Joaquin Niemann, defending champion Matt Jones among notable names to miss the cut at Honda Classic


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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – With the wind down for the most part the first two days of the Honda Classic, the rugged Champion Course at PGA National Resort wasn’t flashing its teeth and taking chunks out of the players’ scorecards.

Even at the treacherous Bear Trap.

Still, the course wasn’t a pitch-and-putt and played difficult enough to send many players home after the first round spilled into Friday and the second round will conclude Saturday morning with one player remaining to finish.

While Daniel Berger set the pace with consecutive rounds of 65 to move to 10 under, the not-yet official cut will come in at 2-over 142.

Those who will make the cut on the number include Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Ryan Palmer, and Curtis Thompson, who on Thursday became the first to eagle the par-4 sixth hole since the Honda Classic moved to the Champion Course in 2007.

Also at 2 over was Andrew Kozan, who elected not to finish his round when play was suspended due to darkness at 6:37 p.m. ET. While his two playing partners decided to finish, Kozan was in the middle of the fairway on 18 and is 258 yards from the pin on the par-5 finisher.

If he makes par or better, 73 players will make the cut.

Among those who will not play two more rounds were two players who have won two major championships, a past Masters champion, the defending champion, and last week’s champion.

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Here are the notables that missed the 36-hole cut.

Tommy Fleetwood (69-74, 3 over)

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Tommy Fleetwood of England walks onto the 14th green during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa on February 25, 2022, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After finishing fourth in 2018 and third in 2020, Fleetwood, who won four times from 2017-2019 but has yet to win since, got off to a solid start with a 69. Things were moving in the right direction for Fleetwood, who tied for eighth and 12th in his last two starts in the Middle East ahead of the Honda. But he couldn’t get anything going in the second round with five bogeys in his first 17 holes and a last-hole birdie left him one short.

Joaquin Niemann (70-73, 3 over)

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Joaquin Niemann plays his shot on the fourth hole during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After looking stellar in last week’s victory in the Genesis Invitational, where he received the championship hardware from Tiger Woods, Niemann was in a good spot to make a run at back-to-back titles after starting with two birdies in the second round to move to 2 under. But a costly double on the 15th and a bogey on the last when he needed birdie to make the cut did him in.

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Patrick Reed (70-79, 9 over)

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Patrick Reed prepares to play his shot on the eighth hole during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa on February 25, 2022, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The 2017 Masters champion, who won the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open for his ninth PGA Tour title, is still in search of consistency as he works through minor swing changes. While he was in good shape after the first round, his game deserted him in round two and fell apart during a back-nine 44. While he has six top 10s since winning the Farmers, the world No. 28 has missed seven cuts.

Matt Jones (73-74, 7 over)

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Matt Jones watches from the sixth hole green during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The defending champion won by a tournament record-tying five shots last year; he started with an opening-round, record-tying 61. This year he started 12 shots worse. The Aussie, who finished third in the year-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions, made nine bogeys in his first 22 holes.

Matthew Wolff (81-76, 17 over)

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Matthew Wolff plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The world No. 35 was out of it almost from the get-go as he made seven bogeys and a double in his first 14 holes, which led to his 81 on the opening day. After winning his first PGA Tour title at age 20 in the 2019 3M Open, Wolff has been searching for his second. Wolff was coming off a tie for sixth in the Saudi International, but that good play didn’t show up at PGA National.

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Zach Johnson (74-72, 6 over)

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Zach Johnson walks from the seventh tee during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa on February 25, 2022 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The two-time major champion with 12 PGA Tour titles in all tied for eighth in last year’s Honda Classic. Since then, Johnson, who will be named the 2023 USA Ryder Cup captain on Monday, doesn’t have a top 10 and has missed 11 cuts. He’s played well here and there but his lack of consistency hasn’t allowed him to make use of his best weapon – the putter.

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