Golf fans everywhere knew Jim "Bones" Mackay would bring a unique perspective to Golf Channel's television broadcast when he signed on after splitting with Phil Mickelson after 25 years on the bag. And he delivered on his first day during Round 1 of The Open at Royal Birkdale. Following Bubba Watson down the back nine, "Bones" told a fantastic story about the time a college-aged Watson took on Mickelson in the late '90s, long before the two had ever donned a green jacket. In town visiting his caddie in Athens, Ga., Mickelson ran into Watson and the rest of the University of Georgia golf team. Watson apparently challenged Mickelson, a budding PGA Tour superstar at the time, to a match. The stakes?
Jordan Spieth expected a rough time at the British Open before he even got to the golf course. He spent Friday morning at his rented house in front of the television, watching players battle a relentless wind at Royal Birkdale, all the while checking a forecast that was even worse for when he played in the afternoon. "It wasn't a great feeling knowing we were coming into something harder than what we were watching," he said. Spieth did more than just survive. With a short game as sharp as it has been all year, and a 3-wood that turned out a lot better than it looked and led to an eagle, Spieth seized control with a 1-under 69 that gave him a two-shot lead over Matt Kuchar going into the weekend.
Remember when Justin Thomas captivated the golf world by firing a 63 during the third round of the U.S. Open last month? Yeah, well, his performance on the sixth hole during Friday’s second round of The Open Championship was the complete opposite of that. One day after wearing a tie while posting a 67, the young American gun looked like your average weekend hack as the rough on Birkdale’s par-4 sixth hole showed him absolutely no mercy.