2021 British Open leaderboard breakdown: Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa pushing Louis Oosthuizen after Round 2

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CBSSports.com 16 July, 2021 - 02:42pm 26 views

Why did zalatoris withdraw from the British Open?

Will Zalatoris withdrew from The 149th Open Championship on Friday, citing a back injury suffered while hitting out of heavy rough late in his opening-round 69. “I am beyond disappointed,” he said in a statement on social media. pgatour.comWill Zalatoris withdraws from The Open with injury

Why did Will zalatoris WD?

After sustaining a back injury in the first round of the 149th British Open, Will Zalatoris has withdrawn from his debut at the championship. ... Golf Channel's Cara Banks, who spoke with Zalatoris' agent Alan Hobbs, said he felt a shooting pain at impact and a tingling sensation down his leg. usatoday.comWill Zalatoris WDs from British Open after feeling 'tingling' in his leg during first round

Who wins the Open Championship?

Jordan Spieth, the 2017 Open Championship winner, is hot on Oosthuizen's heels after a second-round 3-under 67 that moved him to 8 under for the championship. Collin Morikawa is sandwiched between the two and second on the leaderboard at 9 under after he posted the low round of the early wave Friday with a 6-under 64. CBSSports.com2021 British Open leaderboard breakdown: Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa pushing Louis Oosthuizen after Round 2

Another round at a major championship, another night when South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen goes to bed as the leader.

Oosthuizen took advantage of Royal St. George's friendlier-than-expected conditions in the first round of The Open on Thursday to take a 1-shot lead with a 6-under 64.

Will Oosthuizen finally close the deal this weekend and win his second major? Will the winds blow any harder off the English Channel? Will Bryson DeChambeau criticize his putter?

Here's what to expect in the second round:

Two weeks later, he parted ways with his longtime caddie, Tim Tucker, the day before the start of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

And now, after hitting only four of 14 fairways at Royal St. George's in Thursday's first round, which led to DeChambeau posting a 1-over 71, it was his Cobra driver's fault.

"That's what I said a couple of days ago; if I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that's great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks," he told reporters on Thursday. "It's not a good face for me, and we're still trying to figure out how to make it good on the mishits. I'm living on the razor's edge, like I've told people for a long time."

That didn't sit well with the people at Cobra Golf.

"It's just really, really painful when he says something that stupid," Ben Schomin, tour operations manager for Cobra Golf, told Golfweek. "He has never really been happy, ever. Like, it's very rare when he's happy."

Here's an idea for DeChambeau: Don't mishit it, or better yet, don't hit driver on the holes where you might not need it.

DeChambeau's driving accuracy was tied for second worst in the first round; New Zealand's Ryan Fox hit only three of 14 fairways.

A few hours after making those comments, DeChambeau apologized on Instagram.

Who can't wait for Brooks Koepka to show up on the first tee with a Cobra driver on Friday?

Jordan Spieth's resurgence has been one of the best stories in golf this summer. After going nearly four years without a victory, he finally won again at the Valero Texas Open in April. Then he tied for third at the Masters and was solo second at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

As good as Spieth has been over the past six months, however, it still seems as if his comeback won't be complete until the three-time major champion wins another one.

Thursday's opening-round 65 was a good start. For the third time at a major, Spieth opened with a 65 or better. He ended up winning the previous two times he did it -- with a 64 at the 2015 Masters and 65 at The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017.

According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, Spieth is among only four players to shoot 65 or better in three opening rounds at a major. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Raymond Floyd are the others.

"To be honest, the path that I'm on and where I've been before in the game, I feel really good about my chances going forward, as good as they have been historically," Spieth said. "As far as surprised or not, I guess I feel like I've been trending the right way and certainly had a chance this year already at Augusta. Made some mistakes in the first round and second round that I shouldn't have made that I very well could have won that golf tournament this year."

Spieth certainly didn't make many mistakes on Thursday. He hit nine of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and needed only 27 putts. He moved to the betting favorite to win The Open at +400, according to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

For the fourth time this year, Oosthuizen is atop the leaderboard at a major. He shared the 36-hole lead at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and the 18-hole and 54-hole leads at the U.S. Open. Of course, Oosthuizen didn't win either of those tournaments, losing to Phil Mickelson by 2 shots at the PGA and to Jon Rahm by 1 shot at the U.S. Open.

