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Watson Plays Last PGA Major


Tom Watson's final appearance in a major tournament before heading to the senior tour didn't end the way he envisioned. He missed the cut in the PGA after shooting a second-round 74, leaving him with a two-day total of 149.

"I'm disappointed and embarrassed the way I played this week," Watson said Friday, departing the rain-soaked 18th green at Medinah Country Club.

"It was not very pretty. But I had weeks like this, even when I played my best golf. The last two days it was not the best way to finish."

Watson earned the first of his 34 PGA Tour victories at the 1974 Western Open in Chicago. He turns 50 on Sept. 4.

He wasn't the only notable to miss the cut. Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Justin Leonard and Masters champion Jose Maria Olzabel also failed to reach the final two rounds.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw missed his 13th straight cut on Friday the 13th. That's every tournament he's entered this year.

RYDER OUT

Who's in and who's out on the U.S. Ryder Cup team? The picture was jumbled Friday after Tom Lehman survived the cut, but Jeff Maggert, Steve Stricker and John Huston did not.

Lehman, 11th on the points list behind No. 10 Maggert, now has a chance of making the team without taking one of the two captain's picks.

Stricker and Huston were 12th and 13th in the standings, meaning their chances of making the team on points are gone. They still have hopes of getting picked by captain Ben Crenshaw. But two others who missed the cut Lee Janzen and Tim Herron will likely not make the team at all.

The top 10 in the standings based on points from top 10 finishes qualify. Crenshaw will announce his two wild-card selections Monday for the matches Sept. 24-26 in Brookline, Mass.

GOOD NEWS

Steve Elkington got some good news, and it was about time.

The winner of the 1995 PGA Championship thought he'd lost his wedding band and some medication when he gave a little boy his golf bag Thursday, the same day he withdrew from the PGA because his caddie, Joe Grillo, was hospitlized with chest pains.

But the ring and the medication were back in Elkington's hands Friday.

Scott Kent took his 4 ½-year-old son, Ryan, to the tournament Thursday. But Ryan got bored pretty quickly, so his father decided to take him home.

As they walked through the players' parking lot, they saw Elkington, who had just withdrawn and was on his way to the hospital to be with Grillo.

"Mr. Elkington saw Ryan and I and he called Ryan over," Scott Kent said. "I thought, `Oh, cool. He's going to give Ryan a ball or something.' He said, `I've had this bag for awhile and I'm going to get a new one, so I want you to have this bag."'

Elkington cleaned his clubs and what he thought was everything else out of the bag and gave it to Ryan. When he woke up Friday morning, though, Elkington realized his wedding ring and some medicine were missing. They were in a pouch in his golf bag.

Elkington called tournament organizers, who contacted local radio and television stations for help. A co-worker heard the story and told Scott Kent, who immediately called tournament officials and asked how to get the items back to Elkington.

The Kents came back to Medinah Country Club on Friday and returned the belongings, and someone from the tournament took them to Elkington at O'Hare Airport.

Elkington got more good news Friday when Grillo was released from Glen Oaks Hospital.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Jay Haas doesn't have far to turn when he needs advice in the PGA Championship. He just asks his son, who happens to be his caddie.

Jay Haas Jr., 18, is carrying his dad's bag before heading off next week to college at Augusta State.

"That's what makes this special," said the senior Haas, who at age 45 has put together rounds of 68 and 67 for the lead after two rounds.

"Jay (Jr.) has a 1-handicap at home and has caddied for me in the past. Jay has a very good demeanor on the golf course and it rubs off on me. This could be a magical week."

SOUVENIR HUNTER

Jean Van de Velde, whose triple bogey on the 72nd hole of the British Open, cost him a championship, shot a 70 Friday, allowing him to survive the cut with a 144.
Either way, Van de Velde wanted to make sure he didn't leave Medinah Country Club empty-handed.

He was spotted in the merchandising tents with his wife buying souvenirs.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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