This is expected to strain the remaining 76 players after the cuts, which narrowly spared Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantley, Rickie Fowler and world-ranked Scotty Scheffler. But it still got a star constellation of past major champions Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Colin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas, who won last year’s PGA Championship but missed three of his four major cuts this year.
“Everyone has waves, momentum, ride, rock bottom, whatever you want to call it,” Thomas said. His best major finish this year was tied for 65th at the PGA Championship in May. “I keep saying to myself, ‘This is it, get out of here,’ but unfortunately I’ve surprised myself with some bad rounds.”
Instead, a much more unfamiliar player came much closer to Herman. Shubhankar Sharma has never finished higher than a tie for 51st in a major, but like Lee Min Woo, he quietly racked up two rounds of par or better and moved up at 3 under. Former world No. 1 Jason Day equaled them on Friday with a 67.
Just ahead of them was Sepp Straka, who also had a 67.
Neighboring Southport’s son Tommy Fleetwood, who started playing in leading shares on Friday, finished at even par to finish second, five shots behind Herrmann.
But the others who were leading with the sunrise faded away. Emiliano Grillo double bogeyed on the second hole and one bogey on the third. A slight recovery on the back nine was broken by bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes, bringing the score to 74 on the day, eight shots off the leader. Georgia Tech graduate Christo Lamprecht, a 22-year-old amateur, bogeyed five of his first seven holes on Friday, knocking him down the leaderboard so badly that he wasn’t entirely sure he’d make it through the round.