Extensive coverage from Royal Troon of the second round at the 145th Open Championship. Friday's play was delayed by rain last year.
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Hello, if it is true innovation you are after at the Open Championship,
Phil Mickelson almost gave us some of that yesterday. The left-hander
was millimetres away from a landmark achievement, a 62 in a men's Major.
Something that has been described as golf's four-minute mile. Phil was
doing his best Roger Bannister impressions on an opening day that
was dominated, as they so often are here at Royal Troon, by the US of A.
They have always done well at Troon, those from the other side of the
Atlantic, this year there are more in the California sun on the further
Clyde. Others like Steve Stricker who have seen it many times before
are all 4-under with eight Americans in the top ten. Yes, there are
others who didn't find the going quite so easy. Bubba Watson has not
enjoyed Opens past. Jordan Spieth, so close at St Andrews last year,
was a shot further behind. It was feisty Patrick Reed, so long the
standard-bearer, finishing 5-under and leading the way. Zach Johnson
showed a fierce determination to hold onto his Claret Jug, reaching
six and before letting slip two shots on the final to my calls. But
what Americans stole the show, as he so often can. By the time Phil
Mickelson reach the final hole, you had eight birdies and a chance of a
record-breaking mark. Never in men's Majors has a 60 to be managed, and
Mickelson came as close as any. On another grand day at Troon for the
stars and stripes. He might have been heartbroken, but Mickelson is
still only the ninth man ever to shoot 63. The Muirfield champion
takes a three shot lead, the largest after an opening round for 15 years.
Patrick Reed and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer of closest to
it. -- are closest to it. Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia
amongst those at 3-under, whilst Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott six
behind Jordan Spieth, reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson all
eight adrift whilst the world number one, Jason Day, lacking ten shots
behind. It could be all change on the second day. We might be it about
to go from sun splashed to just splash. Rain, we understand, is on
the way. The wind is coming in from the south, meaning that is into the
players' faces on the front nine holes and potentially helping them
home. That might be a moot point with gusts of up to 25 mph coming in
in the afternoon. It might be a day for Phil Mickelson to dig out the
all-weather gloves that he has taken to wearing on occasions like this.
We couldn't take our eyes off him yesterday, and Ken Brown had him on
his radar earlier this morning. Phil Mickelson, just wondering passed the
18th green, wistfully looking, morning, Phil, how on earth did that
putt slip past the edge of the whole yesterday, unbelievable for a 62. He
is getting the feel of the putting servers this morning, it is a very
different day. It is chilly, the wind has turned from 180 degrees.
The greens are a little bit slower. It will be interesting to see how
Phil does. It is chilly and everybody is wrapped up this
morning. Phil is ready for action. What a day was for him yesterday.
Something very special. Mixing with the stars again! Phil and his
playing partners, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood, might have some of the
better conditions morning thanks to their early tea-time. Golf's man of
the summer, Dustin Johnson, was rather upstaged by my think I'm up
Spike bogey 366 today. Russell Knox starting on over. -- Dustin
Johnson's bogey free 63. Henson and Scott enjoyed solid starts.
Denmark's 41 you rolled Soren Kjeldsen has enjoyed a newly single
golf life. He moved to 5-under. Right behind him, all eyes on
46-year-old Mickelson leading this putting touch to save par here at
the 2nd. Job done. Yeltsin again, taking advantage of the par-5 at the
6th. Further gain therefore the Dane, who won at the Irish Open last
year to behind Mickelson. It didn't take the Muirfield champion logs
reassert himself. His ninth birdie at the 4th, now 9-under par, and
three in front once again. Here is the picture as we join it on day two
of the opening Championship. Mickelson three shots ahead of
Kjeldsen, who has made significant progress, two on today. Bill Haas
going well in that group at 4-under par. The greatest gains have been
made by Charl Schwartzel, the former Masters winner from South Africa. He
has picked up shots and the first three birdies in a row at the 3rd
number seven. He is on the march, as we join Ken Brown, Mark James,
Andrew Cotter and Peter Alliss. A very different day from yesterday as
we look down across the links eh at Royal Troon. The water looks pretty
calm. There is a hint of rain in the air, but we have more to come. Here
we are looking back to the tee at the 1st. Yesterday's here are,
Mickelson, about to hit his tee shot.
Bones and filled together. You would think they would have exhausted
every possible discussion on every club and every shot. It is lovely,
like newlyweds! He drilled that, didn't he?! Oh, I say!
APPLAUSE I do say, that was wonderful.
Ciman had some problems on the second to save par.
Getting in, they cry, but it doesn't today. The shot goes, different
prospect there. After that beautiful tee shot at the 5th, Mickelson. He
has a putt for a two. Oh! Not to be, so close. One birdie,
and all passed so far. -- all par. Second hole catching a few players
out today. Bird shot for Johnson. Not counting Zach Johnson out. That
is a way to bogey the second. He bogeyed the 18th to finish
yesterday, Johnson. 5-under. Schwartzel has made a sensational
start to his round. He is swinging beautifully, putting fine, and
another one rattled friend. He really is on a roll. Better things
from him today than yesterday. Mickelson, a long way at the 6th
hole today. Third shot to the par-5. A little bit of zip there.
Andy Sullivan at the 5th. 3-under par, this for a birdie. Looks
My golly, it is good, well done. What a revelation he has been over
the last couple of seasons. Conditions still pretty good for the
morning starters. Mickelson, birdie opportunity at the par-5 6th. It
will press forward, local press forward of the hands. Watching it
all the way, run on, watching get to judge the break. -- watching it.
Martin Kime for a birdie. At the 4th. -- Kaymer. Sweetly done.
A more conventional putting grip for this one. Then he searches. He is
rolling the ball very nicely, nice and steady. One and on for the first
six, par here at six. And another superb... Oh, it was.
Now it is just OK. Mickelson, seventh hole, second shot. 135
yards, over the back and closed in the pin. Walter Little beauty. It
did the salsa around the hole there. -- what a little beauty. Stenson on
the par-5. Actor back birdies to 5-under he goes. -- back-to-back
birdies. This was a wonderful second shot for Mickelson on the seventh.
He was blind, spun it back to here. A birdie chance. Oh, only just but
he has done it! Second birdie for Mickelson. And he moves to 10-under
double figures. At the moment coming he is running away with things.
Zach Johnson for his birdie at the par-5 4th. That is two of the first
four. Johnson moves 6-under. Mickelson on the dangerous eighth
hole. It is only small, but it packs a punch. Another super shot from
Mickelson. Could it going? Might it? APPLAUSE
He is like that for the Dynamo, magic.
Henrik Stenson on the fifth, birdies on the third and fourth. Still quite
still out there, close to those left-hand bunkers, pin here. Just
about there, coming down off the shoulder. What a result, great
birdie chance to come. Charl Schwartzel, what a run he is on.
Would it end here? First bogey of the day was out on 31 with five
bogeys, a bogey on the 10th, back to 3-under.
What a shot black Johnson. Downslope to land it on, that is as good as he
could have done. Superb shot from Zach Johnson. The rain is coming
down a bit more steadily now. Keegan Bradley at the 3rd. His third
shot, birdie putt, big swing. Here it comes, Lookout! Leapt into the
hole for Sanctuary. 5-under par. Zach Johnson, fairly still waters
behind him. This will be a wonderful up and down. Conditional tense, it
wasn't, what a shame. He usually rolls those in so well. Shot goes on
the fifth. Back to the group in 5-under.
What a difference a day makes in these conditions. All rather damp at
the moment. Stenson, putt for a two. In it goes, three birdies in a row,
the man who was so close to Mickelson at Muirfield three years
ago has done well again. Bones keeps the ball dry for his boss,
Mickelson. Two clubs on today with that arthritic condition he has,
keep the hands warm and a bogey of the cards coming he hasn't had one
yet in this Championship -- two gloves on.
And he still hasn't. Right in the middle it went. Mickelson remains
11-under, 33 to the term. -- turn. Zach Johnson on the Spectator
crosswalk, a little punch in it, he holds that after just zipping it in.