Only three players -- Dustin Johnson (2015), Tom Watson (1978) and Harry Cooper (1936) -- have led at least four rounds in a major in a single year and didn't win one.

In this edition of America's Caddie, Michael Collins travels to the UK to tour The Open Championship host town of Sandwich & talk to 3-time Open winner Sir Nick Faldo. Stream now on ESPN+

If nothing else, Oosthuizen, the winner of The Open at St. Andrews in 2010, has shown uncanny ability to put major disappointments in the rearview mirror.

"Yeah, it depends if you lost it or someone else beat you," Oosthuizen said. "I think in both of those I was beaten by better golf at the end there. It takes a little while, but you have to get over it quickly, otherwise it's going to hold you back to perform again."

An Englishman hasn't won The Open on English soil since Tony Jacklin at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1969.

Five Englishmen -- Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett, Jack Senior and Justin Rose -- are tied for ninth at 3 under, 3 shots back of Oosthuizen. Paul Casey is 1 shot behind them after opening with 2-under 68.

"First round of The Open, you can only lose it on the first day," said Fleetwood, who was solo second at The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, 6 shots behind winner Shane Lowry. "You can't win it. It's just nice to have shot a good round and get going and move on to [Friday's second round]."

Lee Westwood, who is attempting to win his first major in his 88th career start in one, has work to do after a 1-over 71. Tyrrell Hatton, the highest-ranked English player at No. 10 in the world, opened with a 2-over 72.

Mickelson, who finished second to Darren Clarke at The Open at Royal St. George's in 2011, more than likely won't be around for the weekend. He shot 10-over 80, without a single birdie, and is tied for last in the field with Australia's Deyen Lawson.

Other big names who will have to play well on Friday to make the cut: Adam Scott (3-over 73), Patrick Cantlay (4-over 74), Jason Day (5-over 75), Marc Leishman (5-over 75) and Harris English (5-over 75).

Read full article at CBSSports.com

Stuck in traffic, Sergio makes it to the course in time

Yahoo Sports 16 July, 2021 - 04:10pm

Spain’s Sergio Garcia acknowledges the crowd as he walks onto the 18th green during the first round British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s golf course Sandwich, England, Thursday, July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Sergio Garcia had broken 70 only once in his previous eight rounds at Royal St. George’s, so he was particularly pleased with a 68 in the first round Thursday at the British Open.

He started the day bracing for the worst because of a traffic jam.

“Even though I left the house with plenty of time, I needed a little bit of help from a couple of very nice English policemen on bikes to get me here with only about 35, 40 minutes to tee off,” Garcia said.

The Spaniard says he prefers to be at the course about an hour-and-a-half before his tee time so he can ease his way into preparations.

This left him as stressful as anything he confronted on the links course.

He still doesn’t know what happened.

“We just got stuck. We couldn’t move,” Garcia said. “And thankfully they helped us a little bit and got us here in time. I was able to do a very quick practice, very quick warmup. But it worked out OK because I played nicely.”

It certainly worked out better for Garcia than it did Seve Ballesteros, who claimed he was stuck in traffic on the way to Baltusrol in the 1980 U.S. Open, was late to the tee and disqualified.

Louis Oosthuizen posted his lowest score ever in a major with a 6-under 64, and it matched the best start in a British Open at Royal St. George’s, first set by Christy O’Connor in 1985.

Trouble is, low scores in the British Open do not always translate into the claret jug.

Oosthuizen is the 10th player with 64 or better in the first round of the British Open, a list that includes Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, who each had 63. None of those previous nine went on to win.

Mickelson lost in that magnificent duel with Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon in 2016. McIlroy got caught in the wind the next day at St. Andrews in 2010 and shot 80.

Adam Scott shot 64 in the opening round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2012 and looked to be a winner until he made bogey on his last three holes and was runner-up to Ernie Els.

