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Huston misses cut, plans break

John Huston entered the PGA Championship hopeful of making the Ryder Cup team. He left Medinah Country Club on Friday just hoping to find his game.

Huston, who was among the top 10 in Ryder Cup points after a strong start this year, continued his summer struggles, shooting 80 to miss the cut by six shots.

"I just played horrible; I'm ready to take some time off," said the Safety Harbor resident. "I'm just driving it terrible. I felt like I needed to play the last two weeks, but I really just need some time off. It's time to put the clubs away."

Huston said he will play in the World Golf Championship NEC Invitational in two weeks, then take time off.

As for the Ryder Cup, Huston was disappointed, but not crushed.

"That's something that usually takes care of itself," he said. "I would have liked to have made it. But I'm not going to feel that bad about it."

WOODS CONSISTENT: Tiger Woods is making this a habit. For the third consecutive major championship, he was in contention. Woods tied for third at the U.S. Open and tied for seventh at the British Open. His 67 left him two shots out of the lead here.

"The key is to keep giving yourself chances, and I've done that this year," Woods said. "I've won my share of tournaments. But I've been right there and haven't won. This weekend, I need to continue to do the same thing, keep giving myself a lot of birdie chances."

PUTTER HURTS GARCIA: After shooting 66 in the first round, Spain's Sergio Garcia shot 73, and was four shots behind leader Jay Haas.

"I probably played better, but my putter didn't work very good," said Garcia, 19. "I felt great on the golf course. You have to realize, my long game was absolutely almost perfect. I hit a lot of great shots and just the putts didn't work very good. You're going to have one of these rounds in every tournament. Let's hope this is the worst one."

SLEEP WALKING: What happened to the vaunted monster, Medinah? A day after Garcia matched the competitive course record of 66, it was broken. Skip Kendall, a former Oldsmar resident, was barely awake when he teed off at 6:49 a.m. local time. It didn't appear to bother him much. Kendall shot 7-under-par 65.

"It was one of those rounds you really dream about, especially in a major," Kendall said.

LOW PROFILE: England's Lee Westwood is only 26, but he has won 16 tournaments. "I suppose the next step is a major championship," Westwood said.

He put himself in position with 68, which gave him the early lead at 138, 6 under, until he was passed. He trailed Haas and Mike Weir by four shots.

Although he is an accomplished player, Westwood does not find himself mentioned with Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson and David Duval as the best players never to have won a major. At least not yet.

"Fortunately, I haven't been pushed into that category yet," he said. "I suppose I've got a few more years on those guys. I haven't come close to winning one yet, so nobody's mentioned me in that group. It's not really of interest to me, especially when it's not really constructive."

IRWIN IN RYDER?: At 54, Hale Irwin is an unlikely Ryder Cup participant. He last played in the competition in 1991. Nonetheless, Irwin was asked if he thought Ben Crenshaw would use one of his captain's picks to choose him if he were to win.

Irwin replied: "Are we going to get paid?"

Irwin was joking about the issue that has dominated the PGA Championship.

"I would pay to play, to tell you the truth," Irwin said.

THE CUT: Palm Harbor's Jay Overton, 48, the pro at the Westin Innisbrook Resort, shot consecutive 75s to miss the cut. Clearwater's Greg Kraft shot 70_144, making the cut by two. Only one club pro made the cut. West Palm Beach's Bruce Zabriski finished at 75_145.

_ BOB HARIG

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