Johnson, another birdie opportunity to come. Mickelson on the 10th hole,
brollies or out and the rain is down. Before the rain came down, Ken
Brown without having a look at this hole. -- was out. The 10th turns
back into the prevailing wind, 451 yards from right to left. The
fairways totally on-site it, you have no idea where it is over the
mound. -- and cited. It is an undulating fairway, the ball tends
to keep from left to right. The ball is played uphill to an elevated
green, club selection is not easy, trying to keep it under the breeze
because you are uphill. Up here on the putting surface on the 10th
green, to the left of it is a huge bank with vengeful long grass, you
don't want to go in there. If you drift down the right, watch what
happens, the ball trickle is off into the green. And she's gone! Down
the slope! And the problem here is when it goes down the slope here,
lots of people have done the same thing, just have a look. All these
divots, terrible pivots. You come down the bank, hopefully the ball it
in a different place. Look what you are left with? And awful little
chip, you could find the hole line. This is interesting, no bunkers, but
my goodness... Looking down from on high at the terrifying T-shirt on
the 10th. -- tee-shot. Pick a line. Heading right, there is thick stuff
down there. He might have avoided the worst of it. We will see it
plainly enough. Keegan Bradley at the 4th hole,
third shot. Pitch over that bank, scuttles along. Pretty nicely
judged, too. APPLAUSE
The caddy exits. Zach Johnson in for his birdie.
APPLAUSE That Johnson goes back to 6-under,
joined his playing partner, Stenson. Third shot from Mickelson here. He
has parted quite beautifully so far. -- parted. He has struck the ball
beautifully, got a nice pace. A little bit shy on the one. Again,
nice, easy role. Safe par. More than happy with that off that
he shot. The fun of the 11th to come. -- off that tee-shot. Even
with his great height, spends and can't see much of the target.
Straight over the camera tower I suggest is more or less in line.
Stop, stop, stop... Yes! He has no idea at this moment how good that
is. Bradley out for that very good chip,
birdie putt on the ball. Well done. -- on the fourth.
Five shot lead for Phil Mickelson. A Scandinavian assault, Danish and
Swedish. Soren Kjeldsen, Henrik Stenson. Zach Johnson, the defending
champion, as well. Martin Kaymer is further adrift.
Martin Kaymer at this very, very annoying, beautifully attractive in
a weird sort of way, eighth hole. And he has made it look like there
is nothing to its... O! I thought there was going to be a point of
Shandy brought there, but it wasn't to be.
APPLAUSE Stenson makes it! That was pretty
from Stenson. Nice commercial shot from Soren
Kjeldsen, in the middle of the fourth green, putting upslope,
uphill for a two. Delightful touch putter, he has hold
some good ones today as well. -- he has hole.
Stenson on the eighth tee, playing 125 yards, hardly a breath of wind.
I put my head out a minute ago, nothing around the clubhouse at all.
The forecast was for it to be horrific this morning.
A lot of spin on the ball. It lands very softly. The flag is hardly
moving. This side of the draw might get a huge break. One of the best
wedge players in the game, Ken. A strong grip, holds the face open,
pushes with the follow-through. He is a good wedge man. A lot of spin,
delightful. Soft greens and not much breeze makes this shot a little bit
easier. Second shot of Mickelson at the 11th.
Fabulous irons, superbly struck. Some very high quality golf today,
beautiful golf yesterday, and Phil has had one heck of a career.
Charl Schwartzel, he had a heck of a start, five birdies on the front
nine, slowed down a bit since. Here at the 13th, Schwartzel now to
3-under. Henrik Stenson, for his two. Adam
Scott's Marco looked -- Marco looks almost at his line, and he knows it
is pretty slow. -- marker. You think he is very capable of
winning Major titles, no doubt about that. Par at the 8th for Stenson,
stays at 7-under. Came to the ninth. Blind shot. --
Martin Kaymer. Pin at the back of the green today. You have to judge
the grass. That is not great, but it hit nice and soft. Two for the chip
now. Did you have a putt with all-weather gloves on, Ken? It is
like wearing divan gloves. He needs to keep his touch. This will be a
massive birdie... O! He tried. Just a par for Phil. Very, very tidy
golf. Just a little tasty one left,
unusual putting grip. Nicely done, Tony. 33.71 today to go with the 67
yesterday. Martin Kaymer uses the Texas wedge, the putter from the
green, more often than most. He has got a chance... In she goes! What a
beauty! Bit of a push with the second and comes up with a nice
finish on the front line holes. -- front nine holes. 7-under. Good
wedge from the tee of this eighth hole, the Postage Stamp. Zach
Johnson to get to seven. A beautiful putt from Johnson. A 3-way tie for
second. Martin Kaymer, Johnson and Stenson.
Interesting play from Mickelson. He needs a bit of luck. It looks like
he has avoided the course over there.
STUDIO: Phil Mickelson with a four shot advantage, but they are
gaining. Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson and Zach Johnson all moving
to 7-under par now, this leaderboard is no longer resembling quite the
51st State of the USA that it did last night. Gorgeous yesterday, but
every beautiful day in Scotland its acts a penalty. Tony Finau is
certainly enjoying his first taste of the Open. Tony, you are getting a
proper Scottish welcome. Weather has turned. What you make of it? It is
what I expected. When I keyed off, it was chilly this morning, the
weather was up and it started to rain. I felt like we were in for a
long day. After the first few holes I was able to manage out there. How
pleased are you with the Lovell part to date? -- level par today? I try
to keep my head down and play, I was able to do that nicely. I did and
have the best front nine but I was able to have ice back nine and keep
myself in the mix. Not easy, this. Phil is undecided to
the green, hasn't got the greatest lie, could be worse. -- on the
cited. Well, OK, he is going to have a
pitch in a putt to save his par. Stenson second on the ninth. Can he
fire on up and get it to land softly? He had the distance right,
but he is in Martin Kaymer country. Mickelson has just got a very
playable tight lie. Played two, just taking a tee shot into the right
rough. Can he save par? The Mickelson magic is spinning a lot,
maybe too much. When you invade my personal space,
you're affecting my ability to concentrate.
Martin Kaymer couldn't get the club on the back of the ball. Wouldn't go
in a give it. Where has it gone this time? -- didn't go in a divot.
Mickelson to save his par. He hasn't dropped a stroke yet this week. His
first stroke here at the 12th. Errant tee shot with an iron got him
into Walsall is of trouble, couldn't reach the green in two. -- got him
into all sorts of trouble. There is hope, just leaves by three.
STUDIO: That is the first bogey for Phil Mickelson since the 13th hole
of the last round and 2004. After that shocking first chip he has
another chance. That didn't really look as though he knew what was
going on there either. That is just a dreadful cap. -- chip.
Keegan Bradley off the tee, dodged the bunker. Should have a bit of
spin on it, struck it so well. Good chance of the birdie. Stenson to
save par at nine, played the chip well, came up a little shot from the
right. That was not a good putt. Left off the clubhead. Stenson slips
back to minus six. Still a heck of a front line, though. -- front nine.
Martin Kaymer chipped through hole ten. There he was obviously nervous
and flushing it and going back down where the previous chip was. Third
shot, 16 foot Yeltsin. Chance the birdie here. A good touch around the
greens. -- Soren Kjeldsen. Beautifully played. Realistic
chance. Kaymer, for a six. It's a shame,
after all that good work today. A tasty one he for Kjeldsen. Oh!
Par-5, it's going to be a five, after such a delightful chip
opportunity missed. All piles on the back nine, he stays at 6-under.
Keegan Bradley, a little bit of right-to-left on this. This is for
birdie. Not that much to right-to-left, surely not! There is,
good lord, what a three! Just about to drop supplies to the
Caddis. Phil has a plain like that, not quite as big as that, flies his
own plane. Have you been on it? I know you and him are pretty tight. I
haven't been on Phil's aeroplane as yet. It's impressive to have your
own aeroplane. Pretty much straight downwind, pin from left.
Safe, down the right side. At 6-under par, Kjeldsen, 17th green.
