Americans Share Canadian Q-School Lead
Americans Josh Lower and Bryan Conway are in top spot at Black Bear Golf Club with a 36-hole total of 8-under 136. Five others are two shots off the pace heading into Thursdays third round.
After play wraps up Friday, the Canadian Tour will award exempt cards for the 2004 season to the low five scores, while the next eight, plus ties, will gain non-exempt status.
This week marks the first of three consecutive Winter Q-Schools. Next week, the scene shifts west to Los Serranos Golf & Country Club in California before the final school is staged the week of February 16-20 in Austin, Texas. The 2004 Canadian Tour season gets underway with the Austin Classic at Barton Creek (Feb. 23-29) followed by the Austin Challenge at Barton Creek the following week.
1. Conway, Bryan Frankfort, KY 69 67 136
1. Lower, Josh Placida, FL 70 66 136
3. DeLeon, Daniel Mexico 70 68 138
3. Jackson, Scott England 68 70 138
3. Parker, Adrian Brookhaven, MS 71 67 138
3. Smith, Eugene Glen Ridge, New Jersey 72 66 138
3. Spittle, Rod Niagara Falls, ON 69 69 138
8. Bradford, George Columbia, MD 67 72 139
8. Erickson, Tyler Tempe, AZ 70 69 139
8. Herberth, Erik Avon Lake, OH 70 69 139
8. Labritz, Rob Hobe Sound, FL 68 71 139
8. Wall, JJ Austin, TX 69 70 139
13. Bourque, Casey Wolfeboro, NH 69 71 140
13. O'Leary, John Celebration, FL 70 70 140
15. Alizzeo, Mark Orlando, FL 72 69 141
15. Hale, Damian Trinidad 68 73 141
15. Quinn, Ryan Galesville, WI 73 68 141
18. Anderson, Jeremy Las Vegas, NV 69 73 142
19. Martin, Jason Morgantown, WV 68 76 144
20. Concha, Carlos Reno, NV 76 69 145
20. Gatchel, Matt Tampa, FL 71 74 145
20. Okushima, Tomoaki Japan 75 70 145
20. Widerstedt, Bjorn Sweden 71 74 145
24. McLeod, Mac Brandon, MB 73 73 146
24. Sauger, Mark Cape Coral, FL 70 76 146
26. Gibson, Patrick Thonotosassa, FL 75 72 147
26. Jang, Jai Los Angeles, CA 74 73 147
28. Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 75 73 148
28. Davidson, Graham Langholm, Scotland 74 74 148
28. Sitterley, Rob Orlando, FL 75 73 148
28. Soria, Marcelo Argentina 75 73 148
28. Vazales, Kaj Petoskey, MI 77 71 148
33. Koskinen, John Baroga, MI 73 76 149
33. Staples, Whit Tequesta, FL 70 79 149
35. Meierling, Jan Germany 77 73 150
36. Akutsu, Yoshiki Japan 78 73 151
36. Gray, Chris Orlando, FL 75 76 151
36. Procaccino, Mike Pipersville, PA 75 76 151
36. Williams, Daniel England 75 76 151
36. Yarvi, Matt Orlando, FL 79 72 151
41. Hrynkiw, Jason Winnipeg, MB 77 75 152
41. Stevenson, Nate Tampa, FL 74 78 152
41. Wyatt, Charles Tampa, FL 77 75 152
44. Beckstrom, J.J. Naples, FL 77 76 153
44. Nakatsuka, Kazuta Japan 76 77 153
46. Riley, Sean Ambler, PA 74 81 155
47. Makino, Yuji Japan 78 79 157
48. Robinson, John Orlando, FL 76 82 158
48. Starchuk, Nick Ottawa, ON 82 76 158
50. Begley, J.P. Jacksonville, FL 75 84 159
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.
DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.
Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.
Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.
Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.
It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.
With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.
Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.
TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:
• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.
• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.
• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery.
• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”
• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.
• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.
• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.