Connect with us

Tour News

6 Hot Headlines from Day 2 at The Open Championship

Published

on

A three-hour rain delay early in the morning put a kink in the plans, as the second round of Open was suspended due to darkness on Friday.

A quarter of the field will return to the Old Course at 7 a.m. Saturday to complete their second rounds.

Regardless, plenty of golf took place on Friday, with play continuing until 10 p.m. local time. The leaderboard took further shape and we give you all of the key storylines from a long second day in Scotland.

Englishman charges to the lead

It’s no secret there’s been a long drought for an English Open Championship winner (Nick Faldo last accomplished the feat in 1992). In recent years, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had been the quartet the country believed could end this decades-long problem. Previously, Paul Casey was in that club as well.

All had failed ahead of this year’s event at St. Andrews, but maybe 2015 would be different.

Halfway through this year’s Open, the drought indeed is in good position to fall, because guess which Englishman is one back at the Open through two days… Danny Willett?

That’s right, a 27-year-old who’s virtually unknown in the United States finds himself in second alone on Friday night at the Old Course. In a tournament hyped for Jordan Spieth’s Grand Slam hopes and the big names that could be in line for the Claret Jug, it’s a little bit of a shocking turn to see Willet’s just below the leader’s.

But this will only be a cut Friday storyline. There’s no way Willett can keep atop a stacked leaderboard with major championship pressure, right?

Well, not so fast.

Willett may be unknown in the states, but he is in fact a very good player.

He participated in the 2007 Walker Cup and at one point became the No. 1 amateur in the world. The Englishman has two European Tour wins and currently sits second in the Race to Dubai. One writer deemed him the English Rickie Fowler, and he probably would’ve been even more formidable to this point if not for cumbersome back problems.

Willett will be new to the pressure of a major championship lead (previous best finish is 15th), but don’t be fooled by his lack of recognition in the U.S. He has a chance to hang up there the entire weekend.

Hideki Matsuyama was rock solid

Those strong winds and tougher conditions that were forecast for Friday afternoon? They mostly came about.

With Matsuyama starting his day right on the cutline at Even and finding himself in the worst elements of the round, it appeared the ultra-steady 23-year-old was going to be in a battle to make it beyond 36 holes.

Yeah, sort of what happened… Hideki was 7-under through 10.

The course was softer due to a morning drenching, but the afternoon winds were STRONG and rain came down significantly at times during Matsuyama’s round.

No biggie, Matsuyama just made it all look too simple. He calmly birdied his first four holes, notched another at No. 7 and perfectly drizzled in a 10-footer at nine to complete a frontside 30. He added the cherry on top with this miraculous birdie putt on the 10th.

The 23-year-old’s hot streak halted with two short par misses on Nos. 11 and 12 but he found another birdie on 14 and sits 6-under with four holes to play in his second round Saturday morning.

Overall, Matsuyama just put up an unfathomable level of play in difficult weather Friday afternoon. Two- or three-under in 10 holes was excellent in that weather, but SEVEN??

We already knew that this Japanese star is super talented, but that was on a whole other planet (and Twitter noticed).

Even if he doesn’t win this week, Friday’s round proved that Matsuyama’s first major championship probably isn’t far around the corner.

This leaderboard still resembles Chambers Bay

Remember how I mentioned this yesterday? The similarities have solidified on Friday.

Dustin Johnson remains atop the leaderboard (10-under through 13 holes), and Day (8-under through 11), Oosthuizen (7-under through 11) and Spieth (5-under through 13) all find themselves in line to contend this weekend.

Grace, the fifth big Chambers Bay player, fell off a bit with an even-par round that left him 3-under through 36 holes, but he’s certainly not out of it.

And even as he disappeared, Adam Scott fired a beautiful 67 to post a 7-under 36-hole total and finds himself three back. The Aussie, if you recall, placed T4 at the U.S. Open following a final-round 64.

Charl Schwartzel, who quietly finished seventh at the U.S. Open, is 6-under through 15 at St. Andrews — tied for 10th and four off the lead.

