Westwood shoots 69 for 2-shot lead in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 20, 2009, 6:16 pm

2009 European TourDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Lee Westwood shot a 3-under 69 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Dubai World Championship, increasing his chance of winning the European money title.

The English golfer put himself in a solid position to pick up two big prizes on Sunday. If he wins the last tournament of the European Tour season, he will receive $1.25 million in prize money – plus a $1.5 million bonus for winning the Race to Dubai money prize.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, the leader of the money race going into the tournament, also shot a 69. He was one of six players tied for second place at 7 under, two shots behind Westwood.

The others are Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, England’s Ross McGowan, Australia’s Robert Allenby, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.

Westwood is confident of winning both prizes Sunday.

“I am as much in control of my game as I have been for a long time,” he said after a round that began with two birdies on the Earth Course. “I feel very calm and happy with myself. All parts of my game feel solid and I enjoy times like this. I know that if I play as good as I can play I can win this tournament.”

Westwood revealed that to maintain his focus he took the advice of his English caddie, Bill Foster, and stopped looking at the leaderboard during his round.

“I have always been a leaderboard watcher,” he said. “But this week we decided to try something different. So we are not looking.”

McIlroy had gone to the top of the leaderboard, reaching 9 under with an eagle at the par-5 7th hole. He covered the front nine in 31 shots. But he slipped backed by missing two putts from inside 3 feet to save par on the 14th and 15th greens.

“I feel I am playing well enough to give myself a shot at the title,” the 20-year-old McIlroy said. “I am still in a good position going into the weekend not to dwell on missed opportunities.”

Harrington, who has won two British Open Championships as well as the 2008 PGA title, was holding the outright lead himself when he reached the par-5 18th. But he found the water his second shot and then, going for the green, put his ball in the stream to the left of the flag.

Harrington finished with a 69 and dropped back to join the group of players in second place. Shortly after that, Westwood sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the same hole to reach 9 under for two rounds.

Allenby, the Australian first-round leader, slipped back after making bogey at his first hole and shot a par 72.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

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.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


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.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

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.


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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

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.

Said Harmon:

“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.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“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.