Justin Thomas’ tough season continued at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Thomas, despite posting an even-par 71 on Friday, missed the cut at the British Open after his opening-round 82. It marks the third major championship cut he’s missed this season, and brings his scoring total for those four events to 41-over.
“I’m hitting a lot of good shots,” Thomas said. “I’m just making so many bonehead mistakes and crazy things [are] happening, and I’ll be fine.”
Thomas has won 15 times on the PGA Tour in his career, most recently at last year’s PGA Championship. He made the cut in his title defense there earlier this spring, but finished T65. It was the only major he’s made the cut at this year.
Thomas is running out of time to correct his slump this season, and that may impact both his FedExCup Playoffs status and his Ryder Cup chances.
Thomas entered the week at No. 13 in the Ryder Cup standings, well below the top-six automatic qualifying spots. Those first six golfers after the BMW Championship next month will automatically earn a spot on the team for the event in Italy this fall. U.S. captain Zach Johnson will then choose the remaining six players to round out the team.
Thomas has played on two previous Ryder Cup teams and holds an impressive 6-2-1 record. But with how he’s playing, Thomas knows he’s running out of time, especially considering he may miss the FedExCup Playoffs altogether.
“I’ve been trying to make it easy on Zach and get in the top six, but I seem to not want to do that with my golf,” Thomas said. “Have a couple events left to try to get in the playoffs and then make a little bit of a run and try to prove a point.”
Johnson, who went 2-under on Friday and made the cut in Hoylake, England, still isn’t writing Thomas off just yet.
“Well, as a friend and roommate, I’m concerned just because he’s my buddy and I know what he’s capable of and that sort of thing,” Johnson said. “Obviously he’s a stalwart in that event, right? … Bottom line is this game is really hard. There’s going to be peaks. There’s going to be some valleys. Let’s hope whatever sort of non-peak he’s in, it’s short. I know he’s got a great team. I love his coaches. I love how he — he works. He’s a worker.
“Guys with talent like that that work and aren’t afraid to put their work in the dirt, if you will, not to be cliche, typically find it. It’s just a matter of when, not if. He’s too darned good. I might be slightly concerned, like I said, as a friend, but I’m not worried about him because I know what he does and I know what he’s capable of.”
Thomas among notables who missed cut at British Open
Thomas wasn’t the only big name who missed the cut this week at Royal Liverpool.
The top 70 golfers and ties made it into the weekend at the British Open, which knocked out golfers who finished 4-over or worse after 36 holes.
Dustin Johnson had perhaps the worst outing at the British Open. After his 3-over opening round, Johnson carded a 10-over 81 on Friday to bring him to 13-over on the week. He finished with five bogeys in his last eight holes. Only nine golfers finished with a worse score.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut at a second straight major championship. Mickelson, despite making birdie at the 18th, went 3-over on Friday and dropped to 9-over for the week. He was in a solid position on Thursday until the final two holes, where he went 5-over with a double and triple bogey to end his opening round.
Tony Finau, Billy Horschel, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Talor Gooch and Joaquin Niemann also missed the cut.
Several golfers managed to sneak into the weekend late on Friday. Scottie Scheffler made the cut on the number with a huge up-and-down from the bunker on the 18th, which extended his made cut streak to 22 events.
Bryson DeChameau, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka also made the cut on the number. Defending champion Cam Smith made an eagle at the 18th to get to 2-over on the week, too.
Brian Harman holds the lead at the midway point after his 6-under performance on Friday. Harman jumped to 10-under on the week, which gave him a five-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood.