Poulter Paces the Field in Germany

By Sports NetworkSeptember 19, 2003, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Ian Poulter fired a 9-under 63 on Friday to take the lead at the halfway point of the Linde Germany Masters where low scores are plentiful. He finished 36 holes at 16-under-par 128, one stroke clear of Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Jimenez shared the low round of the day with a 62 to move to 15-under-par 129. Anders Hansen also recorded a 62 to finish two shots further back in a group at 13-under-par 131, but the course record set a day before remained out of reach.
Fredrik Jacobson, who tied the European Tour's 18-hole record with a 60 on Thursday, managed only a 1-under 71 to join Hansen, K.J. Choi and Gary Orr in a tie for fifth.
Poulter tallied five birdies on the front nine at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof to make the turn at 12-under. He continued his fine play on the inward half with back-to-back birdies from the 12th and a birdie at the 15th.
The Englishman took over the top spot at the par-4 17th. Poulter knocked his second shot to six feet and ran home the putt to secure the 36-hole lead.
'I want to try and focus on what I have been doing over the past few weeks which is hitting good golf shots, shot after shot, and if I manage to do that, then the rest of the stuff will take care of itself,' said Poulter, who has two victories so far in 2003. 'But where I am at the moment, I am very, very happy.'
Jimenez collected 10 birdies and no bogeys to match his career best on the European Tour.
'I have played well here in the past and I like the place which helps a lot,' said Jimenez. 'I also feel very comfortable on the golf course and this week it has been in perfect condition, it was superb.'
Jacobson had a late tee time on Friday and despite the blistering opening round, he found himself trailing when he took to the first tee.
The Swede racked up two birdies over his first six holes and added a birdie at the eighth to tie Jimenez at minus-15. At the par-4 ninth, Jacobson landed his approach inside 12 feet and drained the putt to regain the outright lead.
Jacobson struggled with back-to-back bogeys starting at the 11th, but he managed to recover with a birdie at the 13th and another at the 15th.
At the par-3 16th, Jacobson's tee shot missed the green and almost bounced into the water. He chipped his second, but again his ball could not reach the putting surface and rolled back down the hill and into the drink.
Jacobson double-bogeyed the hole and closed with a bogey at the last to finish three shots back.
'When I won in Portugal in April, I was leading after the first round and then fell back a little bit and then came back to win,' said Jacobson, who has won twice on the European Tour this season. 'It is difficult to do it but I have done it many times before. I never give up, that is my motto.'
Miles Tunnicliff had a 63 of his own to join Carlos Rodiles in a tie for third at 14-under-par 130.
Paul Casey finished alone in ninth place at 12-under-par 132. Peter Hedblom and Jarrod Moseley were one shot further back at 11-under-par 133.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-under-par 140. Among those missing the weekend are Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer.
'I am very disappointed,' said Langer, who is a four-time champion of this event. 'I came in here in good shape but I made too many bad strokes.'
Related Links:
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.