Open Championship tracker: Day 3 at St. Andrews

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2015, 4:00 pm

The 144th Open Championship takes place this week at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. GolfChannel.com 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 first two days, you can find Thursday's action here and Friday's action here. All-times for the Open Championship tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).


4:00PM: And we will end our Saturday coverage right here, with a look at the top at the top 10 through three days and two rounds at St. Andrews. Click here for a full leaderboard:


3:55PM: This isn't even close:

As for their for positions through 36 holes: Johnson leads at 10 under, Scott is three back at 7 under, and Garcia five back at 5 under.


3:50PM: Somebody carving "Brooks was here" somewhere in the clubhouse would be a nice gesture:


3:42PM: And yet, in spite of his play, Tiger Woods at St. Andrews remains an iconic image:


3:30PM: More from Tiger Woods, who ... well ... here:

The list of players with a worse score than Woods at St. Andrews:


3:24PM: A few guys on the outside looking in who remain on the course as Round 2 finally marches to its conclusion: amateur Paul Kinnear (+1), Mikko Ilonen (+2), Raphael Jacquelin (+2).


3:15PM: Duval makes the cut on the number with a closing birdie and two rounds of even-par 72. Played putter from in front of the green up the hill and stopped his ball just short of the hole. Cleaned up for his three. This is his first made cut at a major since the 2010 U.S. Open and his first at the British Open since 2008.


3:05PM: Former Open champion (and current Golf Channel analyst) David Duval needs to get up and down for birdie from in front of the 18th green to get back on the right side of the even-par cut line following a lip-out bogey on No. 17.


3:00PM: Of the players who remain on the golf course, no one is within seven shots of the lead. In the history of the Open Championship at St. Andrews, only two victors have ever been outside the top 3 after 36 holes. A look at the top of the leaderboard:


2:50PM: Post-round quotes from Mr. Woods:

That fatted wedge came in Round 1, on Hole No. 1. Translation: I felt like I could win, and then I started playing golf.

More from our Ryan Lavner:

2:37PM: Some additional, disheartening context explaining Tiger's week at St. Andrews:

This is the first time in Woods' career that he now as many missed cuts on the PGA Tour (14) as major victories (14). As for his future prospects:


2:30PM: Tiger Woods pars the 18th and it's over. Woods shoots 76-75 to finish at 7 over par. Five players in the field, among those who are currently finished, have a worse 36-hole total, including three players over 50 in Nick Faldo, Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Watson.


2:17PM: Paul Lawrie pars the 18th to cap a 2-under 70 and finish 36 holes at 8 under par. He's only two off the lead.


2:14PM: A note on Dustin Johnson as a 36-hole leader:


2:11PM: Here's a look at Daniel Brooks' ace on the par-3 11th.


2:04PM: Dustin Johnson birdies the 18th to take sole possession of the lead at the Open Championship. He's at 10 under par, one clear of Danny Willett. Jordan Spieth is five back after a birdie at 18 for an even-par 72.


2:01PM: Paul Lawrie, the '99 Open champion, pars the 17th to remain at 8 under, one shot off the lead.


1:55PM: Daniel Brooks aces the par-3 11th. Brooks made the Open field based on his Scottish Open performance last week. He's 4 over, four off the cut line.


1:48PM: It's another three-putt for Spieth, his fifth - FIFTH! - of the round. He bogeys the 17th and drops to 4 under, now five off the lead. DJ (-9) and Matsuyama (-6) make par.


1:42PM: Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion at St. Andrews, birdies the 15th to get to 7 under, two off the lead. Sergio Garcia finishes birdie-birdie for a 69 and a 36-hole total of 4 under par.


1:40PM: Meanwile, on the Tiger front:


1:36PM: Though not everyone agrees, this is the R&A's stance:


1:30PM: Sergio Garcia hits the flag stick at No. 17 and converts the birdie. It's just the sixth 3 on the hole this week.


1:27PM: Three pars at the 16th for the trio of Johnson, Spieth and Matsuyama.


1:23PM: If you're wondering about tomorrow's weather:


1:20PM: Good thing they didn't plan to play much golf today.


1:16PM: As Tiger Woods tries to wrap up a missed cut at the Open Championship, this from Golf Channel's Justin Ray:


1:08PM: A look at where things stand:


1:03PM: With play back underway, co-leader Dustin Johnson (-9), Jordan Spieth (-5) and Hideki Matsuyama (-6) are teeing off on No. 16. Or, at least, waiting to tee off.


12:50PM: Looks like we are in for some action.


