Major championships tend to put just a tad bit of pressure on players. That was evident today, as first round leader Rory McIlroy went from shooting a 63 and tying a major championship record yesterday, to shooting a whopping 80 in the second round. He now sits 11 shots off the lead, which is now held by Louis Oosthuizen, who followed up his 65 in round one with a 67 in round two, to sit at 12-under par for the tournament.
Right now, it’s Oosthuizen and everyone else. The next closest player to him is Mark Calcavecchia, who is five shots back at 7-under par, with the trio of Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, and Steven Tiley all at 6-under for the championship. Tiley still has to finish his round, however, as second round action was suspended due to darkness.
There is still a group of players that will have to finish their round tomorrow, but most of the guys towards the top of the leaderboard were able to complete their rounds. With the heavy winds causing a delay in the action today, it pushed some players’ rounds back a bit, and considering the conditions at times, that might have been a good thing.
You sort of feel bad for McIlroy, who looked on pace yesterday to have a spectacular week, and possibly be in the hunt for his first major in his young career. But this just shows how quickly things can change at majors, especially at the British Open. With conditions unpredictable from day to day, players can make large leaps up if they get the right weather, or can fall very hard if the weather is a mess.
Tiger Woods didn’t have the best of days, as he had to settle for 1-over on the day, and currently sits eight shots off the lead. Tiger had some chances to make up more ground, but needed a few more putts to fall to inch closer. You can kind of tell though that Tiger is playing confident right now, and I think that we’ll see him make a big push tomorrow and get closer and closer to the leader.
U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell was able to make up ground, however, as he shot a 68 to go to 5-under for the tournament. McDowell always plays well at the British Open, and he’s in perfect position to be a factor heading into the weekend.
A few other notes:
- John Daly didn’t have the best of days, as he shot a 76, but he’s not completely out of it at 2-under. He’s definitely got work to do, but as we saw on day one, if JD can get the putter going, he can make things happen.
- In my picks for the week, I struggled with choosing Ricky Barnes over Miguel Angel Jimenez as my sleeper pick for the tournament. Well, after round two, it looks like either pick was a safe one. Both are among a group currently tied for sixth at 5-under, and both seem to be playing some very confident golf right now.
- Phil Mickelson managed 1-under for the round, but is still way back at even par through the first two days. I’m definitely not gonna count Phil out though, but he’s got his work cut out for him.
- Two favorites who had solid opening rounds, Ernie Els and Justin Rose, both struggled mightily in round number two. Els shot a 79, while Rose shot a 77. Once second round action is complete, it’s very likely that both will miss the cut.
Another intriguing round of action at St. Andrews, and it looks like we’re in store for an excellent weekend of golf!
Topics: British Open Second Round, Ernie Els, Golf, Graeme Mcdowell, John Daly, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Mark Calcavecchia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul Casey, PGA, Phil Mickelson, Ricky Barnes, Rory McIlroy, Steven Tiley, The Open Championship, Tiger Woods