Tiger Woods was delighted not to play himself out of contention for an unprecedented third Open title at St Andrews yesterday.
Woods added a second round 73 to his opening 67 to finish four under par, eight shots behind clubhouse leader Louis Oosthuizen, with 30 players unable to complete their rounds due to an earlier 65-minute delay.
The world No1 was on the first green when play was suspended due to strong winds, but ground out one of the better rounds of the afternoon starters when play resumed and finished in style with a birdie on the 18th after driving the green. "It was a tough day," said Woods, winner of the Open the last two times it was staged at the Old Course, in 2005 and 2000.
"We thought it (the delay) might give us a break, and we might come out there with less wind and have a chance at posting some pretty good numbers but that wasn't the case.
"It was blowing just as hard when we came back out, especially when we got out towards the loop.
"They were saying it's a hole-by-hole scenario. They could call it at any time, but they didn't, even though it was blowing pretty good.
"You just have to go out there and deal with it, whether you're on the good end of the draw or not the good end, you just have to go out there and play and gut it out."
Asked about his prospects of winning a 15th major title over the weekend, Woods added: "I'm not exactly where I want to be. I'm not 12 under par, but I'm at four under. I'm eight back and yesterday was a day I could have easily shot myself out of the tournament, especially the start I got off to, but I put it back together again and pieced together a pretty good round.
"The R&A made a concerted effort not to have the pins as easy as they did on Friday because they thought the weather was going to come in, but it came in yesterday with the tougher pins. It was certainly one of the tougher days I've ever played. (But) we've all played in bad conditions. If you've played professional golf long enough you're going to play in some bad stuff. You've just got to deal with it.
"Everyone is out there, everyone is dealing with the wind, and everyone is playing the same golf course. Just got to go out there and execute."
World No3 Lee Westwood is hoping his Open Championship gets a kick-start today after enduring two rounds that failed to ignite. On Thursday the British golfer got the worst of the weather and could card only 67.
Yesterday the 37-year-old had 17 pars and just one birdie as he boosted his total to six under. That put him into a share of third, six shots behind Oosthuizen, without really having taken advantage of the decent golf he has played.
However, he is hopeful the weekend will bring a change in fortune. "I am behind where I ought to be -- I should really be 10 under at worst," said Westwood.
Darren Clarke was reminded of his youth as he battled his way to a second successive 70 in The Open at St Andrews. "It was a time for knocking shots down and chasing the ball up -- and that's what I grew up doing," said the 41-year-old Ulsterman, one of 30 players back on the course at 6.30am today to complete his second round.