12:50PM: Looks like we are in for some action.


12:35PM: As we await another update to see if play will resume at 1 p.m. ET, a reminder: Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are on the 16th hole. Tiger Woods, along with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day, are on No. 13.


12:12PM: Not much of an update, but at least it's not another push back in projected start time.


11:46AM: And once again, the course is becoming the story at a major championship. Not the best look.


11:36AM: Let's go ahead and make that a 1:00 p.m. ET possible restart.


11:33AM: Never a bad time to quote "The Simpsons."


11:10AM: And ... the restart time has now been pushed to 12:30 p.m. ET.


11:04AM: Interesting.


10:45AM: The fans are back!


10:30AM: Players are milling around the practice areas, but still not even close to starting.


10:05AM: New plan is to start at 12 p.m. ET. Stay tuned.


9:55AM: Nobody beats the Wiz.


9:40AM: Now this is cool:


9:15AM: At least some fans are keeping their glasses (at least) half full.


8:58AM: A little déja vu for Buba Watson and Ted Scott:


8:43AM: Jordan Spieth after walking off the 15th hole today: “We should have never started in the first place.”


8:37AM: This week's Monday finish will be the first for the Open Championship since 1988.


8:28AM: Breaking: Monday finish at the Open Championship.


8:16AM: This just in ... it's windy at St. Andrews.


7:49AM: Gary Player is always looking on the bright side!


7:44AM: As the Scots would say ... "Lovely!" And it's lunchtime at St. Andrews.


6:53AM: We're not getting any younger as we wait for the action to start back up at the oldest major.


6:46AM: R&A says further word will come at 9 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local). Play will have been suspended for 6 1/2 hours at that time, as the horn blew Saturday morning at 2:32 a.m. ET (7:32 a.m. local).


6:44AM: No golf possible for another 3+ hours. (Tweet below references 3 p.m. local time, 10 a.m. ET).


6:41AM: He said it, not us.


6:32AM: Play at the 144th Open Championship has been suspended for four hours and at this point, still no update on when play will resume. For the full story from Golf Channel's own Ryan Lavner, click here.


6:26AM: This blows.


6:11AM: Another non-announcement announcement sent to Darren Clarke's phone:


6:07AM: We were told there would be an announcement at 6 a.m. (11 a.m. local) and no word yet from the R&A. Lee Westwood may be onto something:


5:40AM: Now that would just be cruel.


5:34AM: OK, now for an actual look at the wind at St. Andrews:


5:29AM: Everyone's a comedian. Keep 'em coming, boys.


5:21AM: The sad thing is ... is that this really isn't hyperbolic in the least.


5:20AM: We're almost afraid to find out.


5:17AM: The good news is that players seem in high spirits. And yes, the use of the word 'spirits' was intentional ... if you get our drift.


5:13AM: The next couple of days don't look great, either.


5:05AM: The latest update is that there is no update:


4:03AM: To the Dunvegan! Who's with us?


4:00AM: Official weather statement from the R&A:


3:36AM: Saturday morning in images:


3:34AM: You never want a Monday finish.


3:16AM: Oh to be a fly on that wall...


3:09AM: One of only three players to finish their second round on Saturday morning, Brendon Todd spoke on the severe wind:


3:01AM: A lot of wind with a side of Westwood. Stay tuned for further developments....


2:58AM: Weather update: Latest forecast for Saturday calls for this wind (30-35 mph sustained; gusts up to 40-45 mph) until about 10 a.m. (3 p.m. local). The forecast for Sunday is rain early.


2:58AM: Only three players completed their second rounds on Saturday morning. That was the Brendon Todd, J.B. Holmes, Shinji Tomimura group.


2:49AM: Dedication.


2:42AM: Winds right now are 30-35mph with gusts up to 40-45.


2:40AM: Early forecast is that these winds are supposed to sustain until about noon ET (5 p.m. local time). Stay tuned for updates.


2:37AM: Go back to sleep ... or grab fourth meal. The decision is yours.


2:34AM: The horn was blown at 2:32 a.m. and play has been suspended. Players were given the option to complete the hole they were on. Winds too severe.


2:32AM: Winds may cause another delay. Louis Oosthuizen had about a 2 1/2 footer at the 13th. As he was about to address it, it blew 1 1/2 feet. He marked it a second time, put his ball back down, and it blew away 3 yards.


2:25AM: Elsewhere on the course ... things aren't going the greatest for Tiger Tracker. Oh yeah, nor for Tiger.


