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5 Things We Learned on Day 2 of The Open

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The downfall of working in the golf industry is I very rarely get to watch live golf on TV. My busy teaching schedule and a four-month old at home doesn’t even leave much time for me to catch highlights. But today was the day! I blocked my work schedule and set an early alarm, I was going to watch golf all day. Here are my takeaways from day 2.

1) Royal Birkdale shines in dark, windy and gloomy weather

There may be nothing better than a links course when the wind picks up and the rain starts to fall. Day 1 saw relatively subdued weather, and scoring reflected that with 39 players under par. Day 2 saw only eight players shoot under-par rounds. Round 2 also saw the average score jump up two strokes, even with Zach Johnson’s 66 early in the a.m. Here’s to hoping the weather stays gloomy during the weekend for the maximum Open-viewing entertainment.

2) Jordan can run away with it

Speith has 10 Tour victories, and half of those he won by three or more shots. When Spieth is having fun and making putts, he is simply difficult to beat. Even after facing some adversity today with four bogeys on the card, he was able to keep his calm (unlike Bubba today) and play through the worst of the weather. Even having the more difficult end of the draw, he has made the most of his opportunities.

3) Hometown heroes in the hunt

Two Englishmen, Ian Poulter and Richard Bland, are within striking distance. If you had to rest your entire nation’s hopes on two guys, those two wouldn’t exactly be your top picks, but here we are. At the beginning of this season, Poulter was yet to secure a tour card after a long medical leave, but he scraped by and made enough money to keep playing. If there is one thing we do know about his game, however, is that he plays well with home-town advantage.

To be honest, I can’t use not watching a lot of golf as an excuse for not knowing who Richard Bland is. And after some brief research, I soon realized why. He has only played two majors before in his career and his last Open championship was 1998, where he missed the cut. Bland plays the Challenge Tour over in Europe and only has one win in 21 years. The fact this guy made the cut is incredible, and now he finds himself among the world’s best. I wouldn’t bet against either of these guys with an entire country coming out this weekend to cheer them on!

4) Kuchar is still in second

With Speith in contention, very little is being said about even his closest competitors. For Matt Kuchar, that may prove to be a positive. Kuchar is an understated, quiet guy by nature and I have to think it can only help him if the spotlight remains on someone else. In the past 10 years, Kuchar has missed only three cuts in majors, and with eight top-10 finishes, he may be poised to break through.

5) Major Cuts

As with any major championship, some big names are packing up and heading home early. The Players Champion, Si-Woo Kim, followed his opening round 70 with 76. Justin Thomas put up a second round 80 after looking like one of the favorites after round one. And Phil Mickelson had a week to forget with rounds of 73-77 making us wait even longer for the Phil, Bones reunion of a different kind.

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Dan Gaucher is a Teaching Professional at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Connecticut. He also host a very successful podcast called "Rebel With Out A Par". Dan also has experience in the health and fitness industry which has allowed him to further understand the biomechanics of the body and how it correlates to the golf swing. Dan enjoys being a student of both the human body and the game of golf. Dan works with players of all abilities from beginners to aspiring professionals.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. RG

    Jul 22, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Go Jordan!

  2. david

    Jul 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Is Bibba playing with a new putter?

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Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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