But Johnson wasn’t alone in terms of big names failing to advance. Rory McIlroy’s woes continued and his run at a career grand slam was once again put on hold. Rounds of 76-74 left him with no chance of contending.
Brooks Koepka’s (74-75) return from knee surgery was ultimately unfruitful and Lee Westwood (78-71) couldn’t maintain his recent run of form.
“I worked my ass off just to get here, and then to play like this is pretty disappointing,” Koepka said before revealing his right knee held up fine despite undergoing surgery less than a month ago. He couldn’t commit to his next start but said he would definitely take his place at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May.
“Today it was a lot better actually. Yesterday was the first day walking 18, so you’re obviously a little sore and all that stuff. I don’t feel as sore as I did yesterday. It feels better than I thought it would, so I’m pretty pleased,” he added.
“I won’t miss (the PGA), I know that, but tough to say if I’ll play anything before that just for how it feels, how rehab goes and everything. I’d like to practice a little bit more or be actually hitting balls before a tournament. (This week) a lot of it was just making sure I could walk. So the prep wasn’t as good, but it’s nice to know that I can walk 18.”
Patrick Cantlay (79-73) and Jason Day (77-76) were also a long way off the pace and last November’s runner up Sungjae Im (77-80) had a much different experience in April. Matthew Wolff was well on his way to missing the cut when he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.