Will Zalatoris had a lot to remember in his first British Open. He opened with a 1-under 69.

Zalatoris holed out from the fairway on the 12th hole for an eagle to reach 3 under. He was was still at 3 under when he went to knock in an 18-inch putt on the 17th hole. The stroke, even with his arm-lock grip, was so bad that he missed it badly to the right.

Zalatoris bogeyed the 18th, too, and had to settle for a 69.

It still has been quite a year for Zalatoris, who was playing on the Korn Ferry Tour at this time a year ago. He earned special temporary status on the PGA Tour, helped by his tie for sixth in the U.S. Open last year. He was runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama at the Masters.

But his season could be coming to an end. Without a victory over the next three weeks, Zalatoris is not eligible for the PGA Tour’s lucrative postseason.

Brandt Snedeker had a 68 for his lowest start to a British Open since 2012. But it’s the way he posted that number that was so astounding.

Snedeker was 1 over for his round with three holes to play when he nearly made a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole. He was even better on the 17th, holing out from the fairway for an eagle. Consecutive 2s on his card went a long way.

If it seems strange to see Snedeker at Royal St. George’s, there’s a reason. He is mired in a slump that has dropped him well out of the top 100 in the world for the first time in more than a decade. Off the course has been difficult. Snedeker has lost both parents since October, with his father dying of cancer in early June.

He qualified for the Open by reaching the Tour Championship in 2019. The R&A honored all players who would have been eligible had it been played last year.

There are 26 players from England at the British Open, and most of them are well aware of how long it has been since an Englishman had his name on the claret jug.

Nick Faldo in 1992 was the last.

And Englishman winning the Open on an English links? That would be Tony Jacklin in 1969 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes (Sandy Lyle, who won at Royal St. George’s in 1985, was born in England but played under the Scottish flag).

Is this the year? And what has taken so long?

Justin Rose says it’s all about numbers, For the longest time, English hopes were carried mainly by Lee Westwood. Rose, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Paul Casey soon joined the fray.

Now there are the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick.

“Right now, I think it’s probably as strong a chance as we’ve had, maybe even ever,” Rose said. “Listen, the lads can do it. We’ve all grown up playing lots of links golf to be honest with you, and yeah, it should be a style of golf that we all relish.

“Hopefully, Royal St George’s with the St George’s cross is kind of a lucky omen this week.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Open: Jordan Spieth is back! Texan feels at home on the links in front of the best fans in golf

Daily Mail 16 July, 2021 - 04:10pm

By Derek Lawrenson for the Daily Mail

The Open is back and so, too, is Jordan Spieth. The popular American marked the return of the game’s most historic event with a wonderful first round 65 on Thursday that served to underline his own welcome renaissance.

The Texan also opened with a 65 the last time The Open was staged in England, when he went on to become the Champion Golfer of the year and claim his third major title at the age of just 23. Four years on, here was more persuasive evidence that he’s recovering all his formidable powers.

This was the sort of easy-on-the-eye return that the R&A would have dreamed about. At the top of the leaderboard, the purist’s golfer Louis Oosthuizen sprinkled all his unrivalled grace over the proceedings to set the pace with a fabulous 64.

The Open is back and so is Jordan Spieth after the American opened with a strong first round

Gutsy left-hander Brian Harman plotted his way round this thoughtfully prepared layout to match his compatriot Spieth. Former Open Champion Stewart Cink, at the grand age of 48 and with two wins already to his name on the PGA Tour this season, shot 66.

There was plenty of English cheer as well, from the moment three loyal footsoldiers from the European Tour got proceedings underway at 6.35am right up to Tommy Fleetwood’s birdie at the 18th shortly before 8pm to make it five home players on 67.

Andy Sullivan, part of that first group, had set the ball rolling, followed by the nation’s two former major winners in the field, Danny Willett and Justin Rose, and Jack Senior, the man who has found his game on tour at the age of 32. Paul Casey, who has finished 2nd, 17th, 26th, 4th and 7th in his last five majors, made another useful start, with a round of two birdies and 16 pars for a 68.