An outside chance of a two. I will! That's a little bonus.
Well, he'll be looking forward to getting in the clubhouse. Three
birdies, no bogeys, 7-under. Phil Mickelson, get it in the hole.
It doesn't sound as the same in a strange foreign accent, it should be
an American, getting the hole. Trickle bogey on ten, off the green,
in the rough. -- triple bogey. Has he hit it? No, he hasn't, another
one goes for Kaymer. 14th tee, playing 178, pin right side of the
green. He's trying to shape it there. Oh, Philip, Philip, Philip, a
massive break. There was a 50-50 chance it plugs and he's right in
the middle of the green. HAZEL IRVINE:
Phil Mickelson whether three shot advantage, a four way tie for
second. Interesting to see Keegan Bradley up there. This is the man
who won the first-ever major he entered at the USPGA Championship in
2011, he's really struggled since the anchoring ban came into force
this year. He's missed 11 out of 19 cuts, but a real sign of improvement
for the American here. COMMENTATOR:
Kjeldsen on the final hole, 7-under. Maybe heading for a Ryder Cup place.
And a beautiful little drive down two of them, side-by-side. Well, we
saw Zach Johnson hitters tee shot away to the right into trouble. Ken
was down there earlier before it started to rain, I hasten to add.
Here's what he thought. The rough was always about the open but how
deep was it this week at Troon? The first cut, it isn't really rough,
it's a semi, it's about three wide, two yards of reasonable stuff and
then into the deep stuff and if the ball goes in here you can find some
terrible lies. You will do well to hack that out. Also hidden there
sometimes is a nasty bit of Heather, as the train goes by. Let's see how
deep it is. It's a goods train as well. Put a tape measure in, it's
always interesting. This has got to be just about 20 inches deep. So if
you venture off line here and get unlucky you could get in some tough
stuff. The key this week is keep out of the rough. Wise words on any
course. After a brilliant break of the tee coming off the edge of the
bunker, Nicholson to extend his lead for a two, he had 32-macros
yesterday. -- Mickelson. Another one finds the bottom of the cut,
11-under. Impressive stuff, Peter. Yes, it is, it's quite remarkable. A
joy to watch. There will be a big cheer if this finds the bottom of
the cup. Kjeldsen, the 18th, he could be his final putt. Wondering
left to right. A wonderful day on the links for Soren Kjeldsen, the
clubhouse lead at 7-under par. 68, two rounds of 38 -- 34, that's a
wonderful round of golf. HAZEL IRVINE:
Rounds of 67 and 68 today have put Soren Kjeldsen firmly in contention
in this Open Championship. It was a tied seventh place at the Masters in
April and three months on his contending once more. Let's hear
from the Dane. -7 going into the weekend, you must
be over the moon with that? I'm very happy with that, I played really
well yesterday and we expected really tough conditions today. I
think generally we got pretty lucky. It wasn't great conditions, by no
means, but they weren't too bad and I hit a lot of quality shots again,
made putts when I needed to make putts and saved some good pars and
it was a really nice round. Into big spectators braving all to look down
on Mickelson, who has found a reasonable lie, some sit forward --
intrepid spectators. Mrs all the trouble. The rain is gentle, he has
two gloves on now, maybe these waterproof variety you may have read
about but I'm told on good authority, washing-up gloves, if you
pull them over the top of those, are absolutely waterproof and do a job
very well. Johnson, who found the right Russ-macro -- the right rough
off the tee. Fortunately it's not blowing very
hard, this is quite heavy rain coming down. A little unpleasant.
Back to 6-under. There's how the leaderboard looks,
he leads by four does Phil Mickelson, 15 since three, the
par-4, and a lovely setup routine. He looks from behind, he's picturing
the line, where the going to start the ball? At what pace? Get a clear
image of that. Steps up to it, not too fast. If you rush into it you
tend to have a rushed stroke, practice the soft ones. Those
gloves, they might lose a bit of feel with them. Interesting, he's
not afraid of getting them wet, that's the thing that intrigues me.
Fine, thin leather, like grip on the shaft and push it back and through,
and that's the second bogey, second bogey today, second bogey since we
started. Just found the rough off the tee and it cost him.
A first look at Andrew Johnson. The Middlesex golf club, they'll be
cheering in the clubhouse for that one. Was a little gem, he's been
playing some good golf recently, the Spanish open winner. Nicknamed Beef.
The green running away from him, decent lie, longs better than
shorts. That's the beauty, that is as good as you can go. How about
that one? That could well be one of the shots of the week. Nerve, you
see, you have to keep your nerve, and he did it beautifully. I find
this Zach Johnson style of chipping and pitching intriguing, Ken. He
sort of looks at it for a while and once he steps up to the ball it's
all very quick. You watch now, he just goes up, just a second or two
and clips it away, very stiff wrist, stiff arm. Pretty darned good. You
been amazing, he has the clubface wide open, he hit one up the tee.
Could do with a bit more source on those gloves. After the most
delightful little chip, this would be unlikely par, or an easy par.
Yes. Superb, 66, with a couple of bogeys on it. Look at those red
figures, out in 31, 35 back and right in the Championship, former
Masters champion as well, 2011. HAZEL IRVINE:
Phil Mickelson began the day with an advantage, still has it but the
chasing pack is changed a bit. Soren Kjeldsen already in with the round
of 68 and Charl Schwartzel, the Masters champion five years ago,
home with a 66, delightful touches in that round as well. Let's hear
from him. 66, that equals your best running
your open career so far. How good was it? This one was probably the
best out of the 66s I have made. The front line was very difficult, thank
the very first hole, I had a yards for my second which normally I wage
from 79, and basically played like that all the way out, then when I
returned it started raining and it rained hard, so it was a big
challenge but I'm very happy the way I played today.
COMMENTATOR: Mickelson, long putt for a birdie.
Had a couple of bogeys, dropped a couple of shots so far in this
round. But two putts will be okayed, one, no, good effort, but oh, a
little bit more than I'm sure he hoped for. Johnson, birdie putt. I
like the cut of his jib. Well done. APPLAUSE
A little bit of chicken on the bone here, Peter. There is, there's a bit
of movement here. If he's to the right of centre or towards the right
edge, he's going to miss this. Just needs to be inside left edge. Inside
the left edge, with a little bit of pace. He's played before. He knows
how to do it. APPLAUSE
Now Stenson. He was in great shape years ago, then he had two or three
years when he really was in the doldrums, almost gave up then came
back, found a little magic touch, a magic sword, then he is turning into
one of the world's best. A lovely shot. I liked watching that, though
he does things they don't tell you in the textbooks, like that -- Zach
But he gets the job done. Good shot. Has more writing on him than an F1
driver. He has. Come on, Phil, only two holes left
to play. He finds his weight everywhere. Oh, that might be, good
for a lefty. Just rocks the shoulders backwards
and forwards, Zach Johnson, his putting style is very simple. No
wrist action and nicely done. He's a little Luke Donald, just goes about
its business, very steady, hit the fairways, has some good Science. --
some good irons. Henrick, very nice. He moves within
two, 13 doesn't give much away. Can he get his stands, Peter? Being
left-handed he's only just got away with this. I think if he can swing,
this is wet, very soft, deep sand, he is a wizard. Look how open that
faith is, almost like a frying pan, flat on the back. The sound is
underneath and that's the way you do it. -- sand. That was a very awkward
shot at this time in the proceedings and beautifully played. Quickly to
the 18th, and that Beef, what a raw if that had gone in. Played the
recent US Open, the Americans just love the Beef. Mickelson, after that
absolutely splendid, splendid bunker shot. This little tiddler for his
three at the 17th. In she goes, well done. Not a very good tee shot, but
still a par-3. HAZEL IRVINE:
Mickelson coming towards the end of his round, Henrik Stenson only two
shots back now, leading Briton on that leaderboard Andrew Johnson, the
27-year-old from Barnet, won the Spanish open and hazard great summer
so far. Let's hear from Beef after that 69.
