Friends competing for Presidents Cup spot

Friends competing for Presidents Cup spot

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Lucas Glover is No. 10 in the Presidents Cup standings by a mere $43,861 over John Rollins, so after opening with a 70 in the PGA Championship, you would think he would have checked to see what Rollins shot.

“I didn’t have to,” Glover said. “I’m staying with him.”

Their wives became friends a few years ago. Glover and Rollins frequently play practice rounds and have dinner at least once a week. Rollins’ wife suggested a few months ago that they share a house at Southern Hills, not knowing they would be battling for what might be the final spot on the Presidents Cup team.

And it gets better. They played a practice round Wednesday with Stewart Cink, No. 9 in the standings but a little bit safer. Cink leads Glover by about $720,000.

Dollars are doubled in a Presidents Cup year, and the top 10 who earn a spot on the U.S. team will take shape over the weekend.

One thing appears certain – Glover is doing a much better job paying attention to the right stuff, mainly his golf.

He was consumed with making the Ryder Cup team last year, so much that he lost focus on his golf and didn’t earn any points over the final three months of qualifying.

“I’ve made the last five cuts in a row and I’ve been right around the top 10,” Glover said. “I’m playing well, and I’m trying to think only about the tournament. Last year, I had it (the standings) down to a science.”

One guy who likely won’t be on the team is Chris DiMarco, who holed the winning putt two years ago for captain Jack Nicklaus. DiMarco went an entire year without a top 10 on the PGA Tour, finally ending that drought when he tied for fourth last week at Firestone.

But he was out of gas at Southern Hills.

“This was my 10th tournament in 11 weeks,” DiMarco said after rounds of 79-73.

He tried to battle back with four birdies on his final seven holes, but a double bogey set him back. DiMarco said he wasn’t ready for the PGA Championship after a week that felt like a major at Firestone. And he wound up breaking one his rules of golf.

“Do not hit out of the rough more than one time on the same hole,” he said.

DiMarco is 25th in the standings, and he was still holding out hope.

“I know he was looking for me to do well,” he said of Nicklaus, who will make his two selections Monday. “You shouldn’t rely on one week. My game is getting back to what it should be. Hopefully, he remembers what happened last time.”

MAJOR PAY: Todd Hamilton was at 5 over for the tournament on the back nine when a cruel thought entered his mind. This could have been the first time since his 2004 British Open victory he failed to make a cut in any of the majors.

“It just popped into my head,” Hamilton said.

He made the cut at the Masters in 2005. He made the cut at Royal Liverpool in 2006. But he was 0-for-3 in playing the weekend in the majors this year, and he was close to going home with six holes to play.

He made all pars for a 72, putting him at 5-over 145.

“Like a grizzled veteran, I pulled through,” he quipped.

ADIOS, ARGENTINA: U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera bounced back nicely from his 81 with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars on his way to a 70. He still missed the cut, taking two other Argentines with him. Andres Romero finished his amazing summer with an 81-72, while Jose Coceres had a 77 to finish at 8-over 148.

Romero was playing for the eighth consecutive week, with the British Open and Bridgestone Invitational surprise additions. He’ll find out Monday if he gets another tournament on his schedule – the Presidents Cup.

He was 10th on the Presidents Cup standings for the International team, which is based on the world ranking. But with gradual reductions that take place each week, he was assured of dropping to No. 11 behind Nick O’Hern no matter what happens the rest of the week. His only hope is for Gary Player to make him a captain’s pick.

Being from Argentina might work in his favor, especially since it would give Cabrera a partner with whom he is comfortable.

“It is the decision of Gary Player,” Romero said. “I would like to play. But I didn’t play well this week, so I have to wait.”

Stephen Ames, who is trying to make the team with a big week at Southern Hills, said he expected Romero to be on the team.

“He’s proved himself as a performer to some extent,” Ames said. “If I was a captain, I would be picking him, without a doubt. Too good of a player to leave out.”

HALL OF FAME: With the induction ceremony being held only about a half-hour from the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, Scott Verplank had made plans to go watch Thurman Thomas enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame last weekend.

“I had my tickets and everything. I was all set up,” Verplank said.

Then he spoiled it all by getting into contention at the Bridgestone Invitational. Verplank had finished outside the top 50 the previous two years at the event, but was three shots off the lead entering the weekend.

“I actually played decent up there where I couldn’t make it,” Verplank said. “I told him, `Sorry. I usually don’t play any good here.”‘

Verplank said he didn’t expect Thomas, who also attended Oklahoma State, to be in attendance at the PGA Championship. But he thought another former Oklahoma State tailback and Hall of Famer might stop by.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Barry (Sanders) showed up. He’s a golf nut,” Verplank said.

MAJOR DEPARTURE: The PGA Championship typically groups the three major champions of the year, but only two of them will be playing on the weekend. Along with Cabrera, Masters champion Zach Johnson also missed the cut with rounds of 74-76.

Johnson said he would learn to say no to all the media obligations, and he did just that Friday, declining to stop for reporters.

British Open champion Padraig Harrington was the only player still alive, despite a 73 that left him at 2-over 142.

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