Byrd Joins Sluman at the Top

By Sports NetworkOctober 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Jonathan Byrd posted his second straight round of 5-under 66 on Friday to grab a share of the lead halfway through the Chrysler Championship. Byrd joined Jeff Sluman at 10-under-par 132, two strokes clear of World No. 1 Vijay Singh.
Singh, who is seeking his ninth win of the season, carded a 69 to finish at 8-under-par 134 alongside Tommy Armour III and Rod Pampling.
Byrd is in no danger of losing his PGA Tour card having won the B.C. Open earlier in the year for his second career victory. The 26-year-old can work his way into next week's Tour Championship, however, with a strong showing this week.
Byrd was four shots off the pace to start the day on the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort and hit his approach to 10 feet for a birdie at the par-4 second. He left his second shot in a bunker at the par-4 third and played out to 6 feet. Byrd missed the par putt and dropped another shot with a bogey at the par-3 eighth.
At the par-4 ninth, Byrd landed his second shot within 2 feet of the hole for an easy birdie and got it very close again at the 10th to make it two in a row. Byrd then drained a 20-foot putt at the par-5 11th for his third consecutive birdies.
Byrd two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 14th and sank a 25-foot putt for a birdie at the par-3 15th. He added a birdie at the par-4 18th for his share of first.
'This course is not that easy,' said Byrd. 'I think guys like this golf course because it's challenging. It's an awesome golf course. You cannot fake it around this golf course and shoot good scores. Tiger might be able to, but most of us can't.'
Sluman set a new course record with a 62 in the first round, but struggled to get things going on Friday. He played the back side first and managed a lone birdie over his first nine holes only to give that shot back with a bogey at the par-4 sixth.
The 47-year-old recovered with a birdie at the par-4 seventh en route to a round of 70.
'I had numerous opportunities to make at least a half a dozen birdies, and today I just didn't make them,' said Sluman. 'I guess that's kind of the way it goes.'
Armour also started on the 10th and rocketed out of the gate with birdies on his first two holes. He tallied another birdie at the 15th and picked up a birdie at the 18th to make the turn at 5 under.
The 45-year-old hit his third shot to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 first and collected back-to-back birdies from the fifth to complete a sizzling 64.
Pampling, who currently occupies the 30th spot on the money list and needs to hold that position to earn a spot in the Tour Championship, managed six birdies on Friday for a bogey-free round of 65.
'Obviously anyone can just go out there and win this golf tournament and pass me,' said Pampling. 'All I can do is play my own game, and hopefully at the end of the week, if someone passes me, I might make enough money to pass someone else.'
Singh collected four birdies and two bogeys to finish two shots back after a 69.
'Towards the end I started hitting some decent shots, but these greens are pretty tough,' said Singh. 'I'm in good position, looking forward to playing well in the weekend if I can.'
Kirk Triplett, Jesper Parnevik, Vaughn Taylor and Kent Jones share sixth place at 7-under-par 135. Justin Rose and Carl Pettersson were one shot further back at 6-under-par 136.
Defending champion Retief Goosen struggled with a 73 on Friday, but survived the cut on the number at even-par 142. Among the notables who failed to qualify for the weekend were Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink.
'I don't know what to say,' said Mickelson. 'It's a tough course for me to play well on, mainly because I don't read the greens very well. But it's a wonderful event. I'm just sorry I didn't play better.'
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Chrysler Championship
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Championship
  • Getty Images

    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    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.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    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.

    Getty Images

    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    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.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    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.

    Getty Images

    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    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


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • 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.

    Getty Images

    Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

    Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.