The Open: Round two notebook from HoylakeMarch, 2015
Pictures, thoughts and commentary on the second round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool
Update 19 – After an opening 69 Tiger Woods had to hole a six-foot putt at the 18th to make the cut.
His start was even worse than Thursday’s with three shots disappearing by the 3rd tee and, after 14 straight pars, he then wafted one out of bounds en route to a seven at the penultimate hole.
But, knowing what was required, he got up and down to ensure he didn’t miss a second straight cut.
“It wasn’tvery good. I got off to a terrible start again. And I had some opportunities to make a few birdies along the way to get back to even par for the day, and I just never did. I just never made anything. I had myself in good positions to make birdies, and I just didn’t do it.”
Update 18 – Rickie Fowler, still only 25, now feels like he is ready to challenge for Majors. With a 5th and 2nd in the year’s first two Majors the youngster is now threatening again after adding a second 69 and he is feeling good about his chances here at Hoylake.
Afterwards he admitted that his putting alignment wasn’t quite spot on but he still managed five birdies.
“The US Open was definitely the most comfortable I had felt in a Major. And then I feel like this week is most definitely very comfortable and I am comfortable with the expectations of knowing I want to be in contention and want to be here to have a chance to win the tournament.
“Playing last week at the Scottish Open definitely helps coming over and the first couple of days there kind of getting reacquainted with it and going through how much wind affects the ball over here and just remembering how much you can bounce the ball, depending on conditions. I’m excited about this weekend.”
Update 17 – Francesco Molinari rebounded from three dropped shots in two holes to post a 70. Leading at the time after three early birdies the Italian lost a ball out of bounds at the 8th with a cautionary iron.
But an inward half of 34, three under, moved him back up the leaderboard. His best Major finish is a share of 9th, at Muirfield last year, and he is well placed to improve on that over the weekend.
The good news for his fans is that Hoylake fits Molinari’s eye and his ever-reliable swing is now working a treat.
“I’ve been here since Sunday and I like the course since I got here. And I’ve been hitting the ball well. I’ve been putting well.
“I felt that my short game was in good shape since I got here, and my long game wasn’t quite there. But then I did some work with my coach and we did some work on the swing, and it seemed to click pretty much.” MT
Update 16 – Ryan Moore’s ordinary Open record looks to be getting a lot better after he added a 68 to his opening 70.
After no dropped shots on Thursday the American bogeyed two of the first seven before improving very quickly with six birdies in the last 11 holes.
Previously Moore has a best effort of T28 from four starts and the good early form of playing partners Francesco Molinari and Thorbjorn Olesen spurred him on.
“They were both playing some great golf and making some birdies early and I was making some bogeys. I was like, all right, I’ve got to figure this out, because clearly this course was being pretty scorable.
Sometimes it helps playing with some guys that are hitting good shots and making putts. I really controlled my ball well my last 12 holes of the day. I put it in the right spots and just gave myself a bunch of opportunities. I actually missed some really good birdie opportunities as well there on the backside.” MT
Update 15 Shane Lowry was derailed by two holes but still managed to get back to one under heading into the weekend. The Irishman, joint third overnight, double bogeyed both 7 and 8 and then saw another one slip by at the 9th to reach the turn in 40.
But he then rallied with a birdie at 11 and 18 to finish in red figures and offer some hope of optimism for the second half of the week.
“The 7th and 8th were a big killer but that’s golf. And that’s the way links golf goes sometimes. I played 7 sensibly, I had an awful lie in the rough and just laid it up and just hit a poor enough third shot.
“But I thought I hit a decent tee shot off 8, and it didn’t even carry through the wind. It was a shock to the system. It was only a 196 carry, but we weren’t talking about the carry, we were talking about the run out on the bunker. And then bogeyed 9. I mean, it felt like I hadn’t hit a bad shot over two days and all of a sudden I’m back to 1-over.” MT
Update 14 – Adam Scott came through the morning gusts still in good shape after a birdie-birdie finish left him at three under. The Australian came off the 13th green three over for the day but saved his round to keep himself in contention.
