The 2021 PGA Championship leaderboard is packed tight with dozens of golfers feeling like they have decent odds to win, but some of the best in the world are headed home early from Kiawah, South Carolina, after missing the cut of 5 over at the end of the second round.
No name stands out more from the group than Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world and a South Carolina native who entered this week with questions about his health. Johnson ultimately fell short for reasons more closely tied to his playing form.
Over the last month, D.J. missed the cut the Masters in April, never really contended (but did play well) at the RBC Heritage and had a forgettable T48 at the Valspar Championship.
Friday, he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, becoming the first No. 1-ranked player since Greg Norman in 1997 to not play the weekend at two consecutive majors. Norman missed the cut at both the Masters and U.S. Open that season, though he bounced back with two PGA Tour wins before the end of the year.
Speaking of Norman, Johnson surpassed him for the most missed cuts while being No. 1 in the world. The Official World Golf Rankings have only been in place since 1986, but according to Justin Ray, Norman's record of three missed cuts while being No. 1 was broken with D.J. falling short of the +5 cut line on Friday.
This would be DJ's fourth career missed cut at a major while ranked number one in the world, most of anyone since the OWGR began in 1986.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) May 21, 2021
He's currently tied for most at 3, with Greg Norman.
D.J. wasn't the only star or former major champions to draw attention for missing the cut at the 2021 PGA Championship. Here's a rundown of other prominent names whose PGA Championship ended at 36 holes.
Dustin Johnson (+6): Going inside the numbers, nothing went horribly for D.J. this week; however, nothing was exceptional, either. He gained about a stroke on the field off the tee and then lost about a stroke on approach. He was about field average otherwise and put some lipstick on the pig with an eagle and a birdie in his final three holes of the championship. Ultimately, only having three birdies across 36 holes made the difference in the world No. 1 (for now) making it to the weekend.
Xander Schauffele (+6): A bogey on the 18th hole sent Schauffele packing his bags early as it took him from the right side to the wrong side of the cut. Schauffele was well below average around the greens on Friday, and it contributed to a second-round 77 that sent him plummeting down the leaderboard. Normally a surefire pick to finish high in majors and other elite events, Schauffele now has just two missed cuts in 16 career major championship starts.
Sergio Garcia (+6): Things went sideways for Sergio on Thursday when he fired a 77 that was powered by seven bogeys and a double-bogey. He tried his best to right the ship on Friday with a 1-over 73, but it wasn't enough to make the cut. This marks the sixth-straight missed cut for Garcia at the PGA Championship, a major where he hasn't logged a top-10 finish since 2008.
Justin Thomas (+6): A birdie on 17 gave the gallery some buzz as Thomas headed to the 18th tee, which made the birdie putt on the final hole even more excruciating as it came up just a few inches off the mark in the final hour of play on Friday afternoon. For the 2021 Players Championship winner who captured the Wanamaker Trophy in 2017, the week just a bit under the radar compared to some of his peers. Now, instead of making a run at his second major championship, he's headed home early after a second-round 75.
Tommy Fleetwood (+7): After four straight years of made cuts but no top-25 finishes at the PGA Championship, Fleetwood could not put things together to make a run here at Kiawah Island. He didn't putt well Thursday, posting a dozen pars with a difficult triple bogey. Then Friday, he finally started putting better but the ball striking took a big step back.
Max Homa (+10): This year has been good to Homa so far. He's picked up his second career win and three other top-10 finishes, but his struggles at major championships continue with yet another missed cut. Homa has now missed his last five cuts at major championships and has made the cut just once at the 2019 PGA Championship when he finished T64.
Cameron Champ (+12): After peaking at No. 67 in 2020 following a top-20 finish at the Masters, Champ's recent form has seen him slip to No. 95 in the world rankings. Champ made four of his first five cuts in majors but now has his second missed cut in a major and six missed cuts in 11 starts this year.