Royal Lytham needs to be careful. If it doesn't start putting up more of a fight, it won't be invited to host another British Open anytime soon.
Brandt Snedeker made the British Open look like the Anonymous Midwestern Insurance Company Classic with his play on Friday, absolutely throttling the course with a 6-under performance that put him double-digits below par at minus-10, and five strokes ahead of the field when he walked off 18.
It was a splendid performance, highlighted by controlled drives, strategic approaches and the occasional putt from Liverpool. And while he's only halfway there, he's in excellent position to become the 16th straight different major winner and complete an "American Slam" of majors.
A few other highlights of Snedeker's exceptional play:
• He hasn't had a single bogey since he arrived at Royal Lytham.
• His 6-under total was nearly nine strokes better than the field's average at the time of his finish.
• His 36-hole total of 130 ties the British Open record held by Nick Faldo.
• This is the first time he's ever made a cut at the British Open.
• His 64 on Friday not only tied the lowest score ever recorded at Royal Lytham, it's his lowest card in a major by four strokes.
So how has he been so successful? "One, I'm healthy," he said afterward. "Two, I really love playing golf over here, even though my record is not good at all."
For those whose golf knowledge doesn't extend past Tiger and Phil (it's OK, you're still welcome here), Snedeker is a Tennessee product, the 2007 Rookie of the Year who, until now, has never really capitalized on the promise he showed early on. He's won three PGA Tour tournaments, most recently the Farmers Insurance Open in January of this year when he rallied from seven strokes down. But he also missed the U.S. Open earlier this year when he cracked a rib ... while coughing.
These days, golf isn't about year-to-year, or even week-to-week, dominance; it's about playing the best rounds of your life at exactly the right time. For Snedeker, the achievement is now within reach.
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