“It’s the strongest wind since I’ve been here. And all of a sudden downwind the ball was going very far and the greens gave out a lot more, 20 and 30 yards almost, some balls bouncing on the greens coming in with an iron. We just haven’t seen that yet. So they kind of got my attention after a couple of holes,” the 2013 Masters champion said.
Scott remains very nicely placed in a Championship which he has nearly won the last two years. Once upon a time he had a poor record, now his experience of different conditions should serve him very well.
“You really have to be careful of what kind of shot you pick. Shot selection is huge. At the 4th I hit a 6-iron 147 yards. You can afford to make a little error in judgment, but not a big one. Typically Majors do seem to play tougher on the weekend, if there was no wind and sunshine it might be a different story, but that’s not looking like the case.” MT
Update 13 – Justin Rose gained some late momentum to finish -2 for the tournament after his second round 70.
“I was pleased with that. It was difficult out there today, and that was probably just good enough to keep me right in it.,” he said.
“I had a couple of nice strokes around the turn. Chipped in at 9 and 10, which felt like I got my championship going.
“And I felt from that point I could probably pick up a couple more, but the course definitely proved to be difficult. Even the downwind holes it was hard to get the ball close to the hole, as it often is. Picking one up at the last there was a nice way to finish.”
Update 12 – As regulation pars go Phil Mickelson’s five at the 10th was up there with the best. After losing a ball to the out of bounds the defending champion then found the fairway, cracked a 2-iron from 215 yards to six feet and rolled her in.
“It was a crazy par save, wasn’t it? I played really well but there were a couple of loose shots. The drive on 10, the missed putt on 7 ended up costing me another one on 8. And I ended up giving four or five shots away, but I played really well. There was like a mental barrier to get it back to even par, so that putt on 18 was big.”
The left-hander will start the third round from level par after this 70 and he is hoping a slight adjustment on his putting stroke might pay dividends over the weekend.
“I’m striking it so good. And if I putt the way I putted the last nine holes for the weekend, I’m going to have a good chance.
I just tried to extend more to the target. I felt like I was kind of quitting on it, and I seemed to get them on line and had a couple of really good rolls.” MT
Update 11 – Bubba Watson’s level-par round was an improvement on his 76 yesterday, but the Masters champion doesn’t expect to be here for the weekend.
“Right now I’m like 97th or 98th or something. So I don’t see it jumping that far,” he said.
“It could, though. Don’t get me wrong, it could, if the wind stays up like it is.”
“I probably can’t get a flight out today. I’ll be sitting and watching coverage at the house, and hanging out with my friends that are here. Webb (Simpson) is staying in the house with me. So me and Webb will probably be making fun of how bad we played today. I don’t know what he shot today. Probably terrible.”
Update 10 – Martin Kaymer is yet to grasp the nuances of the 7th hole as he added a six to his first-day bogey.
The hole ranked as the hardest on Thursday and the US Open champion’s double bogey led to a run of four dropped shots in three holes.
“I missed the tee shot a little over to the right and it was one of those bushes and I didn’t have a shot so I needed to take a penalty. I needed to go all the way back and then I couldn’t get to the green in two,” he said.
“I was trying, but I couldn’t make it. And then I was still in the rough. And it was a very thick lie, but chipped it out, still on the green. And then you start thinking, you haven’t done much wrong. You were 3-under a moment ago, and now you’re fighting for double bogey.”
He birdied the 16th and 18th to finish the day with a 72 to sit on one over and inside the cut. MT
Update 9 – George Coetzee was up at 5.05am on his birthday but it was worth the early alarm call as he added a 69 to his opening 70.
The South African was out the house by 5.30 for his 7.20 tee time and saved his best efforts for the back nine. A 40-foot putt at the 13th was followed by a 12 footer at the next and he completed a hat-trick of birdies with a 6-iron to two feet.