2:18AM: That's a bogey for DJ, and he drops back into a share of the lead with Danny Willett at 9 under.


2:14AM: And let's admit it ... that would be entertaining to see.


2:010AM: There are 42 players who still need to finish their second rounds.


2:08AM: That's a chunked chip for DJ's third shot at the par-5 14th. Not ideal for the solo leader.


2:03AM: Sustained winds of 30-40 mphs this morning. Biting cold temperatures. Players are already having discussions about their balls getting blown around on the greens.


2:00AM: Happy Saturday from St. Andrews! The conclusion of the second round of the 144th Open Championship is now underway.

Getty Images

Own history, grow the game with Open memorabilia auction

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 1:00 pm

Get a piece of history and help grow the game, that's what The Open is offering with its memorabilia auction.

The official Open Memorabilia site features unique Open assets from famous venues and Champion Golfers of the Year. All net proceeds received by The R&A from this project will be invested to support the game for future generations, including encouraging women’s, junior and family golf, on the promotion and progression of the sport in emerging golf nations and on coaching and development.

Items for auction include limited edition prints of Champion Golfers of the Year, signed championship pin flags and limited edition historical program covers. Memorable scorecard reproductions and caddie bibs are also available to bid for on the website, with all items featuring branded, serialized holograms for authenticity.

Click here to own your piece of history and to get more information on the auction.

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No indication when Trump Turnberry will next host an Open

By Jay CoffinJuly 18, 2018, 12:25 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Turnberry last hosted The Open in 2009, during that magical week where Tom Watson, at age 59, nearly won his sixth claret jug. Ultimately, Stewart Cink won in a playoff.

While Turnberry remains on The Open rota, according to the R&A, there is no clear understanding of when the club, purchased by Donald Trump in 2014 before he became President of the United States, will next host the championship. The next open date is 2022.

“With respect to 2022, I’ve already said, ’21 we’re going to be celebrating the 150th playing of The Open at St. Andrews,” R&A chief executive Marin Slumbers said Wednesday on the annual news conference on the eve of The Open. “And in ’22, we’ll be going south of the border.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


South of the border means the 2022 Open will be at one of the three venues in England. Since the 2020 Open is at Royal St. George’s, that leaves Royal Lytham & St. Annes and Royal Liverpool as the two remaining options. Since Lytham (2012, Ernie Els) last hosted The Open before Liverpool (2014, Rory McIlroy), that’s the likely choice.

Trump was at Turnberry for two days last weekend, 150 miles southwest of Carnoustie. The R&A said it did not receive any communication from the U.S. president while he was in the country.

Turnberry hosted the Women’s British Open in 2015. Inbee Park beat Jin-young Park by three shots.

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Slumbers explains driver test; Rory weighs in

By Rex HoggardJuly 18, 2018, 12:18 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Players and manufacturers were informed about three weeks ago that the R&A intended to test individual drivers at this week’s Open Championship, marking the first time the rule makers have taken the current standards to players.

Although the R&A and USGA have been COR (coefficient of restitution) tests on drivers for some time, they have been pulling the tested clubs from manufacturers, not players.

“We take our governance role very seriously, not just on the Rules of Golf and amateur status, but also equipment standards, and we felt it was an appropriate next step to more actively seek to test players' drivers straight out of the bag,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive.

Thirty players were notified their drivers would be tested this week - including Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and Henrik Stenson - from a list that roughly mirrored the breakdown of various brands based on current equipment counts.


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


The R&A test center was set up on the Carnoustie practice range, and according to Slumbers there were no violations of the testing limits, which essentially measure the spring-like effect of the driver clubface.

Although none of the drivers failed the testing, Rory McIlroy did say that TaylorMade was “singled out a bit more than anyone else.”

“A manufacturer is always going to try and find ways to get around what the regulations are. It's a bit of an arms race,” said McIlroy, who plays TaylorMade equipment but said his driver was not tested. “If there is some drivers out there that have went a little bit over the limit, then obviously guys shouldn't be playing them. I think the manufacturers are smart enough to know not to try to push it too much.”

There was no individual driver testing at last month’s U.S. Open, and it’s not expected to become the norm on the PGA Tour, but Slumbers did say the R&A tested drivers at an event earlier this year on the Japan Golf Tour.

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Carnoustie open to any number of scenarios

By Rex HoggardJuly 18, 2018, 12:07 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Carnoustie holds a distinct position within the Open Championship’s rotation of storied venues. It’s come by its nickname, Car-Nasty, honestly as the undisputed rough-and-tumble heavyweight of all the championship links.

