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Israelson fails to make the cut on day two

Bill Israelson

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Bill Israelson, who was raised in Bemidji and currently is the golf pro at The Vintage in Staples, failed to make the cut at the Senior PGA Championships at Harbor Shores Golf Course.

After carding a 12-over par 83 in Thursday's opening round, a round that included a pair of quadruple bogeys, Israelson needed to play exceptional golf during Friday's 18 holes to make the cut.

He fared better on Friday but still shot +8 to finish at 20-over par 162.

Friday's round began with three pars and, after a bogey on No. 4, Israelson eagled No. 5, a 573-yard par-5.

He followed that hole with a bogey and another bogey on No. 8 gave him a 1-over par 37 on the front.

Israelson was +3 on Friday's round until No. 14 when he carded a triple-bogey on the 450-yard par-4. The round ended with bogeys on No. 17 and No. 18.

"I know the greens are difficult, but some of the putts I missed today are not that difficult," Irwin said. "So I'm a little discouraged with that to the point where I might even change to another putter (Saturday) that's similar, but a different putter. I can't putt any worse."

Cook also had a 66 to match Chapman at 7 under after a more forgiving day at Harbor Shores. Chapman had a 67.

Michael Allen broke the course record with a 64, recovering nicely from a first-round 77.

Chapman, from England, led by a stroke after the first round and didn't make a bogey Friday until the par-5 ninth, his final hole. Irwin also bogeyed No. 9.

That was the lone blemish on Irwin's scorecard, but he was disappointed he didn't shoot an even better score.

Starting his round on the back nine, Irwin birdied four of his first six holes. He went on to add birdies on Nos. 2 and 5.

Most of Irwin's birdies came on short putts from about 5 feet and in. The par-5 fifth was the exception.

Irwin has won this major championship four times, although not since 2004. He was the 54-hole leader last year at Valhalla but finished fourth.

He has won a record 45 times on the Champions Tour, but not since 2007.

Steve Pate (69) and Loren Roberts (67) were tied for fourth, two strokes behind Irwin. Joel Edwards (67) and David Frost (70) were another stroke back, and Allen was part of a larger group at 1 under.

After a windy opening day, scores dropped by an average of nearly three strokes at the 6,822-yard course next to Lake Michigan.

"A lot cooler," Chapman said. "It was very hot yesterday for us English boys. It was 88 or something I think yesterday."

There are still two days remaining, and conditions could easily take a turn for the worse. Earlier this week, players were apprehensive about the difficulty of the greens on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.