Tiger Woods in lowly company after missing British Open cut
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — There are a number of ways to measure the shock value of Tiger Woods’ stunning summer of major championships. Try this one on for size: In competition against 310 other golfers (155 in each the U.S. Open and British Open), he has outscored just 11 names.
And when you consider the names — Matt Every, Darren Clarke, Alex Kim and Cole Hammer at the U.S. Open; Rod Pampling, Jonathan Moore, Ben Taylor, Gary Boyd, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia and Nick Faldo — it’s even more confounding. Digest that assortment once again, Hammer being 15 years old, Watson being 65; Hammer and Taylor being amateurs; Calcavecchia being a member of the Champions Tour.
AVOIDING BOGEYS IS THE KEY: Rickie Fowler might dress with a bit of flash, but he’s played two days with a methodical, plodding style. Consider that through 36 holes he lagged far behind Tyrrell Hatton in explosiveness, making two birdies to Hatton’s nine.
But Fowler tossed in an eagle and made just three bogeys to easily make the cut, at 1 under, whereas Hatton had seven bogeys and two doubles to miss the cut at 2-over.
CLOSING TID-BITS: After the field came up empty Thursday in attempts to birdie the par-4 17th, there were six of them in Round 2 â by Jaco Van Zyl, Geoff Ogilvy, Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Aiken and Nick Faldo.
Horschel and Aiken had especially timely birdies at 17, because when they followed with birdies at 18 they made the cut on the number.
Of those who also made the cut on the number (level-par 144), Jason Dufner, David Duval, Marcus Fraser and Jim Furyk did so with birdies at the 18th.
Hunter Mahan and Ben Martin both made the cut on the number with birdies at 18, made necessary by double bogeys at the 17th.
FAIR PLAY: It’s always a storyline for the first two days of the British Open, but for 2015 let’s put to rest any thoughts about players getting the short end of the draw. True, there was a gentle start Thursday for those out first and a rough wind for those who came along late, but it’s hard to say things didn’t even out.
If you take Thursday’s tee times and split it down the middle â the first 26 games against the last 26 games â guess what? Forty players from each side of the draw made the cut and of the top 13 names on the leaderboard through 36 holes, nine went off in the first half Thursday, four went off late. Seems to indicate a fair and balanced picture.
AMATEUR HOUR: Ollie Schniederjans has been the focal point of a nice crop of amateurs at the summer majors this year. He fell back with a final-round 72 at Chambers Bay but still finished in a share of 42nd, one of six amateurs to make the cut in the U.S. Open.
At the Old Course, Schniederjans, who finished his collegiate campaign at Georgia Tech in the spring, is one of five amateurs to make the cut, having shot 70-72.
The others who made the cut at the British Open: Irishman and recent UAB grad Paul Dunne, Jordan Niebrugge from Oklahoma State, Frenchman Romain Langasque and England’s Ashley Chesters.
Brian Campbell, Denny McCarthy, Nick Hardy, Beau Hossler and Jack Maguire were the five amateurs who joined Schniederjans in making the U.S. Open cut.
THREE-FOR-THREE: A total of 26 players have made the cut in each of the first three majors this year, including Adam Scott, whose streak of cuts made in the majors has reached 17. Scott hasn’t missed since the 2011 U.S. Open.
Jason Day and Henrik Stenson have now made 11 straight cuts, while Louis Oosthuizen and Jimmy Walker are up to seven in a row.