstate New York to defend his title at the pandemic-delayed U.S. Open, which is slated to begin Sept. 17 at Winged Foot Golf Course.

Originally scheduled for June 18-21, — roughly one year after Woodland became the first former Jayhawk to win one of golf’s majors — the event was pushed back because of COVID-19 and will now be the second of three majors played this season.

The PGA Championship is already in the books and The Masters, in Augusta, Ga., has been rescheduled for mid-November. There will be no British Open in 2020.

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Former KU golfer Gary Woodland sits at even par after 2 rounds in Memphis

Scorekeepers wait for golfers on the seventh hole during the first round of the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Scorekeepers wait for golfers on the seventh hole during the first round of the World Golf Championship-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) by Matt Tait

Former University of Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland shot a 1-under par 69 at the St. Jude Invitational on Friday to move up three spots into a tie for 43rd.

After shooting a 1-over 71 on Thursday, Woodland is now even for the tournament.

Woodland made the turn on Friday at one under after carding three birdies and a pair of bogeys on the front nine.

Things got pretty vanilla from there, with Woodland parring seven consecutive holes on the back nine until bogeying No. 17.

That moved Woodland to even for the day and 1-over for the tournament, but the Topeka native got the stroke right back at the last hole of the day by draining a 13-foot birdie putt at No. 18.

Woodland is one of six golfers sitting at even par after two rounds at TPC Southwind. He’ll start Round 3 at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and will open the day 10 strokes behind leader Brendon Todd, who shot 64-65 during the opening two rounds in Memphis.

Todd leads Rickie Fowler by two strokes and a trio of golfers tied for third by four strokes.

While Woodland will have to go low during the next two days to play himself into contention for this week’s PGA Championship tune-up, he sits just three strokes back of working his way into the Top 20 heading into Saturday.

In other golf news Friday....

• Former KU golfer Daniel Sutton moved to even par for the tournament with a 1-over 71 at the Pinnacle Bank Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in Omaha, Neb.

Sutton, a native of England who played his final two years of college golf at KU, earned a Top 5 finish on the Korn Ferry Tour last week in Springfield, Mo.

He enters Saturday tied for 41st place, eight shots off the lead.

• Kansas women’s golf senior Sera Tadokoro qualified for the 2020 United States Golf Association (USGA) U.S. Women’s Amateur tournament slated for August 3-9 at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.

Tadokoro earned her spot after four top-five finishes this summer, including a victory at the Kansas City Women’s Match Play Championship June 2-4 at Swope Memorial Golf Course.

“It means a lot to me because this tournament is the biggest amateur tournament in the United States,” Tadokoro said. “I am just so excited to play and I am so grateful for this opportunity. There will be great competition with all the great players participating. I have been playing as many tournaments as I can during this time because I just want to keep myself in the game.”

Added KU coach Erin O'Neil: “We are very excited that Sera has been invited to compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur. It’s a tremendous honor and opportunity for her to play against the best in the world, and to gain invaluable experience that will make her even better as a player.”

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Former KU golfer Chris Thompson shoots 3-under in Round 1 on Korn Ferry Tour

Chris Thompson lines up a putts on the 12th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Chris Thompson lines up a putts on the 12th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman) by David Goldman

Former University of Kansas golfer Chris Thompson shot a 3-under-par 69 during Thursday's first round of the Korn Ferry Tour's Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo.

Thompson was tied for 23rd at the completion of his round, with several other golfers still on the course.

Thompson, who recently completed his first full season on the PGA Tour in 2018-19, made his way into this week's field of golf's top mini-tour by finishing in the top three at a Monday qualifier in Springfield.

He carried over that momentum into Round 1, birdieing two of the first three holes he played on Thursday to shoot 34 on his first nine. Thompson started his round on the course's back nine.

He temporarily moved to 4-under for the day with an eagle at No. 1 (his 10th hole of the day), but carded two more bogeys and one more birdie the rest of the round to finish at -3.

Thompson will look to keep his run going in Round 2 on Friday. He'll need to finish in the Top 25 to advance to next week.

Gary Woodland, another former KU golf standout and the reigning U.S. Open champion, is not in this week's field at the 3M Open on the PGA Tour.

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Gary Woodland’s rough day leaves him tied for 12th entering Sunday’s final round at the Memorial

Gary Woodland hits from a bunker toward the first green during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament, Saturday, July 18, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio.

Gary Woodland hits from a bunker toward the first green during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament, Saturday, July 18, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio. by AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland suffered a bogey-filled day and shot a 4-over-par 76 at Saturday’s third round of the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.

Woodland dropped eight spots in the standings and remains tied for 12th but sits 10 strokes back of leader Jon Rahm heading into Sunday’s final round.

Woodland shot 68 and 70 in Rounds 1 and 2 to put himself in contention heading into Saturday, but he lost ground on the leaders throughout the day.

The warning signs of a rough round surfaced early. The Topeka native carded three bogeys in his first six holes before recording his first and only birdie of the day at No. 7. Woodland followed that up with a bogey at No. 8 and another at No. 10 and never made up ground after that.

Woodland parred the final eight holes of his third round to give him 12 pars, five bogeys and one birdie for the day.

Despite the rough round, Woodland remains in contention for a Top 10 or even a Top 5 finish. He finished tied for fifth on the same course last week at the Workday Charity Open and is three strokes back of two golfers at 5-under heading into Sunday.

Three golfers will enter the final round at Muirfield Village Golf Course at 3-under for the tournament and tied for ninth, just one stroke ahead of Woodland and five others tied for 12th at 2-under.

