Open Championship tracker: Day 2 at St. Andrews

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2015, 10:30 am

The 144th Open Championship takes place this week at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. is tracking the men's third major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional Open coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. If you want to view the action we tracked from the opening round, you can find that here. All-times for the Open Championship tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

4:59PM: Tom Watson says goodbye, and we will, too. That's it for today. We'll be back bright and early tomorrow.

4:45PM: Tom Watson crosses the Swilcan Bridge one last time.

4:42PM: So, technically, Tiger makes the weekend!

4:35PM: Despite two closing bogeys, Luke Donald is in the mix heading into the weekend.

4:15PM: Two straight bogeys for Matsuyama, and he's back at 5 under. Getting dark out there, play likely to be called soon. Tom Watson on 16.

4:01PM: Looks like Mother Nature is saying, "That's enough with the birdies!" Wind is howling, and DJ and Matsuyama miss short par putts on 11. DJ leads by one over Willett.

3:56PM: Good news ...

Bad news ...

3:44PM: The birdies keep coming. Day birdies 9 and Donald makes another bomb at 15, and they're both at 8 under, three behind DJ.

3:40PM: What he said ...

3:37PM: This is getting ridiculous! Matsuyama holes a birdie putt from off the green at 10 to get to 7 under. DJ makes a birdie as well to push his lead to two over Willett.

3:33PM: Not pretty ...

3:29PM: Somehow Luke Donald doubled No. 1, but he's played nicely since then and he's only three back after a birdie at 14.

3:22PM: Spieth bounces back with a birdie on 9, he's at 6 under and four behind DJ after he fails to convert another good look at birdie. Matsuyama birdies 9 to shoot 6-under 30 on the front.

3:08PM: Schwartzel birdies 10 and he's at 8 under, two off the lead.

3:03PM: Spieth gives his birdie right back with a three-putt bogey on No. 8. He's back to 5 under, five behind DJ.

2:52PM: You get a birdie! You get a birdie! You get birdie! Birdies all around for the DJ-Spieth-Matsuyama group at No. 7. DJ takes the solo lead at 10 under.

2:47PM: In case you were wondering ... that's 2 a.m. EDT. Set your alarm clocks accordingly.

2:41PM: So good, in fact that it only took him one hole to get that stroke back.

2:34PM: So Spieth has been pretty, pretty good at the majors this year.

2:30PM: Luke Donald quietly climbing the leaderboard with birdies on two of his last three.

2:21PM: Tiger now 14 off the pace.

2:15PM: Spieth on No. 5 had to punch out of a fairway bunker and then putt from on the green through some rough and back onto the green. Makes bogey. Welcome to the Old Course. Meanwhile, DJ makes another birdie to tie for the lead.

2:02PM: Spieth and Matsuyama both miss the fairway in the same spot at the par-5 fifth hole. Spieth's finds the bunker and he has no shot at the green, Matsuyama's ball ends up just between the two bunkers in short grass. Just been that kind of day so far.

1:52PM: DJ drops in a tough birdie putt on No. 4, using a little body English to get it in the right side of the hole. The first birdie of the day in the group, you know, except for Matsuyama, who just made his fourth straight.

1:40PM: Not that you would see it if you are watching on TV, but the third player in the Dustin Johnson-Jordan Spieth group, Hideki Matsyama, is stealing the show early after starting with three straight birdies.

1:43PM: Plenty of exciting action on the course right now. And Danny Willett is watching it from the top of the leadeboard.

1:32PM: Tiger yells at wind to "hit it!" after crushing his second shot at No. 2 long and left. The wind doesn't listen.

1:30PM: And just when you think DJ has the advantage, Spieth throws a dart at the pin on 3, but misses the birdie putt. Another couple of routine pars.

1:24PM: DJ absolutely rips one down the third fairway. Two pars a piece so far for him and Spieth. Tiger also makes par on No. 1

1:13PM: And ... he's off. Which way will The Needle move on Day 2?

1:11PM: Rickie Fowler also wraps up a 71. One of the Open favorites after his Scottish Open win last week is well off the pace at 1-under par.

