My theory in yesterday’s piece entering Round 2 Friday was that golfers that just didn’t have it Thursday weren’t as likely this week to turn it around to make the cut on the second day.
There were so many uncertain factors going into the start of the tournament that you definitely had to put more weight into a one-round sample size than I would usually suggest.
Be careful with conclusions after just two days ago, but that theory at least somewhat held up: Among the high-end golfers who struggled on Thursday like Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson, they weren’t able to put together good enough second efforts to play this weekend.
Of course, there were some stellar performances Friday, notably Rory McIlroy, who was able to put up a 7-under 63 to get back into contention. Jordan Speith and Bryson DeChambeau were able to keep things rolling, both putting up -5 scores to get to -10 for a share of second place.
Remember that golf can be very random and difficult to predict. Take Abraham Ancer, for example, who led the entire field after Round 1 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and then was merely neutral today. Joaquin Niemann, one of worst golfers in that metric Thursday was the third-best Friday.
I’ll still take the same approach looking towards the weekend — identify those golfers who are approaching greens really well and putting themselves into good positions while fading super-hot putting — but know while that strategy might work on average, one