The second round of the 146th Open is in the books, and two-time major champion Jordan Spieth (69) sits alone atop the leaderboard at Royal Birkdale.
The 23-year-old Spieth is at 6-under-par following a second consecutive sub-70 round.
Two back, and alone in second at 4-under, is Matt Kuchar, who posted a second-round 1-over 71. Englishman Ian Poulter and U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka are tied for third at 3-under.
Scotland’s Richard Ramsey (70) rounds out the top 5 at 2-under.
Before we head into a weekend and round three, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst from day two at Birkdale.
Zach Johnson bounced back from an opening-round 5-over 75 to post the round of the day, a 4-under 66. The 2015 Open Champion finished with five birdies and just one bogey.
Afterwards, Johnson commented, “Today was solid. I made a nice par on 1, and then after that I think I might have hit one errant shot, if you really want to try to pick it apart. Complete opposite of yesterday, clearly. I guess my saving grace last night was I can’t get any worse, one.”
Most Disappointing Round
Paul Casey and Charl Schwartzel both shot opening-round 4-under 66s, and many figured the two world-class golfers would be around come Sunday. But both flamed out, terribly, on Friday, with a 7-over 77, and 8-over 78, respectively.
Casey (now at +3) dropped 31 spots down the leaderboard (from T4 to T35), while the South African Schwartzel (+4) plummeted 41 places to T45.
Hard to pick a player here when most were wearing rain gear or hiding behind umbrellas, so we’re going with Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, who looked pretty spiffy in his new NBC Sports/Golf Channel attire, while walking the course carrying just a mic (and not a bag).
Rory McIlory was 5-over at the turn in the opening round, and it looked like the World No. 4 was on his way to missed-cut No. 3. (in a row).
But since then, over the next 27 holes, McIlroy has gone 6-under, and incredibly sits at 1-under, tied for sixth.
The caddies are always underappreciated – especially on rainy, windy days like today. Try lugging around a 40 pound bag about 5-6 miles, up and down hills, and then throw an umbrella into the mix – all while playing the role of coach/analyst/therapist.
Best Round By a No-Name
Richard Bland and Austin Connelly won the award yesterday, and the two are still hanging around at T6 (-1). But Scotland’s Richie Ramsay has overtaken the duo.
After an even-par 70, the 34-year-old Scott sits all alone in 5th place at 2-under.
Update: Apparently Ramsay is not a total no-name as he finished T2 at the Irish Open two weeks back, and I actually wrote his name in the lead-in. Go figure.
Most Popular Score
29 players in the field shot 2-over 72 on Friday. Twenty-two shot 3-over 73.
Least Popular Score
Only Zach Johnson shot 4-under 66.
Chris Wood holes out for eagle on 18 to end 36 holes at 3-over and make the cut.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 21, 2017
- Just Jordan: Jordan Spieth is the only player in the 156 golfer field who shot under-par both days.
- Nine-Under: Only nine players in the field are under-par after two rounds.
- Stat Leaders: Fairways hit (Mark Foster, Prayad Marksaeng: 20/28); Greens hit (Russell Henley: 26/36); Putts (Dustin Johnson, Robert Dinwiddie: 48)
- Toughest Hole: The par-4 13th hole played to a 4.705
- Easiest Hole: The par-5 15th: 4.609
- Bogey-free Rounds: No one in the 156 player field shot a bogey-free round.
Final Scores, Round One
|T10||Rafael Cabrera Bello||E|
|T24||Yi Keun Chang||2|
|-||Si Woo Kim||CUT|
|-||Byeong Hun An||CUT|
|-||Charles Howell III||CUT|