Monday, 22 October, 2018

There's a surprising Johnson thriving at the British Open

Shannon Reynolds | 21 July, 2018, 00:48

Fleetwood holds the course record at Carnoustie after shooting a 63 here a year ago, and Friday's effort is the best ever for the second round of a British Open on the notoriously tough Scottish links. "I was very, very fortunate that it got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green". A rugged start, a strong recovery, a few putts for birdie, a few he missed for par, and it added to an even-par 71.

Lyle, who made his Open debut as an amateur in 1974, the year of Gary Player's third and final victory, was 60 in February and his exemption as a past victor has expired but he has not given up hope of appearing at Royal Portrush next year as there is a place available for the victor of next week's Seniors Open at St Andrews and he is in the field.

Johnson holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th and had a one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood at the midway point of the second round.

"The more I can get into that mindset this week, the better I'll play golf".

"There were a few shots I hit poorly out there". He saved par with a 10-footer at the ninth, then made his first bogey at the 10th when he drove into a fairway bunker.

The young McIlroy he has spoken of this week - the fuzzy-haired, ebullient, expression-filled youngster who smashed his way around this course in 2007 as an 18-year-old amateur - has been a bit of a muse for him.

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"I felt like I played okay, but made too many mistakes". He made the turn at 34 after a bogey at 7 and a birdie at 9. So I'm happy to be in with a shot. The South Carolina native assured a press conference it was an excellent environment to be in. They're all great people. "We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out".

While the pair have remained on friendly terms, they seemed particularly close at this year's Ascot and during one familiar moment Fergie leaned in to fix her ex husband's lapel as they chatted.

"And when you get around those guys, everybody is really good".

Dufner is the allocated goalkeeper, or so claims overnight leader Kisner, clearly one of the bigger jokers in the pack.

His five-under-par 66 came thanks to a consistent display with the occasional gutsy call, most notably a bold tee-shot on six that handed him an eagle and set him on his way. He hit the target regularly where many of his more illustrious rivals couldn't, though when it comes to playing football in the garden it sounds like Spieth is the player to watch. "Until he sends it four houses over, and we've got to go knock on the neighbour's door".

BBC Two will show two hours of highlights after each day's play from 8pm to 10pm.

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