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Woods out, unknowns in after second round of PGA Championship

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) -- Tiger Woods' stunning downfall has gotten worse: He missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

And it wasn't even close.

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The player who once dominated golf headed home Friday after shooting a 10-over 150 at Atlanta Athletic Club, coming up short of the cut by a staggering six strokes.

If Woods missing the cut was the biggest surprise, the golfers at the top of the leaderboard were close behind.

Keegan Bradley, playing in his first major, shot a 64. Jason Dufner, who had missed the cut in five of his last six events, made 65. Both were at 5-under 135.

"I'm playing some good golf," said Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley. "When you're playing well, it seems easy. I'm hitting a lot of greens and putting some of the best I've putted all year."

Steve Stricker came into the round with a two-stroke lead after a bogey-free 63 -- tied for the lowest score ever in a major and just a hair away from having the record all to himself. He missed a 10-footer for birdie and a 62 at his final hole Thursday.

There would be a lot more of those on Friday. Suddenly, one of the game's steadiest putters couldn't make one, lipping out a couple of short attempts and ceding the lead with four bogeys on the front side. He slumped to a 74 and was two shots off the lead.

Jim Furyk (65), D.A. Points (67), John Senden (68) and Scott Verplank (69) were one shot behind at 136.

Rory McIlroy hasn't given up challenging on the weekend, even after struggling to a 73 that included a triple bogey. He was eight shots off the lead.

Just making it through the first two days was an accomplishment for McIlroy, given what he did on his third hole of the tournament. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland strained a tendon when he foolishly took a swing with his ball sitting against a thick tree root Thursday.

He considered quitting a couple of times, but felt comfortable about carrying on after getting an MRI and being told by the medical staff that he couldn't do any more damage. With a heavily taped arm and wrist, he carried on another day -- and did well enough to make it to the weekend.

"If it wasn't a major," he said, "I probably would've stopped."

McIlroy blew away the field at Congressional two months ago with a record-setting 16-under score. He's become the new face of the game with Woods struggling, arriving at this course in Atlanta's sprawling northern suburbs as the favorite.

That ill-advised swing might have ruined his chances.

McIlroy said his wrist didn't hurt as much in the second round. Actually, a shaky putter was his main problem.

"I feel like I'm hitting the ball OK," he said. "I gave myself a few chances but I just didn't putt very well at all. I'm struggling on the greens this week."

There was also a misjudged tee shot at the par-3 17th.

Torn between clubs, he actually went for a little more distance with a 6-iron. But he took a little bit off his swing, got the ball a little too high and watched in disbelief as a slight breeze carried it into the water. He had to take a drop, then three-putted.

Coming off a 40-foot birdie putt at the 16th that got him into the red, the triple bogey was a momentum killer. "It was tough to come back from that," McIlroy said.

But he's not conceding the Wanamaker Trophy to anyone.

"I hope to make a good run at it the next couple of days," McIlroy said. "I feel as if I can still make birdies out there. If I didn't think I could contend, I probably wouldn't be playing."

___

Follow Paul Newberry at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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