GULLANE, Scotland – In three hours, Brandt Snedeker went from British Open contender to, very nearly, another cut casualty.
That’s Muirfield, in sum.
Snedeker, the 36-hole leader at last year’s Open, pulled within a shot of the lead Friday after a birdie on the third hole, and he went out in even par. That’s when the adventure began. He double-bogeyed the 10th, birdied the 12th, and was forced to call in a rules official after his ball oscillated after grounding his putter on the 13th green. He was not docked a one-stroke penalty, however, because the ball was not deemed to have moved.
The incident apparently rattled him. He came home in 8-over 43 – including a four-putt on No. 15 – to post a second-round 79. At 5 over, he is now eight shots behind leader Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“Pretty much just carnage,” Snedeker said afterward.
In all, he made two birdies, two bogeys, three doubles and a triple. That came on the controversial 15th hole, which became borderline unplayable as the final groups finished their second rounds.
Snedeker ranks annually as one of the Tour’s top putters, but he four-jacked from 20 feet on that hole.
He said this Open is the most mentally demanding major he’s ever played in.
“I was always constantly frustrated because you think you’re pulling off the right shots and you’re not getting rewarded,” he said.