ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Not having a cut is one of the sticking points for LIV Golf’s request to be part of the Official World Golf Ranking system. Padraig Harrington and Russell Knox can appreciate the importance for different reasons.
Harrington is now on the PGA Tour Champions, though he still dabbles quite a bit on the European tour and he is playing two weeks in a row on the Florida swing, at the Honda Classic and Bay Hill.
“It’s nice not to have the stress of a cut,” Harrington said of the 54-hole events on the PGA Tour Champions. “Even the couple of events I played on the European tour — even the first one where I finished fourth — at one stage on the Friday I’m like, ‘What’s the cut going to be? Where am I?’ And when you start thinking like that, you just hit a brick wall.
“It’s a big difference having a cut line — a lot of pressure, a lot of stress in that cut line, and it doesn’t matter how good, what you’ve done in your career.”
Knox won a World Golf Championships event in Shanghai among his two PGA Tour victories, and he once reached as high as No. 18 in the world.
“If you’re playing well, you don’t even think about it,” he said of the cut.
He’s not playing his best right now, and the pressure is hard to avoid, particularly because the PGA Tour has changed its model so that only the top 70 (down from top 125) made the FedEx Cup postseason.
“Right now, in this instant snapshot, it is quite stressful,” Knox said. He is coming off three straight missed cuts, after making eight in a row.
“I see my game as not as good as it potentially is, and with the changes the tour is making and the standard of everyone’s game, I feel the most pressure I’ve felt into my first couple of months,” he said. “The money is the most it’s ever been, the opportunity is the highest to do well.
“I feel the pressure to play some decent golf.”
Knox is taking this week off to regroup for The Players Championship, where a year ago he tied for sixth.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of not having a cut,” he said. “That eliminated a boatload of stress. The first goal is to survive to the weekend, and then see what happens.”