Rahm, meanwhile, shot the best score of Round 3 (-4) and was one of just 20 golfers under par during Saturday’s round. He will take a four-stroke lead over Ryan Palmer and Tony Finau into Sunday.

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Gary Woodland firmly in contention after two rounds at the Memorial

Gary Woodland hits from the 18th tee during the second round of the Memorial golf tournament, Friday, July 17, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio.

Gary Woodland hits from the 18th tee during the second round of the Memorial golf tournament, Friday, July 17, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio. by AP Photo/Darron Cummings

One week after fighting to make the cut on the same golf course, former KU golfer Gary Woodland has put himself firmly in contention this time out.

Woodland followed a strong Thursday at Muirfield Village Golf Course with a 2-under par 70 on Friday to move to 6-under and in fourth place at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, at the time his round ended late Friday morning.

After recording his only bogey of the day on No. 18 on Thursday, Woodland opened Round 2 with a bogey on his first hole on Friday. But he did not let that derail his round, responding with four birdies in his next five holes to move back to the top of the leaderboard.

After making the turn from the back nine to the front, Woodland bogeyed the first two holes of his second nine on Friday but got both strokes back three holes later with birides at No. 4 and No. 5 and was again on top of the leaderboard at 7-under.

Woodland bogeyed his final hole on Friday to fall to 6-under for the tournament. The former Jayhawk was two shots back of three players in a tie for first at the completion of his round.

Despite playing the same course for the second week in a row, Woodland said the weather conditions and the way the course was set up for the star-studded Memorial field made this week seem completely different from last week.

“Obviously we’re at the same venue,” Woodland said Thursday in a post-round interview with PGATour.com. “It’s a different golf course, though. … more typical of a major championship.”

After barely advancing to the weekend seven days ago, the reigning U.S. Open champion finished tied for fifth last week and is in position to challenge for another Top 5 finish this weekend.

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Gary Woodland roars to strong start at PGA Tour’s Memorial

Gary Woodland hits from the 13th fairway during the first round of the Memorial golf tournament, Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Gary Woodland hits from the 13th fairway during the first round of the Memorial golf tournament, Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) by Matt Tait

Former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland finished Round 1 at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, in roughly the same place he finished Round 4 at least week’s PGA Tour event at Muirfield Village Golf Course — near the top.

Woodland, who finished tied for fifth at last week’s Workday Charity Open on the same course, fired a 4-under 68 on Thursday and sits in a tie for third place heading into Friday.

Woodland played 17 holes without a bogey on Thursday but took a 5 at the par-4 18th hole to record his only blemish of the day and fall out of a first-place tie.

After carding three straight pars to open his round, Woodland birdied five of the next eight holes to soar to the top of the leaderboard.

Woodland’s hot stretch included three consecutive birdies at Nos. 9, 10 and 11. From there, he recorded six pars in a row before the bogey at 18.

The field at this week’s Memorial, which features the return of Tiger Woods (-1, tied for 19th), has been called one of the strongest groups in the history of the event. Forty-eight of the Top 50 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field and the top nine golfers in the World Golf Rankings are playing, as well.

Tony Finau (-6) and Ryan Palmer (-5) sit just above Woodland in the standings heading into Round 2.

Finau recorded nine birdies on Thursday, including four in his final five holes, and Palmer’s round featured five birdies and no bogeys.

Woodland will tee off at 6:44 a.m. Friday and will start Round 2 on the back nine.

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Gary Woodland stays hot on Sunday, finishes tied for 5th at Workday Charity Open

Gary Woodland hits on the second hole during the final round of the Workday Charity Open golf tournament, Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio.

Gary Woodland hits on the second hole during the final round of the Workday Charity Open golf tournament, Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Dublin, Ohio. by AP Photo/Darron Cummings

On Friday, former University of Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland was in danger of missing the cut for a second consecutive tournament on the PGA Tour.

By early Sunday afternoon, Woodland was in the clubhouse with a Top 5 finish and one of the best weekends of his 2020 season.

Woodland followed up Saturday’s 66 in Round 3 at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio, by firing a 3-under 69 on Sunday to move to 12-under for the tournament and into a fifth-place tie.

Although Woodland’s opening-round 73 — during which he was 3-over par at one point — put him too far behind to seriously threaten for the title on Sunday, he did not let the status of the leaders impact his round and seemed to focus only on stringing together good hole after good hole.

After shooting 35 on the front nine, which ended with a bogey at No. 9, Woodland birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 14 to move to 4-under for the day and 13-under for the tournament.

He drained a 57-foot putt for birdie on No. 10 and chipped in from just off the green for birdie on No. 14.

At the time, he was still five strokes off the lead, and, because of the great golf played by Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa at the top of the leaderboard, he never got closer than that.

His bogey at the 18th hole was his only blemish on the back nine and left Woodland alone in fifth place with just six golfers still on the course, three of them already ahead of him in the standings.

Woodland carded five top fives in all of 2019, including a first-place finish at the U.S. Open — the first major championship won by a Jayhawk — and now has three official top fives in 2020.

This latest one came after Woodland took a week off following a missed cut at the Travelers Championship in late June.

It also marked the Topeka native’s best finish since the PGA Tour’s restart following golf’s shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Woodland finished ninth at the Charles Schwab Challenge in mid-June, which was the Tour’s first event of its restart.

Thomas, who bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18, and Morikawa both finished at -19 after 72 holes and needed a playoff to decide the champion. Morikawa took home the title on the third hole of the playoff.

Next week, the PGA Tour will stay in Dublin, Ohio, for the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course, where Tiger Woods reportedly will join the field.

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