1:10PM: Faldo rebounds with 71 after 83 on Day 1. And, as the European Tour points out, he id it in the same sweater as the first time he won the Open.

1:01PM: Lee Westwood off to an inspiring start:

12:58PM: Sir Nick Faldo getting an emotional send off from the St. Andrews crowd. Won his second of three claret jugs at the Old Course 25 years ago.

12:55PM: If you think Adam Scott's resurgence has something to do with Stevie William's return to his bag, you're not alone:

12:50PM: And they're off ... Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson (and Hideki Matsuyama) have started their second rounds.

12:46PM: Jaco Van Zyl shot 69 Friday despite what Mark Calcavecchia describes here:

12:41PM: Matt Kuchar just made triple bogey at the 17th to drop to even par. The projected cut line is currently 1 under, but that is likely to go higher.

12:37PM: In case you missed it, here's Tom Watson's first shot in his final Open round.

12:28PM: Twenty minutes and counting until Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama tee off in Round 2.

12:24PM: Adam Scott is looking for his first claret jug, but his caddie ...

12:20PM: Adam Scott birdies the 18th and finishes 36 holes at 7 under par. His 5-under 67 is the second lowest score (Russell Henley, 66) so far today.

12:08PM: Ba-dum-bum ...

12:01PM: Crossing the noon hour on the East Coast, here's where things stand at the 144th Open Championship:

11:54AM: Yesterday was Adam Scott's 35th birthday. He just parred the 16th to remain at 6 under, just three off the lead.

11:50AM: Ivor Robson announces Tom Watson for - again, likely - the final time on the first tee. Watson splits the fairway.

11:42AM: Tom Watson gets set to tee off for, likely, his 128th and final round in the Open Championship.

11:32AM: If Willett can maintain his lead ...

11:24AM: Phil Mickelson responds with a birdie at the 13th hole. He's back to 4 under, five off the lead.

11:22AM: Meanwhile, the projected cut line is at even par ... for the moment. The top 70 and ties qualify for the final two rounds. John Daly, the 1995 champion at St. Andrews, shot 74 Friday to finish two rounds at 1 over par.

11:17AM: Will Willett's leading total hold up? Golf Channel analyst Arron Oberholser thinks so.

11:11AM: Danny Willett is in the house and in the lead. He birdies the 18th to shoot 69 and finish at 9 under par.

11:04AM: A pair of players who start the day at 6 under are now in action. Robert Streb parred his first two holes while Retief Goosen is teeing off on No. 1.

11AM: Danny Willett keeps sliding back to the field. He bogeys the 17th to drop to 8 under, one in front of Z. and D. Johnson and Marc Warren.

10:58AM: Zach Johnson makes birdie on 18 to join Marc Warren in the clubhouse at 7 under, two shots back of Willett. A second-round 71 for Johnson and 3-under 69 for Warren, both of whom share second place with overnight leader Dustin Johnson.

10:55AM: A disastrous double bogey at No. 11 for Phil Mickelson, who needed two to get out of the bunker and then nearly three-putted for triple. Lefty goes from four to now six shots back.

10:50AM: Although players have been back on the course for six hours, it's long-since stopped raining, the sun is out, and the ball is bouncing, there remains standing water on parts of the golf course.

10:42AM: Adam Scott is making a move up the leaderboard, after playing his first four holes 4 under. Now in a tie for fourth at minus-6, just three shots behind leader Danny Willett. Scott, who should already have an Open win to his credit, is in search of his second major and his first worldwide win since the Crowne Plaza at Colonial last May.

10:35AM: This afternoon figures to be the final round of Tom Watson's Open Championship career. The five-time champion will tee off at 4:48 local time (11:48 ET) and may just squeeze in his round before the sun finally sets on St. Andrews. A look back at Watson's outstanding Open history right here.

10:24AM: Two strong front nines from Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. Stenson birdied four of his first five holes to go out in 31 while Mickelson turned in a bogey-free 33. Iceman to minus-3 and Lefty to minus-4.

10:14AM: A little ingenuity from Graeme McDowell, who's watching the coverage on the BBC and taking notes on the breaks around today's hole locations. McDowell turned in an even-par 72 Thursday and tees off this afternoon at 4:37 local time (11:37 a.m. EDT).

