Monty Cejka Lead in Germany Tiger Two Back
The 31-year-old native of the Czeck Repulic shot 2-under 70 Saturday in Heidelberg to share top honors with Colin Montgomerie (68) through two rounds of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe. The event will conclude Monday, a European holiday.
Cejka and Montgomerie are tied at 10-under-par 134. Darren Clarke (68), Australian Richard Green (67) and Welshmen Ian Woosnam (67) and Mark Pilkington (64) are all one back. Defending champion Tiger Woods heads up a group two back, along with Englishmen Justin Rose (65) and Greg Owen (68).
Woods, who is trying to become the first player in tournament history to repeat as champion, fired a 67 on Day 2. His round included seven birdies and a double bogey at the par-4 second.
Today could have been pretty low, Woods said. I didnt get off to a great start but I got it back and hit a lot of great shots and made some putts. I just didnt make enough on the back nine. If they had fallen in, I would have been really low today.
Last year, the worlds No. 1 entered the final 36 holes six off the lead, but shot a third-round 63 at St. Leon-Rot to bolt into contention.
Montgomerie is going for a German Grand Slam, of sorts. Ive won the Linde German Masters, the German Open and the BMW International Open in Munich, he explained.
Although I won the TPC before it was played in Portugal so I would like to add this one to my list and win all four titles in Germany and go one better than Bernhard Langer, who has won all but the BMW International Open.
The 38-year-old Scot, who won this event in 1988, is finally feeling comfortable with his belly putter. He used the elongated flatstick to roll home a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th following a brilliant 5-wood approach shot.
Montgomerie has won on the European Tour each of the last nine years, but is still in search of victory No. 1 this season. Hes getting closer; he has led or shared the lead in each of his last three tournaments.
It was disappointing to lose the Benson and Hedges International Open. I only needed to shoot 5-under at the weekend to win and I shot 2-under and finished third, said Montgomerie, who is taking twice-daily painkillers for an ailing back. This week I will have to do better. The standard is good and I am sure Tiger will be right there for the weekend.
Cejkas drought extends to 1995, when he won three times on tour. He shared the lead through 54 holes of last years British Open, but faltered with a Sunday 73 and finished tied for 13th. This week, however, he feels ready for the challenge.
I came here for my practice round and thought it was very tight and it didnt look like being my kind of course, he said. But Ive played solidly and I am very pleased. All the names are bunching up. Two rounds to go and Im happy to be in this position.
Clarke, like Montgomerie, is battling an injury this week. The burly Northern Irishman tore a muscle in his right thigh while fishing Monday. Yet, hes shown no signs of pain while continuing to rise up the leaderboard.
Theyve done a fantastic job he said. There is no way I would have been able to play on Wednesday. In the circumstances I am delighted to be on nine under. The physios advised me yesterday that if I felt any twinge at all then I should contemplate pulling out. Fortunately there is no pain when I swing. I just find it hard to crouch and line up putts.
Full-field scores from the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open
Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.
Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.
Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.
“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”
Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.
“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”
Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.
Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.
Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.
Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.
Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.
The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.
The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.
This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.
After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.
“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”
Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.
Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.
“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”
Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.
To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.
“More punishment,” he said.