The 27-year-old scored 65 on Thursday, underlining his own welcome renaissance at the top

Spieth is tied for second place with gutsy left-hander Brian Harman, who also scored 65

All this was played out on a perfect day for links golf, with enough breeze to separate the shotmakers from the chaff, and the sort of noise and vibrancy from the 32,000 spectators permitted that provides The Open with its unrivalled soundtrack. ‘They’re just the best fans in golf,’ said Spieth.

It says much about Spieth’s love of links golf that even when he lost his game he still turned in spirited displays at The Open. He finished tied 9th in 2018 and tied 20th the following year, despite final rounds of 76 and 77 respectively.

‘It’s because over here I’m thinking more about the shots I’m trying to play rather than thinking about my swing,’ said Spieth. ‘Instead of trying to pull off yet another driving range shot back home, you’re always thinking about the little punch shot or something similar here that might give you an advantage, and you can never switch off.

‘I guess what I’m saying is there’s a lot more externals to think about and that’s where I should be living.’ Spieth didn’t seek to link this 65 with the one he opened with at Birkdale. ‘I think back then I was striking the ball better than at any time in my career and I’d have won the Claret Jug that week at any venue,’ he said.

The American duo trail South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke after a masterful display

‘This time I’m pleased with my progress and I’m not surprised I’ve shot another 65 because I’ve been trending in this direction this season.’ Asked if the next major victory will feel different, given the tribulations he’s been through, Spieth smiled and responded: ‘I don’t know, but I hope I’ll be able to answer that question on Sunday.’

Oosthuizen simply continued from where he left off at the US Open and the US PGA before that — he was runner-up at both — with another sublime round in the mid-sixties as he continues the search for a second major title to add to his Open success in 2010.

No need to look far for the reason behind the 38-year-old’s consistency. In 12 months, he’s gone from 50th to 1st in putting on the PGA Tour. He did little wrong in losing out to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson on the majors stage this year, and Spieth or anyone else for that matter will surely not beat him this time with anything other than their A games.

Rose’s bogey-free round represented a good recovery following his collapse at the US Open, where he missed the halfway cut by a bundle. He needs a spectacular performance here to have any chance of forcing his way into Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

Another with similar designs is Sergio Garcia, who almost missed his tee-time. He shot 68 after needing a police escort to make it, getting caught in the terrible traffic jams that clogged the cramped roads of Sandwich. As the day progressed, the weather turned cooler with the wind picking up and scoring later on was almost two strokes higher on average than those who’d played early.

The rounds of 66 delivered by Benjamin Hebert from France and former US Open Champion Webb Simpson were particularly admirable, as was the 67 posted by last year’s PGA Champion, Collin Morikawa, on his Open debut.

Tommy Fleetwood is leading the English charge as a host of stars chase victory on home soil

Spain's Sergio Garcia just about made it for tee time after being caught in traffic in Sandwich

They were the sort of conditions in which Fleetwood thrives, and he was delighted with his three-under round. It included one of the day’s most unlikely birdies at the par five 14th, where he hooked his iron shot off the tee into a lie so bad he could only gouge it out sideways. He then struck a long iron from over 200 yards to 8ft and rolled in the putt.

The most spectacular sequence of shots, however, was delivered by American Brandt Snedeker. He followed his tee shot to the par three 16th that finished two inches from the flag by holing his next iron to the 17th for an eagle two.

At the other end of the scale was Mickelson, out in the evening chill. The oldest major winner in history in May didn’t break 80. He placed 156th out of 156 competitors when he walked off the 18th green.

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Record-breaking halfway total earns Louis Oosthuizen two-shot Open lead

The Independent 16 July, 2021 - 02:47pm

Oosthuizen fired an eagle and four birdies as he added a 65 to his opening 64 for a total of 129, eclipsing the previous best of 130 set by Sir Nick Faldo in 1992 and matched by Brandt Snedeker in 2012.

“I only heard that when I walked in,” Oosthuizen said. “I was not aware of what it was but to have any record at the Open is always very special.”