A pair of 69s, a drastic play, how pleased were you to score as you did
in the end after conditions today? Very happy, it's been a strange
couple of days. I played awkward yesterday, I hit one bad shot that
cost me seven. I hit the purist shank you ever seen and it came out
of nowhere. The same today, I was playing all right then I make seven
down 11, I two horrific tee shots and that was don't worry, I'm
playing well, and once I seemed to get on a roll and making two or
three birdies in role it's been quite strange, but very happy.
Dustin Johnson just off the green for a birdie at the 15th. He is
1-over par, that looks good, well done.
APPLAUSE Hadn't had any great fireworks from
him thus far in the Championship, a couple of sixes, but level par.
Now Mickelson, gloves still on. The rain has eased off a bit, but...
Well, safe, but perfect distance. APPLAUSE
He's given that the full treatment. Zach Sit, sit, oh, you greedy thing.
Just tickles him on a slight downslope. I tell you, Zach, it's
Another good round for Mickelson, a couple under today. Edged away from
the field, taken the all-weather gloves off, finally. Zach Johnson.
Third shot at the 15th, came out to here. Still, a fair distance from
the green. But oh, look at that. That's a lovely shot, a chance for a
four. Now Mickelson. A great man for a birdie on the final green, the 36
hole of this year's Championship. This Faure three. -- 36th hole. Very
slow from that side. And with the wind in this direction, planes
taking off, a bit of noise, take your time, it's only a tiddler but
you have missed these. Well done, nice confident work under miserable
conditions. I've seen worse. But he played nicely.
APPLAUSE Zach Johnson, to save par. Always,
always left. That's a total misread from Johnson. So he will slip back.
LAUGHTER What are those four up to? Dustin
Johnson, just finishing off. After that beautiful shot into the green.
This for a four. Well done. I wonder if we are going to have any great
blistering scores from him over the weekend, but a couple of sixes today
have slowed him down. A few birdies. In it goes for Johnson for a bogey
at the 15th, two bogeys on the back nine so far, back to 6-under. He
needs the coursed fast and fiery. Dustin on the 17th, tee a bit
forward, 215 today. Scampering for the umbrella, look at them, they are
all blooming. What a shot from Dustin Johnson, huge squall has just
come in and through the first we can see him, four feet away. That was
hit and run for cover. Johnson, second shot. He's got to hit an
absolute belter to reach this one. Just up the front, a perfect line. A
decent shot there, what a player he's been over so many years, former
Masters champion, defending champion here, grand career.
Keegan at the 14th, tee shot on its way. And a good one. A bit of juice
on that beauty. It really was a laser-like tee shot
from Dustin Johnson on the 17th. This do make it three birdies in a
row. So Johnson moves to two under par,
the world never two, the U.S. Open champion making a good move towards
the end of the second round. -- world number two. Stenson in the
sand, looks as if he's got a lie under shot. -- lie and a shot. I
thought he would hold it. I thought... And so did he. What a
magnificent shot, and another birdie. Garcia. For a birdie at the
14th. Running well, running very well.
APPLAUSE Zach Johnson, this fraud par 116,
just short of the green on two. See if you can make it all better. There
we are, five in the end, a little bit clumsy around the green, but he
remains 6-under. Bradley, a chance of the two on the
14th, a little bit from right to left down this slope. A couple of
shots went on the 11th and 12th but one back on the 14th joint Zach
Johnson again on 6-under. Henrik Stenson then, to finish out here at
the 16th. A beautiful bunker shot, nearly holed to Ty Nicholson. -- to
tie with Mickelson. He chased Mickelson three years ago at
Muirfield. HAZEL IRVINE:
A score of 69 to date, the lowest halfway total at Troon ever in the
open meeting and Darren Clarke's efforts by a shot, he's earned his
hot bath all right but before it he talks to us.
63 yesterday, brilliant, 69 today, different sides -- type of
satisfaction? I thought it was a good round to follow after
yesterday's round. It's difficult when you get hot and the momentum is
going your way to follow it up with a good round and I felt I played
pretty solid in some adverse conditions, played a good front nine
and the back nine I came home in strong. I made one or two mistakes,
yet when I did hit a bad shot I didn't make too big of a mistake and
that was key. A lot of people have enjoyed watching you over the years
because you want to BF on the front foot attacking, how much do you have
to rein in your natural instincts today? I'm trying to make birdies
but I'm trying to do it from the centre of the fairway, the centre of
the green. I'm not trying to overpower the golf course and I'm
trying to get in play. Then from there, get it in the centre and I
feel the greens you can make a lot of putts. There's soft movement in
them. You can make 20 or 30 foot because they're not having to be
perfectly timed, or coming in from the side door. Ten and are going
into the weekend after two days here. -- 10-under. What do you think
about the way the tournament is set up now? I'm enjoying the challenge
the weather is now providing and the winds we are going to having the
next couple of days, I'm looking forward to that challenge. One of
the things I've really worked on the years is to Gelb -- to get ball
flights off the tee down, into the air, and it was evident today are
number 12, where I hit a terrible tee shot, why worst shot of the week
and because it was so low it got down onto the ground and it wasn't
too bad. In these crosswinds we're going to play in that will be key,
get it on the ground quick and it takes a lot of stress off the tee
for me. Did you celebrate the 63 last night? No, I was getting ready
for this round. I'm hopeful that there is an opportunity Sunday to
bring home the Claret Jug and that would be incredible, but knowing
that I've already done it takes away some of the stress. But I also know
that it's a long process, there's a lot of golf left.
COMMENTATOR: Obviously not laying too badly at
the 17th, Johnson, can get a clean shot at it. A delightful shot, half
running pitching shot to within four feet or so. Good escape, -- could
escape with a par. Now DJ, final shot. Three birdies in the last
four. Saved the day. APPLAUSE
And still on the fringe of the hunt. Stenson, you don't want to drop a
shot with just one more hole to play. Well done. Always tricky. He
nudged it in nicely. Stays one behind, one to play.
For par from Zach Johnson, out of the sand he came, in it goes, very
good three at the 17th. Hanging in there, 6-under, four behind
Mickelson, one hole to go. Kaymer, this Faure 73. -- 48 73. Good
outward bound and a few untidy strokes Cummings home. 12 for those
two holes and the rest were all pars. He's had a wonderful two on
the 14th, Keegan Bradley, and this is a very flat putt across the 15th.
Trundles along and drops another one for Bradley. He moves to 7-under
alongside Soren Kjeldsen, who has finished. Three behind Mickelson.
All three members of this group, side-by-side, Johnson first to play.
Some distance to go. The wind beginning to take on a
sideways slant, right at it, steady, steady. I was anxious because there
is out of bounds just over the green here. Right at the left-hand window.
The downstairs window. He likes it. A little bit bowl.
APPLAUSE -- a little bit bold. Good line. JB
Holmes, he can give it a good old tweak, I tell you, he and Dustin
Johnson can have a rare old match and he's not bad with his bread and
butter either. What about that? APPLAUSE
3-under, second birdie of the day. Stenson for at the last, quite a big
swing on this. Big fat grip on his putter. The fashion today, keep
going, no, it's not high enough. Good effort, but not quite high
enough, never was, but that's a four and a very good round from Stenson.
APPLAUSE Tap in for a 65. 32 home. That is
the distance Zach Johnson has left himself. A little break as well on
this one, not a nice putt at all. For a closing par. It was always a
big left to right out there, always difficult.
Shame, an ugly finish for Zach Johnson. Two shots went to the last
boreholes, round of 70, still under par today -- last format calls. --
last format calls. In it goes from Henrik Stenson, 65. Heavy rain. What
to round that is from the Swede. One shot behind Phil Mickelson. Another
day for Henrik Stenson. STUDIO: Henrik Stenson turned 40
earlier this year. Perhaps life begins, it may just right now, what
is boggling finish, 65. A little on tidy from Zach Johnson, the
defending champion. -- a sparkling finish. Zach, another round below
par but I noticed as you came of 18 there was a grimace on your face. I
had two decent shots, missed the yardage or whatever you want to call
it, from that yardage anyway. Yes, a little sour. That being said, I mean
if I had snuck a few early in the day, tough conditions. It is not
easy. I guess it is not going to get any easier if the wind picks up.