Historically, Carnoustie is a beast. A punch in the mouth compared to the other stops on The Open dance card. If the likes of the Old Course and Muirfield are the fair ladies of the rotation, the Angus Coast brute would be the unfriendly bouncer.

As personas go, Carnoustie wears its reputation well, but the 147th edition of the game’s oldest championship has taken on a new look this week. It’s not so much the softer side of Carnoustie as it is a testament to the set up philosophy of the R&A.

Unlike its sister association in the United States, the R&A allows Mother Nature to decide what kind of test a championship will present and this Open is shaping up to be something far different than what the golf world is accustomed.

Instead of the thick, lush rough that ringed the fairways in 1999 and 2007, the last two stops at the par-71 layout, this year has a dust bowl feel to it. The stories have already become legend: Padraig Harrington hit a 457-yard drive on the 18th hole during a practice round that bounced and bounded into Barry Burn and on Monday Tiger Woods slashed a 333-yard 3-iron down the same power alley.

“It’s so fast. It’s nothing like ’99 – that was like a jungle. It was wet, rough was up, there was wind. In 2007, it was cold and green,” said Ernie Els, who has played two championships at Carnoustie. “But this is very, very dry. Very different.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Anywhere else these divergent conditions would simply be the nature of the game’s most hands-off major, but at Carnoustie it’s created an information vacuum and wild uncertainty.

Within a 48-hour window, two of the championship’s easy favorites offered diametrically contrasting philosophies on how they might play Carnoustie.

“There's eight or nine drivers we hit. Depending on the wind direction, we could hit more,” said Brooks Koepka, who won his second consecutive U.S. Open last month. “It's so burnt out, where there's a lot of opportunity where the rough's not quite as thick as I expected it to be.”

That was in contrast to how Jordan Spieth, this week’s defending champion, was thinking he would play the course.

“I talked to [caddie Michael Greller] a little bit about what he thinks, and he said, ‘You might hit a lot of 5-irons off the tee, you might wear out 5- and 4-irons off the tee instead of hitting 3- or 2-irons like you're used to,’” Spieth said.

Unlike previous championships that were played at Carnoustie, which were won by the player best prepared to take a punch, this one might come down to which strategy, controlled and calculated or bold and brash, works best.

In theory, the bombers seem to be on to something, primarily as a result of the dry conditions that have produced uncharacteristically thin and playable rough. The alternative is weaving irons in between the countless bunkers that pepper each fairway, which on links courses are widely considered true hazards compared to what players face at other major venues.

“I would definitely say it is a bomber’s course,” said Gary Woodland, who counts himself among the long-hitting set. “A lot of the bunkers here are 285, 290 [yards] to cover, for us that’s nothing. You can take them out of play, which normally isn’t the case because it’s windy and rainy over here.”

That line of thinking leads to a rather narrow list of potential contenders, from betting favorite Dustin Johnson to Rory McIlroy and Koepka. But that logic ignores the inherent unpredictability of The Open, where countless contenders have been undercut by the rub of a bad draw and the always-present danger of inclement weather.

Although this week’s forecast calls for continued dry weather, winds are currently forecast to reach 25 mph on Sunday which could upend game plans, regardless of how aggressive or conservative one intended to play the course.

Despite conventional thinking and the realities of a modern game that is being dominated more and more by long hitters, there are compelling arguments for the other side of the bash-or-bunt debate.

One needs to look no further than Woods’ record on similarly dusty tracks as an example of how a conservative approach can produce championship results. In 2006 at Royal Liverpool, Woods, who is playing his first Open since 2015, famously hit just one driver all week on his way to victory, and he was just as effective in 2000 at St. Andrews when the Old Course also played to a bouncy brown.

“It could be that way,” Woods said when asked to compare ’06 at Hoylake to this week. “Either case, I'm not going to hit that many long clubs off the tees.”

Adding to that uncertainty is Carnoustie’s track record in producing late drama on Sunday. This is, after all, the same slice of coast where Jean Van de Velde stepped to the 18th tee box with a three-stroke lead in 1999 only to slash his way to a closing triple-bogey 7 and the game’s most memorable, or regrettable, runner-up showing.

In ’07, the heartbreak went extra frames for Sergio Garcia, who appeared poised to win his first major championship before he bogeyed the last hole and lost a playoff to Harrington.

Even this week’s baked-out conditions can’t mitigate the importance and challenge of what many consider the most difficult Grand Slam finish; but the yellow hue has certainly created an added degree of uncertainty to an already unpredictable championship.