Sport Golf

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Mixed fortunes so far for Irish golfers on day two

Lee Westwood makes his move

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after a wayward tee shot on the third hole today
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after a wayward tee shot on the third hole today

England's Lee Westwood believes his two-under clubhouse lead will look increasingly better as the second day of the 142nd Open Championship progresses.

The 40-year-old may have finished with three bogeys in his last six holes but he was far from disappointed with a 68.

When he knocked in a three-foot birdie - his sixth of the day - at the 12th he went to five under and into a share of the lead with Zach Johnson, who had yet to tee off at that point.

He may have fallen from that lofty perch fairly quickly but the Ryder Cup star was far from downhearted.

"I was pleased to be six-under through 12. I was playing some great stuff and it was just getting harder as the holes progressed, tougher to score, tougher to get it close," he said.

"I was hitting the ball well, putting nicely. The golf course got really difficult and the finish is tough as 16, 17 and 18 are playing hard.

"We had an advantage (playing in the morning). I'll kick back this afternoon on the couch and watch some struggles and the cricket."

Westwood was joined in the clubhouse by world number one Tiger Woods and Swede Henrik Stenson.

Woods had looked in command of his play off the tee and with his long irons but struggled to really get to grips with the greens.

He twice got to three under - with birdies at the third and fifth interspersed with a three-putt bogey after coming up short at the par-three - but that was the best he could manage.

After turning in 36 it was more of a grind coming home and only a 15-foot birdie putt at the last maintained his status at two-under as he carded a level-par 71.

Stenson shot 70 to improve his score by one and was relatively happy after struggles with his game in the last year.

"I'm up here and playing in a big tournament again. I think I've got the experience to do well in these championships," he said.

"I'm very happy with the patience and then the mental balance that I've managed to keep these first two days.

"That's one of the secrets to do well in this game and especially these tournaments and I've done well so far."

Westwood's prediction about the afternoon starters was not far wrong as none of the afternoon starters were able to make as much headway early on as he had done in the morning.

That was mainly as a result of the course drying out under the relentless baking sun and breeze blowing down the Firth of Forth.

Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello, began the day four under but after dropping a shot at the short fourth birdied the fifth and seventh to move to five under to tie with overnight leader Johnson, who had still not teed off.

Compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez's approach to within three feet at the second briefly took him to four under but he gave that shot back after finding rough off the next tee.

Scotland's Martin Laird got himself into the top 10 with a level-par 71 for a one-under total.

Woods was also happy with his position and he too hoped the tricky afternoon conditions he had to play in yesterday would now do him a favour.

"I'm in a good spot. I'm tied for the clubhouse lead," said the 14-time major winner.

"These guys have to go out this afternoon and obviously play a golf course that's quick and it's drying out and with a different wind so it will be tough out there.

"I've just got to continue plodding along, continue just being patient, putting the ball in the right spots.

"We're not going to get a lot of opportunities out there but when I have I've been able to capitalise and hopefully I can continue doing that."

Cabrera-Bello's position at the top of the leaderboard lasted just a hole as he missed a 15ft par putt at the next.

That dropped him into a tie with Brandt Snedeker, who tapped in a four-footer for birdie at the 377-yard third.

Darren Clarke is the leading Irish challenger after shooting a creditable 71 to finish on one over par.

The former Claret Jug winner recovered from an eight on the par four sixth to hit five birdies in an impressive showing.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington will have an anxious wait to see of he makes the cut after hitting four bogeys and a birdie on his closing five holes to finish his second round at six over par.

Graeme McDowell had three  birdies and three bogeys in a level par round of 71 which leaves him on four over, a mark that should be good enough to make the weekend.

Rory McIlroy will attempt to undo the damage of an opening 79 horror show on the first day. He began his round solidly with two pars but then had bogeys on the third and fourth holes to slip to 10 over.

Shane Lowry has played eight holes of his second round and seven pars and a bogey on the fourth mean he is on four over.

Gareth Maybin will not be involved this weekend, the Northern Irishman finished on 12 over following a second round 76.

More to follow.


