Montgomerie shoots 62 to qualify for British Open
Ireland’s Shane Lowry won the 96-man qualifying event after carding 11 under to finish two shots clear of Andrew Coltart and Montgomerie, who will extend his unbroken run of Open appearances to 21, dating back to 1990.
A total of 10 qualifying places were available to members of the European Tour who had not qualified automatically for the year’s third major tournament.
Among those failing to qualify were former Ryder Cup players Darren Clarke, David Howell and Paul McGinley, while Italian teenager Matteo Manassero – who at 16 in 2009 became the youngest winner of the Open’s Amateur Silver Medal after finishing 13th at Turnberry – also missed out.
Montgomerie described his morning round of 69 on the Old course as “not good enough” but made amends after lunch.
The Scot started his second round with birdies at his first two holes and finished with a birdie at the par-5 18th. He believed the last hole to be a par 4 and when he put his second shot into a bunker, thought a bogey might force him into a playoff.
But when he holed a 4-foot putt for his eighth birdie in the round, he reached 9 under and his place was safe.
“There was a moment of panic when the ball went into the sand but as it turned out, it’s now a par 5 and I actually ended up with another birdie,” Montgomerie said.
“But that was my best round of golf for a long time and it’s very special to be going to St. Andrews again this year as the Ryder Cup captain. It’s probably the last time I will play there in an Open in my career.”
The 23-year-old Lowry, who won last year’s Irish Open while an unpaid amateur, will play the first major of his career.
“At the start of the year, I said that I wanted to play this year’s Open because it is always a great event at St. Andrews,” Lowry said. “I have only played there once before as a professional – in last year’s Dunhill Links – and didn’t do too well, but the weather is very different in July than it was in October.”
Manassero put himself in contention for one of the qualifying spots after a 6-under 64 over the Old course but followed up with a 71.
“The New course was playing a lot harder,” Manassero said. “And I didn’t play as well around there, tee to green. It is a big disappointment not to be going to St. Andrews.”
Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark both shot 132 to qualify, while others to qualify were Jose Manuel Lara, Tano Goya, Ignacio Garrido and Bradley Dredge, who all carded 133.
Marcel Siem of Germany (134) won a six-man playoff to become the 10th and final qualifier.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.