Love falls from grace at TPC

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Every day the world turns over on somebody who thought they were on top of it.

Thursday, Davis Love was the co-leader at the end of the first round of The Players Championship after a scintillating 65. Yesterday, the two-time winner of this event shot 83 and missed the cut in one of the largest reversals by a first-round leader in pro golf tournament annals.

Love came to his last hole of the second round, the par-5 ninth, needing a par to salvage some pride and make the cut at even par. He proceeded to make a quadruple-bogey nine, missing the cut by four strokes.

Jim Furyk, who also shot 65 on Thursday, followed with a 71 and leads the tournament by one shot at eight-under-par over Canadian Stephen Ames and Australian Adam Scott. Ames had the lowest round of the day at 66.

Canadian Mike Weir had his second straight 71 and sits at two-under-par in a tie for 28th.

But it was Love's shocking collapse that had everyone riveted, including Furyk, his playing partner and friend.

"You can't say much," Furyk said. "Davis had a rough day. What I admire most is he handles himself so well."

Love's round included one birdie, six bogeys, a double bogey and that quad.

"Conditions were tough," Love said. "I just kept missing fairways and every time I did, it was in a bad place. I just didn't hit enough good tee shots to give myself a chance to scramble."

Love's performance is reminiscent of Rod Pampling at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie. Pampling conquered some difficult course conditions in the opening round to hold the outright lead at 71. The next day, he shot 86 and missed the cut, the only first-round leader ever to miss the cut at the British Open.

At the 1990 Masters, Mike Donald opened with a sizzling 64 and followed it with an 82 to miss the cut.

Speaking of reversals, Love may very well take heart from the performance of Englishman Greg Owens, who gave away the Bay Hill Invitational to Pampling just last Sunday by three-putting from just outside three feet on the 71st hole.

Owens has rebounded and sits just three shots back of Furyk.

"Everybody is wishing me well," Owen said.


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