Three Tied in South Africa

By Sports NetworkJanuary 22, 2004, 5:00 pm
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Anders Hansen, who lost this event in a playoff to Mark Foster last year, fired a 7-under-par 65 Thursday to join Marcel Siem and Alan McLean atop the leaderboard after the first round of the dunhill championship at Houghton Golf Club.
Soren Hansen, Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret are tied for fourth place at 6-under-par 66.
Rain fell throughout much of Thursday's opening round and in fact, Houghton Golf Club has been deluged with close to four inches of rain since Monday.
Anders Hansen opened on the 10th tee Thursday and collected only one birdie in his first six holes. He went on a tear around the turn with six birdies in an eight-hole span to get to 7 under par.
The Dane parred his final four holes to remain a part of the tie in first place.
It's almost shocking that Anders Hansen is in this position. Last week at the South African Airways Open, he held the lead with nine holes to play but tallied a pair of sevens on the way in and finished in a tie for ninth place.
'It's nice to play well after last week,' admitted Hansen, who was part of the six-man playoff that Foster won in 2003. 'I wasn't that disappointed because I played really good golf for 65 holes, so I didn't want to dwell on it too much. There are certain things in life you just have to let go.'
Adding to Anders Hansen's woes this week are a lingering right wrist injury and the damp conditions made the problem worse.
'My wrist is bothering me,' said Hansen. 'I don't know what it is, but I'm having treatment for it. It feels like tendinitis. It's also quite damp out there and the ball doesn't go as far as we're used to here.'
Siem also began on the back side but did his damage on his second nine. He drained a curling 20-footer for birdie at the first, then added three more birdies to join Anders Hansen atop the leaderboard.
Siem was grateful for an early tee time Thursday in the straining conditions.
'It was much easier to have the earlier start because the greens are getting bumpy, so it is a little bit unlucky for the guys in the afternoon but I guess it changes around tomorrow,' said Siem.
McLean played the course the way it's intended and collected five birdies before coming to the closing stretch. He failed to use his length to his advantage at the par-5 16th when he left with a par, but he birdied the 17th.
At the 18th, McLean drove into a fairway bunker but nailed a 5-wood from 250 yards out to the front of the green. He got down in two for birdie to round out the threesome in first.
'I think the conditions actually helped me a little bit today,' said the Scotsman. 'I carry the ball a long way but when the fairways are running, a lot of people can get up there too. But if you carry the ball without a lot of run it can be a big help on days like today.'
David Park, Mads Vibe-Hastrup and Johan Edfors are tied for seventh place at 5-under-par 67. Lee Westwood, Alastair Forsyth and Maarten Lafeber are part of a group knotted in 10th place at minus-4.
Foster opened his title defense with an even-par 72 and is part of a logjam in 71st.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - dunhill championship

  • Full Coverage - dunhill championship

  • Getty Images

    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    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.”

    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.