The dissolution of dominance can be painful to watch. So too is playing golf with a bad back.
Tiger Woods' mastery of major championships faded long ago, his drought stretching to the 2008 U.S. Open. But missing cuts at majors, which Woods did with a painful performance Friday, is another matter.
Woods' second consecutive three-over round of 74 dropped him to six over, five shots off the cut line. He'll file this tournament in the wastebasket along with the 2006 U.S. Open, 2009 British Open and 2011 PGA Championship as his only missed cuts in majors as a pro.
"I need to get stronger," Woods said. "I need to get my glutes strong again, my abs and my core back to where I used to have them. Obviously by playing, you can't burn the candle at both ends."
Nevertheless, Woods, who winced after several shots, said he didn't regret trying to play and didn't think about withdrawing. He said his back "went out" on the practice range, and it prevented him from taking the club back properly.
"I'm not exactly a non-stubborn person," he said, smiling.
Woods lipped out a birdie putt at the par-three third, and his round deteriorated into a series of sprayed tee shots and pained looks. He drove into the gallery at Nos. 6 and 7, three-putting the former for a double bogey.
"It throws everything off," Woods said of his back. "I can't get anywhere near the positions that I'm accustomed to getting to. I've got to rely on timing, hands. It's very frustrating."
Woods has missed two cuts in one season for only the second time in his career. And his Ryder Cup participation is unlikely.
"I felt old a long time ago," Woods, 38, said. "It's darn near 20 years out here."
Other prominent players missing the cut were U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson, Padraig Harrington and Jordan Spieth.
On Wednesday, Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson introduced Steve Stricker as his third vice captain. On Friday, Stricker fired a three-under 68 to sit at five under for the tournament.
"If he should win here, there would be no question that he would be on the team rather than vice captain," Watson said.
While admitting it would "sting" not to play, Stricker downplayed his chances.
"I haven't played all that well this year," he said.
Watson, 64, meanwhile, missed the cut by two shots in what he said is probably his last PGA Championship, the only major he never won.
Ben Crane withdrew before his round because of back issues. Kiradech Aphibarnrat completed eight holes of his second round before succumbing to a knee injury. Angel Cabrera followed suit on the 13th tee with a shoulder injury. And Boo Weekley dropped out after eight holes because of a shoulder injury.
Keegan Bradley missed the cut at four over, squashing his Ryder Cup chances as an automatic qualifier. He's 11th in the point standings, and the top nine qualify automatically.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times