CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Trevor Immelman had his best round since he was fitted for his green jacket. It still wasn’t enough to get him to the weekend.
The struggles continued for the Masters champion who missed the cut Friday at the Wachovia Championship, failing to reach the third round in the two tournaments he’s played since his life-changing victory.
The South African shot a 1-over 73 — the first time he broke 75 since the third round of his victory at Augusta National.
Still, that left him at 148 for the tournament, four strokes below the cut line of 1-over. Playing the Quail Hollow Club course where two years ago he lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk, he missed the cut here for the first time since his first visit in 2003.
Immelman, who also was cut from last week’s Byron Nelson, earlier in the week admitted that the photo shoots, autographs, interviews and other distractions have affected his play.
After his round, he politely declined to discuss his play as he hustled out of the clubhouse to catch a flight.
“There’s not much to talk about, really,” Immelman said.
HART-WARMING: Dudley Hart is looking forward to a full weekend here, for reasons more important than golf.
Hart withdrew from the Wachovia last year shortly before doctors found a softball-sized tumor in his wife’s lung. The tour veteran didn’t play in any events the rest of the year, instead taking the time off to stay home with the couple’s 5-year-old triplets while she recovered.
Now, almost exactly one year after her health scare and the beneficiary of the tour’s new medical exceptions for family hardships, Hart is back playing again in Charlotte. He’s got a refreshed outlook and is contending for his second straight top 10 finish, shooting a 67 and moving three strokes behind second-round leader Jason Bohn.
“It puts things in perspective,” Hart said. “You know that playing a bad round of golf isn’t the worst thing in the world, even though you don’t like to do it. But there’s a lot worse things that can happen to you.”
FLESCH LIVES: Now this is how Steve Flesch wanted to finish his round: He birdied four consecutive holes late during a 68 that thrust him considerably up the leaderboard.
After his opening-round 71 landed him in a logjam of 26 players tied for 72nd place, Flesch moved safely away from the cut line and moved within six strokes of the lead.
The highlight of his round came on No. 6, his 16th hole of the round, where he sank a 50-yard chip shot. He also had birdies on Nos. 5, 7 and 8.
“I wish I could say something did change, but I just put myself underneath the hole a few more times, had a few more birdie opportunities and maybe was a little more focused today,” Flesch said. “Yesterday, I was kind of distracted out there. I don’t know why, but I was looking around too much, just kind of enjoying it, and today, I was kind of putting my game face on.”
HIGH PRAISE: Jim Furyk sounds like someone who’s looking forward to another four years at Quail Hollow.
The 2006 Wachovia Championship winner praised the way the course plays after the announcement that the tournament with the $6.4 million purse will stay here through at least 2014.
“When it plays firm and fast, you really have to work the ball off the tee to get the ball in the fairways,” Furyk said. “Some of the greens are very, very severe. You’ve got to hit crisp iron shots and put the ball in a place to play from.
“It’s just a tough, fair course, and they do everything first-class here,” he added. “It’s no secret why it’s, if not the premier event on the tour, definitely in the top five.”
MURPHY’S LAW: Trevor Murphy couldn’t duplicate his opening-round performance. The UNC Charlotte senior’s hopes to make the cut as an amateur were dashed by a back-to-earth 76 in which he bogeyed four of the last five holes on the tour’s toughest closing stretch.
He finished two strokes below the cut line, one day after he unexpectedly opened with a 71 — better than the two pros in his group — that had him tied for 24th.
ACE IN THE HOLE: Jay Williamson had the first hole-in-one in the tournament’s 6-year history, knocking his tee shot into the cup on the par-3 sixth. Williamson used a hybrid club to ace the 245-yard hole, which came one hole after his birdie on a par-5.
“I’m thinking, ‘God, just get the ball on the green and try to make a 3,”‘ Williamson said. “It hit and it ran right into the hole. … Not very often are holes-in-one perfect shots, but this one happened to be.”