It’s unusual for back-to-back majors to have almost all of the same names thriving. Again, still plenty of tournament left to change that, but pretty interesting nonetheless.

Jordan Spieth’s Grand Slam chances remain within reach

I wouldn’t say the 21-year-old is in prime position to capture his third consecutive major, but he’s certainly within striking distance.

Following a lovely opening-round 67, Spieth fought in the difficult weather Friday afternoon. In 13 holes, Spieth posted three birdies and three bogeys, leaving him at a 5-under total after two days.

The Golden Child currently sits five back and in a tie for 15th, which is lowly for him. But the tournament isn’t even half over yet.

Spieth still has five holes in his second round but let’s compare his progress to the last two guys who had a chance at the Grand Slam coming into the Open: Nicklaus in 1972 and Woods in 2002.

Jack was T3 and one back, while Tiger found himself T9 and two back through 36 holes. Not bad then, Spieth is keeping up pretty well.

With nasty conditions coming tomorrow (see more below), Spieth better be careful. Remember that Woods shot 81 in brutal Saturday weather at Muirfield in 2002, sinking his Grand Slam chances entirely.

St. Andrews’ nastiest conditions are still to come

The high winds and rain throughout Friday — more concentrated in the afternoon — did have an effect on players but a softer course allowed red numbers to continue to flourish to a degree.

Overnight rain is expected Friday night/Saturday morning, yet a softer course cannot save the birdies. The winds forecasted for Saturday are absolutely brutal, I would say even a full step up from what we saw Friday afternoon.

Many players have to finish round two in these gales, and all who make the cut will contend with them in the third round.

Get ready, at least for a day higher scores are coming. We may see something in the realm of Saturday at Muirfield in 2002.

And hopefully for Spieth, the similarities stop there.

Tom Watson takes his final walk

The American who Scotland adopted as a native son completed his final round at the Open Championship on Friday.

Here is a glimpse of Watson’s emotional final walk over the Swilcan Bridge.

Nobody, maybe besides Palmer or Seve, has brought as much to the Open over the past half-century as this five-time champion. Watson said farewell to the tournament, and we’ll miss him. But at least we’ll always have the memories of his great Open triumphs (this in particular) and his magical near-miss in 2009.

Your Reaction?
  • 14
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Siss

    Jul 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hot headline from Day 2.5 at The Open:

    Kevin Casey complains about how the Pros are a bunch of sissies who should be forced to play in gale force winds with the course covered in puddles from a total soaking, about how unfair it is for them to not let the public watch golf as scheduled.

    Now do you think the course is playing unfair? They can’t even play the darned place! What would you have said if the wind was blowing 30 mph down the 17th hole from the tee to the green on Thursday, and the players were hitting 8 irons in?

  2. Siss

    Jul 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

    No mention of how friendly the pin was on 17 on Friday? You sissy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site this week at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Plenty of golfers who competed in the Masters last week will be making the quick turnaround in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as the Heritage is again one of the Tour’s Signature Events.

We have general albums for you to check out, as well as plenty of WITBs — including Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.

We’ll continue to update as more photos flow in from SC.

Check out links to all our photos, below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Valero Texas Open

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site this week at the Valero Texas Open.

The event has been around since 1922, making it one of the oldest on the PGA Tour calendar. Over the years, it’s been held at a variety of courses across the Lone Star State, but it’s found its home at TPC San Antonio in recent years. Some of the biggest names in golf have taken home the title here, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, and Ben Crenshaw.

GolfWRX has its usual assortment of general galleries, WITBs and special pull-out albums. As always, we’ll continue to update the links below as more photos come in from TPC San Antonio.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW6
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site in the Lone Star State this week for the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

General galleries from the putting green and range, WITBs — including Thorbjorn Olesen and Zac Blair — and several pull-out albums await.

As always, we’ll continue to update as more photos flow in. Check out links to all our photos from Houston below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 19
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW2
  • LOL4
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending