Big names Poulter, Westwood, Els, Watson miss Open cut


HOYLAKE, England – World No. 27 Ian Poulter gone. No. 32 Lee Westwood headed home. Masters champion Bubba Watson adios. 2012 Open champion Ernie Els safe travels.

A tough side of the draw and an increasingly difficult golf course took a toll on some of the game’s biggest names on Friday at Royal Liverpool. In fact, if not for an 8-footer for birdie at the last, Tiger Woods would have been in that group catching a transatlantic flight.

Poulter and Co. were not as fortunate.

For Els, his 8-over total marked the first time he’s missed the cut at the Open Championship since 1989, an impressive run that included a victory and six top-10 finishes.

Open Championship full-field scores

Open Championship: Articles, videos and photos

For Poulter, who began the week with an ailing wrist, his 3 over total may have been even more surprising considering he’d finished in the top 10 at the last two Opens; while Watson, who is now batting .500 in cuts made at the Open (three of six starts), was ultimately the victim of an opening 76.

“Today was trying to hang on,” said Watson, who shot a 72 on Friday. “It's already good. I can't wait to get back to see my wife and child. I don't let stuff linger. I'm not that kind of person.”