What was the key to success today? Blog I'd hit it close, I played
solid yesterday. I got a good run earlier in the round, we know it is
important to make your score on the front nine, the rain was getting
closer and closer. I birdied three, four and five before it raining. I
snuck another one in ornate, a soft bogey, it was a little soft online,
I was battling dint of conditions, gossip back straightaway on ten -- I
was battling in tough conditions. Delighted with that score today.
Sergio Garcia has been fighting hard against day, got himself 5-under for
the Championship, aided by this effort. Difficult shot right over
the bunker at the long 60. That is his third, and it set up the birdie.
But he gave away the advantage there was a bogey in the last. Meanwhile,
after a quiet start, all pass to this point up the short fifth, Texan
Patrick Reed find forward momentum -- all pars.
This would yield the first birdie of his day, and he moves to 6-under,
four shots of Nicholsons lead. -- four shots off Mickelson's in Leeds.
The spectacular round of 65 shares the honour of second-best effort in
history, there is a tie for third place. Soren Kjeldsen and Keegan
Bradley have parred the last few holes. Zach Johnson also home in
that 70. He is 5-under. There is a big group at 4-under. That is Howard
looks at the halfway point and a two. Phil Mickelson's best ever
start, the best start by anybody at Royal Troon in the halfway stage. It
looks like in his 23 years at the open he has become a good bad
weather player. He certainly looks that way. It is extraordinary this
summer we have gone from bikinis to balaclavas in the space of a few
hours. They come out yesterday with the suncream, and now everybody is
shrouded in camouflage kit. He really is his own man when he comes
to this. He is wearing the gloves, he has the clip and the hat, I think
it is to keep it on, frankly. I don't know, your guess is as good as
mine. Whatever it is, it is all coming together and working
beautifully. The putter was working well once again. That is a birdie at
the 4th. For Phil Mickelson, the elements for you that have made the
difference over the last couple of days be to have been what? Well,
people talk a lot of nonsense, in my opinion, oh, he is wonderful, he got
to the ninth and he turned it on. In my opinion that is nonsense. You
can't turn it on just like that otherwise everybody would decide to
make 100 and their early 68. Look at this, he is hitting the ball
beautifully, keeping Cole. Things happen, you play a good shot,
sometimes it kicks it in. -- keeping calm. You mustn't get rid of those
sort of experiences. But it is learning to keep calm, do your best,
hit the best shot you can. Nerves come into it. We know the work that
he has been doing on the parting has paid dividends. But once again, his
genius with wedge in hand was apparent here from the southern
pole. Some of those shots... Use all the way the clubface was laid. These
bunkers, they are called hazards. That is a exactly what they should
be. People played backwards, but keep out of them if you can. But
that is what they are therefore, they put twists and turns on Formula
1 tracks because of that reason. He has an array of shots around the
green. He misses a lot of putts like this, Phil. He is a late starter,
really. Early 40s, whatever he is coming he has won 60 or tournaments
but he really didn't start performing in Majors until he was
well into his 30s. Interestingly, he has come into the press conference
saying it was stress-free golf today. He looks back to 2004 here at
Troon when he was third and says that this is where he really began
to click with links golf. It took him a long time but from that point
he has always filed comfortable with this course, and the results have
been seen. That wonderful victory three years ago. It is a phrase that
is used a lot, patience. If you look at the things that Jack Nicklaus
says now, Jack is a dear, dear friend of mine, he talks enormous
sense now, far more than he did 25 years ago, about the way the game is
played. Things that happen here. You have got to wait. When he came here
first of all to the Championship, you realise that a lot of people
have no chance. I can't play, there is no air conditioning in my hotel,
I can't get the stake the size of a 13 shoe, I am going to go home, I'm
fed up with it, I can't understand what they say. Half the field is
eliminated. All these sorts of factors come in. It isn't the golf
that they are used to playing. It could be all different again this
afternoon. The seagulls might start walking this afternoon. When the
seagulls are walking, you know you're in trouble. You talk about
patients, Henrik Stenson has had plenty of that, that's for sure.
Just one shot behind Phil Mickelson. But as Eusebio have the challenge of
rain this morning, there could be further challenges ahead with strong
winds forecast -- as you say. Out just after 2pm, Jordan Spieth,
Justin Rose and Shane Lowry. Augusta hero Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler
and world number one Jason Day. Whilst Rory McIlroy goes to the
first tee knowing that his challenge might be challenged by more rain and
gusting winds as well. The elements work against them.
A reminder of how it looks as we go back out onto Troon mac Old Course.
-- Troon's Old Course. We will hand you to Mark James and
Andrew Cotter, who are all hunkered down and ready for anything.
COMMENTATOR: We shall see, the wind is supposed to big up a little bit.
Certainly tricky for the afternoon starters. -- to pick up a little
bit. Rickie Fowler can manage his way around in a bit of a breeze. You
can see the flag looking from this morning, punching getting low into
the wind still. -- punching it is low. Look at that. Beautifully
managing the shot. It just shows how difficult it is. Very tricky.
Awkward, awkward stance. A good lie for Justin Rose. Oh, that was
ambitious. I haven't seen angle like that from Justin Rose before. It
certainly was a big risk. It obviously was. He is lucky he didn't
hit it again around the club. Fowler now for his birdie. Lovely
approach. Oh, beautifully done, what a great start for Rickie Fowler.
Minus three. Let's have a look at this again, Justin Rose, awkward
stance, good enough lie that he fancied he can get up there with a
3-wood. It was a shocker, wasn't it?! Really quite a good release on
the throw. The world number for now, British number one, though. --
number for Mac. Just a flip with a wedge on this back right pin. It
will fly right with this wind. STUDIO: There is the situation.
Keegan Bradley in that tie for third at the moment after finishing his
round of 68 with three consecutive pars. The first major he ever
entered five years ago with a long putter trying to win his second one
for the short version. Let's hear from him. 68 today to follow the 67.
Would this have been a better round over all then yesterday? Definitely,
it was really nasty of love around. It was difficult all day but it
rained pretty hard run five holes. The way the wind is blowing, a lot
of people are talking about the dangers out there get you were able
to keep your call. I have been strong mentally all week. -- keep
your Poole. I kept strong to finish that well. Good view of the
technique, but bedding himself in, Patrick Reed.
Well played. If you are in the middle of the bunkers here, the ones
on the right are not too bad. That was well built with. Google Roy for
his birdie on the second. -- McIlroy for his birdie on the second.
Here they are, just about the ideal start, does have a birdie in the
second, three and. -- 3-under. This is a very good save for Patrick
Reed. Move to the right. Shame. Cox his head a bit confused,
thought he had it, misread it. First drop shot of the day for
Patrick Reed, back where he started, 5-under.
Fiddly on for Jordan Spieth on the par-5. Looks to be lying nicely.
Held with superbly. Jordan Spieth will have his birdie here. A proper
spot for windsurfing, lively, good technique for that. Justin Rose,
after all his frustration on the fourth, is holding his club away
after the second. This now for par. I think he has had the wrong end of
the draw a few times in the Open Grampian ship. Matthew Southgate on
par so far on the back nine -- Open Championship. This poor a birdie,
for a 71. -- for a birdie. That is a great round of golf from Matthew
Southgate! Great story, well done, Matthew. Patrick Reed, as so many
have done before, has missed this 10th green. Off down to the right.
Good up and down on the mine. Going to need a bit of putting magic on
the 10th -- down to the night. Difficulty is all relative. We saw
Matthew Southgate finishing. He had surgery for cancer the week of the
open at St Andrews last year. Here here's playing in this great
Championship having come through final local qualifying. What a
positive difference 12 months have made for him. Being diagnosed with
cancer last year and going through all that you have, do you feel it is
like a second chance now? In a way I do feel it is like a second chance.
I am grateful, I was so lucky, it was nothing too serious and I
recovered for equipment. My goal with all that now is to raise
awareness for other young guys. It is just one of those things where it
takes courage to go and shoot to my good scores but it also takes good
courage to get yourself into the doctors if you have got a problem.