Having then seen his name at the top of the leaderboard he promptly bogeyed the next two before pitching and putting for a sixth birdie of the day.
“You know you’re in contention and your score shouldn’t affect the way but obviously there were maybe some nerves on the second putt at 16.”
This is Coetzee’s fourth Open and he is slowly getting the hang of links golf.
“Up until 16 I never broke 80 on the coast. Never mind playing on links I couldn’t understand why the ball was going so short. As the years went on I tried to teach myself how to play at the coast.” MT
Update 8 – Tiger and Rory are due out in the next hour and all eyes are on the clouds because it doesn’t seem like anyone can work out what conditions the players will face out there this afternoon. It is very windy at the moment in places, with high gusts of around 25mph. Thoughts are also drifting to what score will lead overnight. It doesn’t feel like a day where people are going to go out and score six under in the afternoon, and nobody has come close to that this morning. George Coetzee has every reason to be delighted today – he’s in the clubhouse at -5 on his birthday. JT
Update 7 – Lots of talk today about the weather, which seems to have confused everyone. At first we were being told to prepare for a thunderstorm, then for high winds, and all we seem to have is a stiff breeze and blistering sunshine. The outcome for me was not putting any suncream on this morning and taking a waterproof out onto the course, resulting in me sporting a slightly reddish glow at the moment. A warning to players tomorrow however – if you are planning on being at the course at lunchtime, pack waterproofs and and umbrella. JT
Update 6 – Seems a lot busier out on the course today, think there will be a few turning up to pay on the gate seeing as the weather is better than expected. The 10th tee is a great vantage point as it also gives a view of the 9th green. Watched Kaymer, Day and Zach Johnson among others struggle to get close on 9. Bubba, Phil and Ernie fared much better but still no birdies. Minutes after I left Justin Rose rocked up and chipped in from the edge of the green to get back to level par. Typical. The blow was softened by watching Graham De Laet chip in for eagle on 16 as I made my way back to the media centre. JS
Update 5 – Here are your stats from day one: Rory McIlroy (340.5), Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott topped the driving distances. Henrik Stenson (93%) topped fairways hit. Edoardo Molinari, Jason Dufner and Paul Casey (89%) led the Greens in Regulation. Marc Warren, Rhein Gibson and Roberto Castro had the least putts (25), Ernie Els had the most (36). MT
How the holes ranked in terms of difficulty
Update 4 – Bryden MacPherson has recorded his first birdie of the Open. The Aussie was round in 90 on Thursday after starting the back nine 7-6-8-4-7 but today is on steadier ground. After matching his front nine of 41 the 2011 Amateur champion, winner at Hillside, finally picked up a shot at the par-5 10th. In other news at the bottom of the leaderboard Michael Hoey has withdrawn. He had a callous removed from his left foot recently and, after replacing the bandage this morning, some flesh came away. Nice. MT
Update 3 – Coetzee and Jaidee starting to make some moves this morning – the latter has made two straight birdies at 4 and 5 to move to -3. There is definitely more wind around this morning, with forecasts saying we could be up at around 20mph in the next hour. However, this afternoon it is going to calm down a little and get very hot – perfect for Rory and Tiger when they head out this afternoon you would think. JT
Update 2 – For those of you who might be slightly bored this morning and fancy something a little bit inventive to end the week, we are searching for the best Beatles related Open puns on Twitter. I’m opening proceedings with “Lukey (Donald) in the sky with diamonds”. We’ll give out a prize for the best answer so get thinking and Tweet us your best efforts. JT
Update 1 – Good morning and welcome to Hoylake for the second round of the Open. It’s a lot windier today and their are some threatening clouds about. We think the afternoon starters could get the best conditions today and they include leader Rory McIlroy who’s off at 2.37pm. Despite the blustery conditions, US Open champion Martin Kaymer picked up two birdies on his first two holes to get into the red. JS
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