Janzen Jones Shoot Lights-Out to Lead in Vegas
Janzen, trying not to be too aggressive in a tournament where birdies are made in bunches, had 10 birdies and one bogey and was tied at 9-under with Steve Jones.
Jones had a 62, but his came at the par-71 TPC Canyons course, while Janzen played the par-72 TPC Summerlin course.
Both were a stroke ahead of PGA champion Rich Beem and J.L. Lewis.
'It's easy to press because you think you have to shoot 63 every day,' Janzen said. 'I make more birdies now that I play more conservative if you can believe that. If I just stay away from gambling on too many holes I do well.'
On a warm and windless day made for scoring, Janzen finished off a back-nine 30 with a 5-footer for birdie to get to the top of a scoreboard crowded with red numbers.
It might have been even better if not for a few missed short putts, including a 2-footer for birdie on No. 9 that didn't go in. Janzen promptly followed that with birdies on 10 and 11 to get his round going again.
'I didn't want to let that ruin my round,' Janzen said.
Winless since winning his second U.S. Open in 1998, Janzen said he is hitting the ball better than ever but just hasn't been able to make enough birdies when it counts to win.
Janzen won seven times on the PGA Tour through 1995, but only once since.
'In 1995 if someone had said you're going to win only once more over the next seven years I wouldn't have believed it,' Janzen said. 'It's just a matter of getting the right attitude back on the course to win again. I think I'm headed back in that direction.'
If Janzen is to win here, he'll have to have four more days of scores well under par. His 63 came on a course that played four strokes under par to the field and didn't give him much breathing room.
Jones, like Janzen a U.S. Open champion, had 11 1-putts for the 62 that tied his lowest round ever. Jones made nine birdies and no bogeys.
'If you're making pars out here you better go home,' Jones said.
Beem used the same 7-wood he made eagle with to beat Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship for another eagle in his 64.
Beem hit the 7-wood to 20 feet on the par-5 13th for the first of two back-nine eagles. He finished his round by pitching in from 67 yards for another eagle.
The stakes weren't quite as high as the 7-wood he hit for an eagle on No. 11 that final day to win the PGA Championship, but Beem was just as pleased with both the shot and the club.
'That's one of the few clubs that will never come out of the bag,' Beem said.
Looking for a third win to cap off a spectacular breakthrough year, Beem finished off his round with a flourish by pitching in from 67 yards for an eagle on 18 at Southern Highlands Country Club.
Beem, playing in his fourth event since winning the PGA, is fifth on the money list with $2.83 million. He would add another $900,000 to that if he can keep up his play over a marathon tournament that goes 90 holes over three courses.
Beem's best finish since winning the International and then following it with the PGA was a sixth in the NEC Invitational. He admitted having some trouble adjusting to the demands placed on a major championship winner.
'I'm still a little tired from everything but slowly and surely I'm catching up on my sleep,' he said.
Lewis, whose only win came in the 1999 John Deere Classic, shot his 64 at the TPC Summerlin course, where the final two weekend rounds will be held.
The 64 may have looked impressive, but Lewis said the course was playing easy because all the par-5s were reachable in two and the greens were nearly perfect.
'Average is about 4 under here if the wind doesn't blow,' Lewis said. 'You should be able to get it around in that if you don't make any big mistakes.'
Chris Riley, who played at UNLV and lives on the TPC Summerlin course, was in contention after a 65 that included a 29 on his back nine.
Riley, who contended in the PGA Championship before winning the next week at the Reno-Tahoe Open, had a 65 after opening with an even-par 36 on his front nine.
Riley said he had problems focusing on the front nine in one of the few events where amateurs play with the pros.
'I just find myself being too nice,' Riley said. 'It took me until about the seventh hole to get focused.'
Full-field scores from the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas
Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.
Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.
“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”
It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.
Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.
“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”
It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.
McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.
But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.
“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.
“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.
“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”
McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.
“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”
McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.
How The Open cut line is determined
Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.
The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:
• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.
• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.
• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.
The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.