Anybody who is uncertain about their health, it is a great opportunity
for me, I can reach out to a load of people. If I can get one young guy
to go to the doctors and find a problem early and end up saving the
life, that is a lot more important to me than hitting a golf shot. It
is lovely to be in the position that I am indeed speak out to so many
people. You are in for the weekend, the first time you have made the cut
for the Open, how excited are you? I'm role. I came to my first British
Open in 99 when I was ten years old. -- I'm thrilled. I went to everyone.
My dad used to bring me, we used to ride bikes down to the golf course,
we never missed a shot. I used to drive dad mad about the open, the
open, I used to sit in the grandstand at eight o'clock in the
morning just to get a seat. Comfortably double figure the amount
of times. To know that I would be able to come down here someday and
plate to that crowd and get the reception that I had given so many
other hundreds of players over the years is very special to me. Rose
for bogey, still a bit of work, the winds are up and this is not easy.
He has just pulled that straight off. That is a bad seven. That is
after a bogey at the 1st. Shocking start bowls. -- shocking start for
Rose. Reed for par at the 10th, hit it. That was a timid effort.
So, Patrick Reed slips back. Wind up over 20 mph now in from the right.
It was a fabulous shot, absolutely brilliant. To get that much club on
the ball. It is a wide stance. Jordan Spieth is settling into this
one. The ball didn't rattle around off wide, wide wedge. He recovers
well. As you expect, fairly straightforward bunker shot. He
wonders why that has run on. Two bogeys in the first three for
Watson. A chance here to get at least one back. Oh, well,
beautifully judged. It wasn't an easy play for Bubba Watson. A great
shot off the left-hand side. Used all of his strength. Jordan Spieth
for his par on the sixth. It was a very loose weight she played in on
the left-hand bunker. And a very un-Speith like part. On Speith like
wedge. -- on Speith like wedge. Par-3 5th, 199 for Jason Day. Pin on
the left, the wind was really howling as he hit that. What a shot!
Absolutely flushed. Beautiful. Simple enough, two putt birdie for
Bubba Watson. Back to level par. To go under par for the day, it
Jason Day. Got to be. Nothing to it at the 5th.
The par-5 6th to come. Patrick Reed for his par on the
11th. Another one goes. Reed is giving them away at the moment.
Bogeys on the eighth, 10th and 11th. STUDIO: As ever, there is an element
of the luck of the draw about the Open Championship. Those who entered
this morning early will have considered themselves fortunate to
have avoided the strong winds now gasping in. Nobody is making an
impression there. Patrick Reed has gone backwards. At the moment, the
steady, steady rounds of Steve Stricker and Billy Horschel, who
haven't dropped so far, are proving the most effective here in the group
of 4-under par. Patrick Reed is now 2-over on his round. In the group at
3-under. There is sand or something on the back of the ball. The green
is well above him. He is at the 8th, and Speith has to flip it up. It is
back in again. No, it's not. Oh, yes, it is. Don't just drop in the
back, oh, it is built on the downslope. Oh...
Looking at 2-over par at the moment, the cut. Day has shied his birdie
chance. Lovely, lovely putt. Back to level par. For a bogey.
Couple more shots drop away. Not a happy bunny.
STUDIO: A reminder of how it looks here at Troon. Phil Mickelson still
with the 1-shot advantage over Swede Henrik Stenson. In a tie for third
place it is Kjeldsen Bradley. Defending champion Zach Johnson home
after a round of 70 today. -- Kjeldsen Bradley. Many of the
players in the field wearing black ribbons in the memory of the victims
of the dreadful events in Nice last evening. Amongst them is the French
golfer who lives in that city. He said today, I am proud to be French
and we all need to support each other. We would echo those
sentiments and pay our respects as the trickle hovers at half-mast
overall Troon today. -- the French flag.
Oh, he has clipped it off nicely. A load of spin on it. An absolute gem.
If you do that, you can feed it too far. That was perfect play. -- you
can then it. It looks like means business. -- he means business. He
has got his game face, focus, whatever that means.
Here he comes, McIlroy's third shot. A whisker too soon, but nicely
played. He is still a young man, but what a wonderful record he has had.
McIlroy birdie putt at sixth. Just a little bit of amazement on this. Oh,
lovely, lovely. Birdie it is. APPLAUSE
That's more like it. 4-under. After a splendid 45 yard bunker shot
splashed out in the air, looking in strokes, it looks like just a par
for Bubba. That is what they call infrastructure! Well, Rory is having
a shy at the 7th, 89 yards, bit of breeze helping. It isn't far from
the green. Still well balanced, pretty
straight, will it hold of their will it...? Bounding on, look at that. --
hold the fairway. It is skipping the way, nestled a bit. -- skipping
away. Come on, Bubba, where you going now?
Not bad, I don't think, it is an almighty one. Oh my good God, the
cat that?! -- look at that. This is the group ahead on the green, Rickie
Fowler down the slope. Hitting Cross handed, he has looked pretty good
this morning, a couple of decent ones. Go on... No... Oh, yes!
APPLAUSE Just enough pace, just enough break.
And tidy start, started at wonder, has moved to 4-under. -- untidy
start. Started at 2-under. His two playing partners have made
it three, and so has he. He is at 1-over. Three birdies in a row. Bit
of blue sky, Peter, how about that?! Can he get this one right, he has
had a good start on the green so far today, this is a left to right, down
the slope, he is taking a lot of time picking his lie. Has he? He
has! What a start for Rory today, right in the centre, three birdies
on his card, no drop shots. He looks a bit bedraggled. Thank God nobody
is hungry! Bubba, can he follow McIlroy in for a birdie? No, you
can't. -- he can't. APPLAUSE
14th, moves to 3-under par. The Asian champion. McIlroy decent at
the 8th. QT here yesterday, nearly hole it. -- nearly holed it. One of
the shortest hole is no proper golf course. Par-3, 100 and 20-odd
guards. Oh, golly gumdrops. -- odd yards. That doesn't look very
inviting at all. Ken was out earlier, looking at the treacherous
nurse of these greenside bunkers at the 8th. At Troon, all around the
greens there are sneaky bunkers. Have a look at this one, let's chuck
a few balls and see how they lie. Not too bad. Little bunkers, you
very rarely get a flat lie at the bottom, awkward shots. Often you
don't have much green to work with, so they are awkward. You have to
flick it up very quickly, this one is not too bad, I quite fancy it.
They have found a flat layer, you can see how the bunkers gather up.
Let's have a go at this one. Open the clubface. Don't be too cute or
you will leave it in here. Too bad, it has come out a bit runny. The
bunkers rampant through greens are small, they are pot bunkers and they
are tricky. -- around true greens. If you don't get a flat lie you will
have also also trouble. Some of the members have trouble getting out,
two. -- all of trouble. Bubba looks to be playing out
slightly sideways. What is the angle of the club compared to his feet?
That is a brilliant shot. I don't believe it! That could almost get in
the Guinness Book of Records. You just can't do that. You can't do
that... Smoke and mirrors there. APPLAUSE
What were we making all the fuss about?! Just a couple of simple
breeze. -- threes. This is their way, a fair distance to go yet. Come
down with the iron. -- this fairway. That doesn't look great, a mix of
bushes and long grass. A bit of trouble off the Tmax. Left on the
ninth, McIlroy. -- off the tee. Slow to come up, just a few paces shot of
the flag. Attended by, up and up and shot.
Could use a slightly longer lens! McIlroy for his par.
Gasps from the crowd, the first drop shot of the date from Rory McIlroy,
right at the end of the front line. Phil Mickelson in with his 69 and
Henrik Stenson with 65. Harm but very wet. A wonderful round. --
harm. Anybody who can get on the first page of the leaderboard from
this afternoon has done very well indeed. Steve Stricker, what around
he is putting together. All pars so far. Here he is on the 11th.
And hops it up nicely, such a wise old head, Stricker, doesn't play too
often. Done very well here. Fowler, for par on the 10th.