10:05AM: Latest look at the leaderboard shows that just three of the top 14 players are currently on the golf course. Everyone else, who had the benefit of playing in the morning wave on Thursday, will face some stiff winds this afternoon.

9:54AM: And a great Scot he was.

Even more eye opening:

9:46AM: It's so windy, Phil just opted to putt with his hat off. Thoughts go out to @MickelsonHat. Hang in there, folks.

9:40AM: A little background here on Mr. Willett for those of you who might not be as familiar with him. The 27-year-old Englishman cracked this year's field via his finish in the Race to Dubai last year and his top-50 position in the Official World Golf Ranking back in May. Willett has two European Tour victories to his credit, the last coming at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa in December. American fans may best and most recently know him for his third-place finish at this year's WGC-Match Play.

9:30AM: At the end of play last night, we expected two things in Round 2 - a downpour in the morning and wild winds in the afternoon. We got the rain this morning, and now it sounds like the rest is coming:

9:23AM: Speaking of Faldo, neat little nugget from earlier:

9:15AM: Danny Willett has opened up a three-shot lead thanks a birdie at 10 and two Zach Johnson bogeys at 11 and 12. The last Englishman to win the Open? Nick Faldo in 1992.

9:05AM: And in the event you require moving pictures:

9:01AM: In case you are just settling in at work on the East Coast or just waking up on the West Coast, these photos will give you a pretty good idea of what you missed overnight during a three-hour delay at St. Andrews.

8:55AM: Six birdies. That's the number of birdies made by Jaco Van Zyl who was in the first group out on Friday. He shot 79-69 over the first two rounds.

8:50AM: Let's hope you didn't jinx him.

8:42AM: If you're fortunate enough to be at St. Andrews this week, you know there's no such thing as a bad seat. But, some are better than others. Our own Bailey Mosier found the prime perch for watching this week. To view the article, click here.

8:38AM: And just a few minutes later ... Danny Willett makes birdie at the ninth and is your solo Open leader at 9 under.

8:30AM: Leaderboard update at half past the 8 o'clock hour:

8:16AM: On a roll. A Zach Johnson nugget for you:

8:07AM: Our favorite part of the Open coverage.

8:03AM: He came prepared.

8:00AM: Fowler, Faldo and Rose are now off and running in their second rounds at St. Andrews.

7:57AM: That's two birdies in a row for Zach Johnson after opening with four straight pars. ZJ is now tied for the lead with Danny Willett at 8 under.

7:47AM: So you're saying there's a chance? Is the world ready for a Danny Willett win?

7:41AM: The Willett to win! Danny Willett made birdie at No. 5 and is now the solo leader at 8 under. Meanwhile, Zach Johnson also made birdie at 5 and is tied for second at 7 under.

7:32AM: Let's get this party started. Scott, Kaymer, Walker teed off mere minutes ago.

7:23AM: In case you're wondering ... DJ and Jordan Spieth tee off at 12:48 p.m. Tiger Woods tees off at 1:10 p.m. Phil Mickelson is out at 7:47 a.m. (roughly 20 minutes from now).

7:20AM: There are now 6 guys at 6 under par. With birdies on his last two holes, Marc Warren joins the bunch.

7:13AM: The afternoon forecast calls for winds around 20 mph.

7:05AM: Hole locations for Friday's round:

7:01AM: It's sunny in St. Andrews now, but here's a look at the crew cleaning up the rain Friday morning.

6:55AM: And just like that, we have a new co-leader. Danny Willett is now tied with Dustin Johnson for the lead. DJ tees off at 12:48 p.m. ET.

6:50AM: Slow and steady wins the race. We don't know if it wins the 144th Open Championship, but Zach Johnson begins his Friday round with two pars after opening in 6-under 66 on Thursday.

6:42AM: Torrential rain flooded St. Andrews Friday morning, delaying play for more than three hours. For the full story, click here. To see images of the weather delay, click here.

6:30AM: Good morning from St. Andrews! Day 2 of the 144th Open Championship is underway.

Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry