SANDWICH, England – The Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world won’t play the weekend of their beloved Open Championship in their home country.
Next to Rory McIlroy, Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were betting favorites here at Royal St. George’s. An each-way bet (a top-five finish) for either man seemed to be as close to a lock as there was anywhere in Europe.
After all, top-ranked Donald was just coming off victory last week at the Scottish Open and had recorded 15 top-10 finishes in his previous 18 events. Westwood, ranked No. 2, came in having finished no worse than 14th place in his last eight starts, a stretch that included two victories.
But Donald was never able to get any momentum. A first-round 71 was a good score but it was inconsistent for Donald, who is known for his prowess with the putter.
He got off to a terrible start in Round 2 with bogeys on three of his first four holes, but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 7 and 13. Standing at 2 over with four holes remaining – six shots off the lead – Donald closed with four consecutive bogeys to shoot 75 and finish at 6 over.
“I’ll keep trying to prepare for majors and see what happens,” said a shell-shocked Donald. “I’ve got to figure out a way to contend more.”
Westwood also shot 71 in the first round and appeared to be playing better in the second round but met a tough stretch on Nos. 8 and 9 where he went double bogey, bogey. He made birdie on 15 to make up some ground but gave it back with a bogey on 16 and shot 73.