Sometimes you have to work so hard for your pars. This for an eagle to
get to -5, come on, no. Got a heck of a birdie. Michael Roy to ten,
perfect drive. Trying to get back that drop shot at nine double quick
-- Rory McIlroy. Now, he is hitting it low. A punchy shot. A pretty good
shot as well. APPLAUSE
Stricker, on the 11th, this Faure birdie, all pars so far from Steve
Stricker. He putts so well, Stricker, but
can't quite believe that stayed out, another par for his massive
collection. Still four under, that's a very, very tidy card in these
conditions. An, after the birdie, a little wind
helping. Hang on, drifting away. It's gone into that slightly longer
rough. Dipping into the wind, at least.
Good drive, solid iron shot from McIlroy, this for his birdie. It's a
well struck putt. The wind now starting to affect the putts as
well, looks as though it drifted away when it shouldn't have. A
birdie putt. Very nice indeed. Shugo Imahira,
after a double bogey in the third as well. He'd just missed one tiddler,
McIlroy, let's hope he makes a better job of this one. No, he
hasn't, making a worse job, that's two in a row. That's just the sort
of thing you don't need on a day like today.
That was awful, back-to-back birdies for McIlroy, and the 11th to come.
Hasn't been very pleasant for Steve Stricker but he's got a rescue club
here. Must be lying better than it looks. He did get lucky with the
live there didn't he, there's a lot of long grass around. -- the lie
there, didn't he, there's a lot of long grass around. Absolutely right,
that's a great shot. What a recovery from Steve Stricker. A bit of luck
in the lie but well executed. Patrick Reed, Faure birdie, he was
doing well earlier. Five bogeys from the eighth to the 16th, could redeem
himself a bit here. It's looking good, it's thin, brilliant for Reed.
Back to minus two. -- it is in. APPLAUSE
An, to save par. He will slip back to three.
APPLAUSE Magical shot from Stricker from the
right rough with that rescue wood and this for a birdie to get to
minus five. Drifting right. Trying to come back, but no, but good par
on the toughest hole on the course today. Train whistles by and
steadies himself, wind down and off the left.
Well, certainly did well not to lose his train of thought there, didn't
he? 12 holes, 12 pars, that's moving
Stricker up the leaderboard. -4, currently in sixth position. In
deteriorating conditions, that's looking pretty tasty. Now Jordan
Spieth, one outside the projected cut mark at the moment. That's where
Monty finished, he might miss it by one as well. Tee shot on 14. Looks
good, murmurs somebody. Looks fantastic, what are shot from space,
so that to get back to three. He is fighting hard. He's only missed
three cuts in 14 Majors, right on the mark. So McIlroy for a birdie on
the 11th. In the old days this would be an eagle, par-5 right up to the
89 Open. This is Kodai Ichihara, very
unpleasant start to his round today, dropped four shots in his first five
holes. Throwing it across the green, he is judged that well, hasn't he?
Birdie on the sixth. All smiles. Still well inside the cut mark, a
long way to go, mind you. Now for some very big names in the tough
conditions this afternoon it's a struggle to make the cut, Jordan
Spieth, this would be very helpful to get back to three. In it goes,
that is the predicted cut at the moment. It might even go to four
over, where Monty Waits but Spieth, back to three.
He holes that one, McIlroy, just missed a couple of tiddlers. -3, a
tough 12th to come. Left to right for An to finish with a par. He has
hit two terrible putts from the back of the green and then from there,
just beginning to get concerned about the balls moving. Still a
very, very good round in these conditions, two rounds in 70. Fowler
to try to save par at the 12th, a left to right and he misses it is
the other way. Patrick Reed started the day 5-under
and the wind whipping away at his trousers, in for par and the last
hard day's work for Patrick Reed, a round of 74, nice birdie on the
17th, but back on 38. Two and for the Championship.
HAZEL IRVINE: It was Patrick Reed who feel they --
figured so prominently on the leaderboard, got to 6-under and with
a round of 74 he is back in the Packer two under par, a very tough
day and a very breezy office. I wonder what he makes of it.
You made a very good start on Thursday, today a very different
day. Can you describe how you found conditions? A lot more difficult
than yesterday. The front nine played a lot longer, on the second
hole yesterday I hit for eye and I think off the tee and sand wedge and
today Mac -- and today I hit to Ireland for my own so it was a
different date, I needed to figure out what was going on with the wind
on the back nine. It just seemed like the front nine I was long all
day and I got to the back nine and everything was just liked but short.
COMMENTATOR: Stricker for par 113, all pars in
the first 12 holes, must hole it. Yes, you beauty. He's a machine.
The ball of McIlroy, it shouldn't be too difficult. Just a bit of a ridge
before the pin, it's lying well. Firm, wet sand.
He decelerated there, took it back fine and just stopped halfway down,
got a little edgy on it. Here's a long putt on a Postage Stamp for
Richard Sterne. Dropped are shot on the sixth, a chance to get one back
here. Rattles into the cup, a big crowd still out there at the Postage
Stamp. Wow he says, as well he might. Take that.
This for par four McIlroy now. Classic putting group. -- grip.
So another shot will go for McIlroy, all sorts of trouble is now. Steve
Stricker has to go all the way up onto the shoulder here and down.
That will go on and on. So that to continue his amazing run of pars.
It's a little bit like yesterday for McIlroy, who was going so well on
the front nine and then a couple of problems at the start of the back,
that just keeps him, head bowed, moves on, three bogeys in the last
four holes. I can't believe how many people are still here. It's like a
penguin colony, huddling together for warmth. A brightly lit runway,
it's one of the longest runways around at Prestwick. I wonder if a
few players are looking at that longingly at the moment! McIlroy
thinks he can get there with a long iron.
This is cruel for these players, because the wind has changed round.
It's not giving them help now on the way home. Take shelter from the
storm. Now Harrington, a great round. One goes at the last. I said
great round, but that's really testament to the conditions that a
level par round is a great round. In the end it's going to be won over
for Harrington, 72, but it moves him up. He was playing Louis Oosthuizen,
he came round with 45, it gives you an idea what the back nine is like.
McIlroy needs a good putt to drop. He is bleeding strokes at the
moment. That's not going to get there. So another shot will go for
Michael Wright, four shots gone in the space of five holes and from a
position of challenging the top page of the leaderboard, he's back to
1-under for the Championship. -- for Rory McIlroy.
Bubba Watson, can he find his par on the 13th? No, the arms will flap and
the art eyes will widen. And Bubba is in real bother now. He needs a
birdie or two. Six shot for Steve Stricker, par four this.
He's played the sixth, having made all those pars he'll have that for
the seventh, par-4. Bubba's tee-shot on the 14th, can he
judge the wind correctly? He surely can. So he said he needed a birdie
or two, one might come here at the 14th. Rose has been tacking up this
hole, this for his par. How is he doing? Pars so far on the back nine,
a double bogey on the fourth, very frustrated at that point. He had a
bit of a hurl. He needs this, inside the cut mark comfortably enough at
the moment. As he hit it? Yes, he has! Working man's par. He remains
1-over for the Championship. Should be safe enough, if he can steer his
way home. He needs a birdie, 5-over at the moment. He's got a chance to
make it. Well done. Nicely done, Bubba.
APPLAUSE First page of the leaderboard, which
is pretty much set in stone and has been for some time, net -- Mickelson
by one from Stenson, Kjeldsen, Bradley, Johnson, Finau, all played
this morning and enjoyed better conditions. It was wet but it was
still and they took advantage. Rickie Fowler to save his par, he's
got a good line on it. Superdry. -- a super try.
It's been a Sunday trip at the 18th Justin Rose, a bunker off the tee,
splash out, greenside bunker. Up and down for bogey. Nicely played.
APPLAUSE Jason Day, it's lying very nicely.
Just a little clean, his endeavour to get it to grab.
APPLAUSE Rose drove in the bunker, hacked
out, his nest -- next one splashed out to here, this is a bogey,
downhill, a little bit of movement from right to left, not terribly
A double bogey. 77. Jason Day, trying to save his
par. A six at the par-5 16th.
