GULLANE, SCOTLAND Shades of Rod Pampling. First-round co-leader Nick Job, an Englishman with four European Seniors Tour wins to his credit, turned his wedges into a shovel and scythe this afternoon and shot a second-round 85 at the Senior British Open. Like Pampling, who led after one round of the 1999 British Open before shooting a second-round 86, Job missed the cut.
"The situation of only one semi-cut is stupid and over the top," Job said after his round, referring to the Muirfield mowing scheme of short rough that turns abruptly to knee-deep hay. "It's too demanding, really. The fairways are narrow in the best of times."
Many in the 144-man field probably agreed, as brisk winds helped 34 players shoot 80 or higher and pushed the cut line to 9-over par. But neither rough nor wind had anything to do with Job's miseries on the par-3 13th, where he needed six strokes to escape a greenside bunker including two unplayable-lie drops on his way to a sextuple-bogey 9.
"My ball plugged in the bunker twice, and I took a drop," said Job, who played a few mini-tour events against younger competition in the U.S. last winter. His career achievements include a ranking of 26th on the 1981 European Tour money list, a fifth-place finish on last year's European Seniors Order of Merit, and a win at this year's Gloria Classic.
None of that helped at Muirfield. "It's a great golf course," a deflated Job said on his way to the locker room. "But over the top." By the way, it's pronounced job, as in employment. Not jobe, like the Bible figure.