What a display of power on a windy day at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course during the second round of the 2014 Open Championship. Two big-hitters in Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson overpowered this ancient layout in Hoylake England. Although McIlroy will sleep on a four-shot lead, he will tee it up on Saturday with a guy who can match him yard-for-yard in any weather conditions.
Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson has to be excited as a number of his young team, that will go into Gleneagles in October have shown the world that they can compete over there, and have played themselves into the 143rd Open Championship.
With Dustin Johnson shooting a low-round seven under par 65 on Friday and have sole position of second place, there is a logjam of players two back at six under. Not only did Rickie Fowler get in the clubhouse with a three under 69, Ryan Moore put a 68 on his scorecard, and will play in the group at six under.
I have said all along that Captain Tom should take his clubs to Gleneagles and put himself on the team, and he proved me right today by making the cut and will play for his sixth Claret Jug this weekend. He was able to get in a playoff back in 2009, and was beaten in overtime by Stewart Cink.
Other notables who are near the top of the leaderboard with good rounds on Friday were Francesco Molinari, Sergio Garcia, and South Africans, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. The 2011 Masters champ had it going until he hit one out at 14. The 2010 Open Champ fired a nice five under 67, and all are tied at six under par.
George Cotzee, also from South Africa, got in the clubhouse early and posted a five under par as the afternoon session was teeing off. Cotzee fired a three under 60, and shares ninth place with Jim Furyk, and Scot, Marc Warren. Warren had a piece of the 54-hole lead in Aberdeen last week.
You had to know the subject would get down to Tiger Woods. Tiger had a horrible day where he got off to a bad start with bogey and double bogey at the first two holes. A triple bogey seven at the 17th hole put him out of position to make the cut, but he managed his only birdie of the day at 18 and will play on the weekend.
Tiger couldn’t keep a driver in the fairway all day, and his two-iron, five wood alternatives had him struggling to make pars all afternoon. Tiger made the cut and is at two over par after shooting 77 on Friday, and a long distance back of the leaders.
He needed this cut where he can maybe get some of the rust off of his game before coming back home for the Bridgestone, and the PGA Championship.
Phil Mickelson had another day of missing fairways, and scrambling around the Liverpool layout. He was able to get in at even par, and like Tiger, is pretty far back to make a run at his title defense.
Everyone I talk to is sure that Rory will have a bad day this weekend to make up for conquering Freaky Friday, but Rory looked almost invincible this afternoon. Unless he has a major breakdown, I don’t see anyone being able to catch him.
The weather is expected to turn nasty for the weekend, so it could get interesting. Justin Rose is a clutch player in difficult situations, and is lurking at two under par,