APPLAUSE 1-under for the round, but currently
1-over for the Championship. McIlroy just 1-over for his ground, it's a
neat, tidy score under the conditions. -- for his round. The
chance of a birdie here, two good shots, his third to the par-5. Too
much backspin, Rory, too much, come on!
APPLAUSE Ten or 12 footer for his birdie.
Hardy folk, gathering to watch the golf. McIlroy eyeing up another one.
His letter few shots slip away on this back nine, but this for a four.
-- he has let a fuse shots slip away. It is in the whole as well! A
lovely birdie at the 16th, Rory moves back to level par. Just
outside the top ten. Well, it's been an interesting round for Steve
Stricker. Let's see if he can finish in -- here. How did he get on today,
17 pars. Not on the 15th, let's not talk about that. Well, Bubba Watson,
who has missed plenty of Open Championship cuts in his time, has
missed the last two years, needs a birdie here. Giving it the hard
stare. Oh, what a chance he has given himself! Beautiful shot by
Bubba Watson. He might yet be here for the weekend.
APPLAUSE The crowd that have hung around for
this starry group show their appreciation. Good crowds again,
obviously they enjoyed themselves tremendously yesterday. They have
come down for today, had very different weather. Bubba Watson
needs this to make the cut, this is for a birdie at the last. And he has
it! Watson with our three. He will be here for the weekend, whether he
wants to or not. APPLAUSE
Of course, he does! Battling round of 76. A birdie at the last to sneak
in, that's something to be admired. Not wasting much time is Rory
McIlroy, a little sliding left to right. Well done, Rory. Not easy
today, about 6pm a horrible squall went through. Wasn't exactly what he
wanted but two under par, still writing it. Do you think he believes
he can make that up? It's not impossible. That front nine can give
you a few birdies on day three and four.
HAZEL IRVINE: After all of that the squall As, the
wind and the rain, the leaderboard has been little changed since 1pm.
Phil Mickelson with a record-breaking halfway score at
Troon, hot on his heels just as he was when he was runner-up to Phil at
Muirfield three years ago is Henrik Stenson. Kjeldsen, Bradley Johnson
still in the picture, a quintet at four under and looking a little
further down, that quintet includes Sergio Garcia and Rafael
Cabrera-Bello -- Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who's had a wonderful season so far.
At two under within touching distance, there's the danger man,
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, who settles for a level par round of 71
and I wonder what his thoughts will be on his afternoon's rather
difficult work. I've been on the good side the draw and the bad side
of the draw here. The good side of the draw, the time I can remember I
won the tournament. I feel like I've been on more bad than good, but it
is what it is and I'm just glad that I handled the conditions well today.
It's one of the best sort of bad weather runs I've played in a while
and I'll get back and depending on what happens tomorrow, if I can get
off to a fast start I might not be too far away going into the back
nine. So Rory is still in the running but some big names are not.
Having missed the cut, Ernie Els, the last three winners here at
Troon, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard and Todd Hamilton, Paul
Casey didn't have a great time, neither did Matthew Fitzpatrick and
there will be no matter Silver Medal handed out because both of the
amateurs in the field also missed the cut. Ken Byrne was rather
chuffed he was not out in all the nasty stuff this afternoon. How
severe was that for the players who are very definitely in the wrong
side of the draw? It was quite adjusting if you looked at the draw,
52 groups out, in the morning 22 finished under par and in the
afternoon, only four. The afternoon was brutal. About 6pm there was a
huge squall that came through and the ball was going nowhere. Jason
deep left his tee shot 40 yards off the green, it was horrible. How
difficult is it to banish the despondent feeling you are miles
behind the leader and you know there's
despondent feeling you are miles behind the leader and you know
there's weather coming in? You can never tell until you are out there.
Sometimes the weather does change but this morning they had a real
good break and this afternoon it was very tricky and if you have to do
it, 72 holes, you can only do the best you can and hope. Bernard
Langer in 1985 was on the wrong side of the draw at St George's and
nearly won it, so you can get lucky if you play well enough. Two rounds
to go but it's tricky. Am sure Phil Mickelson relaxing with a little
shandy while everybody was struggling towards the end of the
day, it's his best ever start in an Open Championship at the halfway
mark, so to Henrik Stenson and his was the best round of the day. This
65, he had only ever had is six rounds in the 60s and this is top
notch from him. He got motoring at the
rounds in the 60s and this is top notch from him. He got motoring at
the 3rd. That's right, the pin was tucked behind the left-hand bunker,
he had to hit high floater, not much breeze at this stage of the morning.
That's a beauty. He can spin it a lot, that's his first birdie of the
day. He was taking advantage of a very high-scoring stretch, a par-5
4th hole. Awkward shot, a steep bank on the bunker, he managed to get a
bit of Grabban that was delightful way to start. Three in a row, this
was the fifth, the first of a short holes here, this is his tee shot.
The pennies down the left side of the green and you have to feed it in
between the pin and the flag there. He sneaks it past the bunker and it
trickles round to the hole side. That's an absolute beauty. Not much
work for the putt at that one but certainly required here at the 7th
and using this like every other club in the bag to great effect, moving
to 7-under now. Just, just, he hasn't holed that many putts, but
he's holed a 15 foot which has kept the momentum going. It was timely.
Having dropped a shot at the 9th, he got it here. Sam Hill so
challenging, this is one of seven birdies, set up by this iron shot.
The weather is turning nasty, the wind picked up and that was one of
the best shots all day, difficult to get the ball back to the pin. Along
putt at the 13th, diving down to 8-under and Mickelson's turn. A
couple of blemishes on his way home. That was a beauty, not many birdies
at the 13th, that was one of them. The last of the par fives, didn't
look promising but created the chance. The he was lucky, got to the
flag of the bunker, nearly found the bottom of the cup. 65, a fantastic
round of golf. He hasn't contended in the last six Majors or so and you
get the feeling from what he said in the aftermath of that round he knows
time is running out, he's played 42 Majors, he reckons he's got between
12-15 to bag one of these Majors, he reckons he's got between
12-15 to bag one of these things in his career. The he's good enough to
win a major, he knows he's good enough to win a major, he's played
with major winners, but time does tiptoe on. He's got a marvellous
game, he needs to hole 12-macro more putts, he needs to get 15 footers in
and he will be in contention. His tee to green game has been stunning.
Stunning as well your choices for shot of the day, you have not gone
for power today. A few good ones, my favourites, Bubba Watson missed the
Postage Stamp, the green is above him, he has no green to land on, he
has the clubface wide-open, watch what he does. It's genius. Flips it
up, the dance around, Lancet on a sixpence and very nearly holds it.
-- holes it. If it came up at all short it would be back to his feet,
tremendous. Another beauty from Jordan Spieth, I delightful picture.
Skips on, killed itself, trickles up to the hole. So important at the
links you can play those shots and he was one of the best. But the
winner. Mr Mickelson, I believe. Phil put a great round together, a
bit of sand on the ball, not bury fanciable, a bit lip to come over,
look how wide-open the clubface is, he will pop it up in the air.
Getting it out wasn't difficult but getting it to go the distance, a bit
of drag like a snooker player. That was exquisite. Who needs a Claret
Jug when you can win shot of the day? We will be back to do it all
again tomorrow evening at 8pm in the evening, with action from the third
round. Five live on the air with live radio coverage from midday.
Don't forget, you can keep up-to-date with everything going on
here on the BBC Sport website mobile app, there's video clips on their
all-day and much more besides, the all-important weather forecast
summed up by one phrase tomorrow, not as wet as it has been but the
breeze will be up by the time the leaders start out in the afternoon.
We had fun in the sun yesterday, but into every golfing life a little
rain must fall. It's all part of the game at the Open Championship. Good
night. # What a difference a day makes
# 24 little hours # What a -- the sun and the flowers
# Where there used to be rain #.
Extensive coverage from Royal Troon of the second round at the 145th Open Championship.
Friday's play was delayed by rain last year and the second round had to be concluded the following day, with American Dustin Johnson ending one shot clear of Danny Willett at the halfway stage of the tournament.