Today's tee times

(British unless stated; (x) amateurs)

6.32 D Willett, Y E Yang (Kor), J Wagner (US)

6.43 T Wiratchant (Tha), L Glover (US),

O Floren (Swe)

6.54 B Weekley (US), S Lyle, N Fasth (Swe)

7.05 M Fraser (Aus), G Forrest (x), M O'Meara (US)

7.16 T Lehman (US), T Jaidee (Tha),

F Jacobson (Swe)

7.27 J Leonard (US), R Pugh (x), M Leishman (Aus)

7.38 A Quiros (Spn), K Stanley (US), A Noren (Swe)

7.49 R Henley (US), J Spieth (US),

M Fitzpatrick (x)

8.0 P Harrington (Irl), M Thompson (US),

R Ramsay

8.11 V Singh (Fij), D Clarke (NIrl), M Laird

8.22 R Moore (US), H Stenson (Swe), S Fox (x) (US)

8.33 T Olesen (Den), J Furyk (US), P Lawrie

8.44 G Ogilvy (Aus), H English (US),

S Gallacher

9.0 L Westwood, C Schwartzel (Rsa),

S Garcia (Spn)

9.11 A Scott (Aus), M Kuchar (US), L Donald

9.22 R Fowler (US), M Manassero (Ita),

H Mahan (US)

9.33 P Hanson (Swe), H Fujita (Jpn), B Haas (US)

9.44 T Woods (US), G McDowell (NIrl),

L Oosthuizen (Rsa)

9.55 W Simpson (US), B Grace (Rsa),

J Donaldson

10.06 F Molinari (Ita), T Taniguchi (Jpn),

B Van Pelt (US)

10.17 DA Points (US), B Rumford (Aus),

M Siem (Ger)

10.28 G Murray, M Brown (Nzl), J Harding (Rsa)

10.39 G Bourdy (Fra), S Jamieson, S Kapur (Ind)

10.50 S Brown (US), S Kodaira (Jpn), G Maybin (NIrl)

11.01 T Hatton, E De La Riva (Spn), K Kuboya (Jpn)

11.12 S Dartnall (Aus), D Lloyd (Rsa), D Maruyama (Jpn)

11.33 P Senior (Aus), L Saltman, O Fisher

11.44 R Karlsson (Swe), T Hamilton (US), B Stow (x)

11.55 T Aiken (Rsa), K Aphibarnrat (Tha), B Cauley (US)

12.06 M Ilonen (Fin), B Koepka (US), A Wu (Chn)

12.17 D Duval (US), B Wiesberger (Aut),

C Wood

12.28 S Stallings (US), S Cink (US), R McEvoy

12.39 KJ Choi (Kor), M A Jimenez (Spn),

J Walker (US)

12.50 B Curtis (US), S Lowry (Irl), R Cabrera-Bello (Spn)

1.01 J Blixt (Swe), B Davis, G DeLaet (Can)

1.12 R Garrigus (US), J Senden (Aus),

M Warren

1.23 M Kaymer (Ger), G Porteous (x), J Day (Aus)

1.34 C Pettersson (Swe), J Dufner (US),

D Lynn

1.45 B Watson, N Colsaerts (Bel), D Johnson (US)

2.01 N Faldo, T Watson (US), F Couples (US)

2.12 J Rose, E Els (Rsa), B Snedeker (US)

2.23 I Poulter, K Bradley (US), B Horschel (US)

2.34 G Fernandez-Castano (Spn), R Sterne (Rsa), N Watney (US)

2.45 R McIlroy (NIrl), H Matsuyama (Jpn),

P Mickelson (US)

2.56 S Piercy (US), T Clark (Rsa),

K Streelman (US)

3.07 Z Johnson (US), S Katayama (Jpn),

T Bjorn (Den)

3.18 A Cabrera (Arg), C Villegas (Col), E Goya (Arg)

3.29 G Coetzee (Rsa), K Duke (US),

M Calcavecchia (US)

3.40 J Huh (US), B Jones (Aus), H-S Kim (Kor)

3.51 J Teater (US), S Tiley, J Mullen (x)

4.02 KT Kim (Kor), S Jeffress (Aus), L Guthrie (US)

4.13 J Wade (Aus), G Wright (Wal), M Inoue (Jpn)


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