Tight Race in South Africa

By Sports NetworkJanuary 23, 2004, 5:00 pm
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- France's Raphael Jacquelin fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the second-round lead of the dunhill championship. He stands at 13-under-par 131 to establish a new 36-hole record for this event.
Peter Lawrie, last year's European Tour Rookie of the Year, posted the low round of the tournament with an 8-under 64 at Houghton Golf Club. He is tied for second place with Marcel Siem, who shot a second-round 67, at 12-under-par 132.
Friday's weather was very different than Thursday's. Rain pelted Houghton Golf Club all day Thursday but Friday was dry and ideal for low scoring.
Jacquelin opened with three birdies on his first nine but finished with four birdies on his second nine to close out his bogey-free round of 65. On the back nine, Jacquelin's putts ran in length from 18 feet at the 10th hole to a tap-in at No. 16.
Jacquelin is trying to sustain momentum he gained from the 2003 campaign on the European Tour when he finished 20th on the final Order of Merit. He is still in search of his first victory on tour but thanks to a tie for fifth at last week's South African Airways Open, the Frenchman thinks this could be the week.
'I'm just trying to keep up that form,' said the 29-year-old Jacquelin. 'I hit the ball better than in the first round. I was hitting more fairways and greens and holing more putts today, which is good for the confidence.'
Jacquelin bested Ernie Els' former 36-hole record by a shot. Els set the mark of 132 in 1996 that was tied five times, including by Lawrie and Siem in this week's edition.
Lawrie collected six birdies through 15 holes but his play on the final two par-5s, 16 and 18, completed his round. On both holes, Lawrie drove into the woods but was able to hit through the trees and give himself looks at birdies. He holed a 10-footer and four-footer, respectively, to put himself in solid position for his first victory on tour.
'I'm certainly not going to be counting my chickens before they hatch,' admitted Lawrie. 'I think it'll take at least 20-under to win this tournament.'
Lawrie had other things on his mind Friday, namely a leg injury that flamed up when he woke up this morning.
'I seem to have hurt my ankle,' said Lawrie. 'It's like an Achilles tendon injury. It was very sore all day. I felt it when I got out of bed this morning and I can assure you I wasn't jumping out of bed.'
Siem, one of three co-leaders after Thursday's opening round, tallied six birdies in his first 10 holes to pull into first place. He dropped shots at 12 and 14 to fall off the pace but a birdie at the par-5 16th got him within one of the lead.
The German is one of three players around the top of the leaderboard who could make this win No. 1 on the European Tour.
'I am a little nervous but I know I shouldn't be because all the big players who win tournaments don't allow themselves to get nervous on the course, he said. 'I will try and work on that aspect tonight and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.'
Alan McLean, the second co-leader from Thursday, shot a 4-under 68 and shares fourth place with Soren Hansen, who posted a 5-under 67 on Friday. The duo is knotted at 11-under-par 133.
Titch Moore is alone in sixth place at minus-10.
Anders Hansen, the final co-leader from the first round, only managed a 2-under 70 on Friday. He is tied for seventh with Gregory Havret (69) and Mads Vibe-Hastrup (68) at 9-under-par 135.
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-under-par 141 and 2003 winner Mark Foster made the cut on the number.

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    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.”

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.