The Open Championship’s one of the finest events on the sporting calendar, but it takes place way too early in the morning for most of America. That’s where we come in. Here’s what you missed on Day 2 of the Open while you were tucked snug in your bed.
Pillowy Portrush: We like our Open Championships like we like our horror flicks: with the constant threat of bodily harm around every turn. It’s not an Open if you don’t have a few days of sideways rain and wind that strips the skin from your skull. And while that’s apparently headed Northern Ireland’s way this weekend, on Friday morning Royal Portrush was about as threatening as a perky puppy. Players in the morning draw took advantage; as afternoon rolled around, only one player in the top 12, Shane Lowry, hadn’t yet teed off. If it turns uglier Friday afternoon, there’ll be some players regretting their draw.
Cut line: The easier conditions meant that the cut line trended ever downward. The cut line at the Open Championship is top 70 and ties, no “within 10 strokes of the leader” rule. That means the cut line is going to fall around +1, and that means names like Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are almost surely headed home early. At least Rory can sleep in his childhood bed.
Fleetwood hacks: Tommy Fleetwood is edging his way into the Best Never To Win A Major conversation, but he’s also doing exactly what one needs to in order to win a couple of these things: He’s losing them late. Fleetwood is already a Ryder Cup legend thanks to his play last year; he walked off the course Friday the clubhouse leader at -7, and he could be in one of the final pairings to start the weekend.
Koepka challenging: Brooks Koepka’s already in the clubhouse with a second-round score of 69, and he’s sitting two strokes off the clubhouse lead. He’s now fought for the lead in six of the last seven majors, including the last five in a row, and he’s won three of those. Yeah, he’s good.
The return of Jordan Spieth: Former Open champ Jordan Spieth hasn’t won a tournament at all in two years. In that time, he’s looked lost and overmatched. But on Friday, it was like Spieth had jumped forward from 2015. A front-nine stretch of birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie vaulted him right to the top of the leaderboard, and he could have a big weekend coming up.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 19, 2019
Lehman says goodbye: The end comes for every player eventually, and Friday it came for Tom Lehman. The 1996 Open champion finished out his last round in an Open Championship at +12, and tapped out with his son on the bag. Here’s video of the moment:
For the current leaderboard, go here, and check back all day as we cover all the major events coming out of Royal Portrush.
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