The firm and tough greens took a toll on Anirban Lahiri as he missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship after shooting 76-74 in the first two rounds. Tiger Woods (71-73) squeezed inside the cut-line which fell at three-over 145.
Peter Malnati (67-68) was at his best over the last three holes on Friday and finished with a three-under 68 for a one-shot lead. Malnati made two straight birdies and finished with a par that felt like a birdie. He cleared the steep lip of a bunker with inches to spare and made a six-foot putt.
Apart from Woods, Rory McIlroy (68-76) made it to the weekend, though not by much. Woods at T-48 made his only birdie on his final hole for a 73 that assured him a cut at Quail Hollow for the first time since 2009. McIlroy was also T-48th.
Malnati leads at seven-under par, while Jason Day (69-67) and rookie Aaron Wise (68-68) are one shot back. Paul Casey (69-68) and Charl Schwartzel (70-67) are two strokes behind. The cut fell at three over-par.
Rickie Fowler (72-69), who is positioned at one-under par, said the greens are so firm that it is difficult to get close to the hole. McIlroy made the cut on the number when he won the Championship in 2010. Then, he was nine shots back after 36 holes but won by four after shooting 66-62 on the weekend. Everyone will start Saturday within 10 shots of the lead.
Woods holed a 13-foot birdie putt on his final hole on Friday to guarantee that he will stick around for the weekend at the Championship. Woods shot 73 to finish at two-over 144. That was his only birdie as he struggled with the putter for a second consecutive day. He had missed his previous two cuts at Quail Hollow, in 2010 and 2012. He also is scheduled to play next week’s The Players Championship, which he won in 2001 and 2013.
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