Only a bogey on the 16th prevented Oosthuizen from matching the lowest halfway score in any major – Brooks Koepka’s 128 in the 2019 US PGA – but he will be more concerned with the Claret Jug than records after the events of this season.

Already a runner-up in all four major championships, Oosthuizen took his unwanted total of near misses to six by finishing second in both the US PGA at Kiawah Island and the US Open at Torrey Pines.

“It’s more inspiration (than frustration) that I can still compete in majors,” said the 38-year-old South African, who won the Open at St Andrews in 2010 and lost a play-off at the same venue in 2015. “I just need to pull it through and see if I can go one better.”

At 11 under par Oosthuizen was two shots clear of 2020 US PGA champion Collin Morikawa with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth a stroke further back.

Morikawa had earlier been blissfully unaware of his own chance to make history, seven birdies in the first 14 holes meaning he needed to play the remaining four in two under to card the lowest round in any men’s major.

However, Morikawa bogeyed the 15th and missed good birdie chances on the 16th and 18th to return a 64, a shot outside the course record and two adrift of the major mark set by Branden Grace at Royal Birkdale in 2017.

Morikawa’s halfway total of 131 was also a shot outside the Open record which Oosthuizen would later break, but he said: “I had no clue what any record was. I’m awful with that stuff. I know now.”

Morikawa could only finish in a tie for 71st in last week’s Scottish Open but credited the experience – and changing three of his irons to cope with the links turf – for his performance at Royal St George’s, where Ben Curtis was the last debutant to win the Open in 2003.

The biggest difference is that Curtis was 396th in the world at the time, while Morikawa is ranked fourth and already a major champion following his victory at Harding Park last August.

“Last week I wanted to win but I came out of it learning a lot more,” Morikawa said. “The style of golf is different and last week helped tremendously.

“I would not be here if I had not played last week. Just having fescue fairways where the ball sits differently was huge to see. I changed some of my irons strictly because I could not find the centre of the clubface.”

Spieth felt he let a great round slip away after carding five birdies and two bogeys in his 67, adding: “Today was a day that could have been a really special one.

“I felt like I had a really low one in me. I’m in a great position but have kind of a bad taste in my mouth with what could have been.”

World number one Dustin Johnson is four shots off the lead after a second round of 65, with Andy Sullivan leading the English challenge on six under and compatriot Paul Casey a shot further back alongside four-time major winner Brooks Koepka and US Open champion Jon Rahm.

Defending champion Shane Lowry is four under after a superb 65, with Rory McIlroy level par and Bryson DeChambeau making the cut on the mark of one over.

The 149th Open | Best quotes | Players have their say at Royal St George's

The Open 16 July, 2021 - 12:15pm

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The 149th Open: Rory McIlroy just relieved to make the cut after birdie at the last on day two

Sky Sports 16 July, 2021 - 10:09am

McIlroy was flirting with a second straight missed cut in the Championship after he bogeyed the opening two holes of his second round, blocking his opening drive into the thick hay on the right while missing the green with wedge in hand from the middle of the second fairway.

The 2014 champion stopped the rot with a morale-boosting birdie at the fourth, and another at the ninth got him back to level par for the tournament, and he rolled in a good putt for a three at the 12th to appear in red figures.

But the mistakes which have blighted his season continued to creep into his game, finding a deep greenside bunker at the short 16th and again being unable to get up-and-down after another missed green at the 17th.

Those errors meant he needed to par the last to be certain of avoiding a weekend off, but McIlroy followed up an ideal tee shot with a pure iron to 12 feet which he converted for his fourth birdie of the day.

"Obviously it wasn't the ideal start, bogeying the first two holes. But then I steadied the ship and I played a nice stretch of golf there where I made three birdies and no bogeys and then just a mental error on 16 trying to get too close to that flag.

"I tried to hit sand wedge into that front-right pin, and I needed as much help from the wind as possible, and I needed to absolutely button it. I hit it good, I just didn't hit it good enough to clear that bunker and made bogey there. A bit of a mental error. That pin sort of tempted me into going for it.

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"And then I missed a little short one on 17 out of nowhere. I felt a little nervous going to that 18th tee. I knew I needed a par at least, but birdie to at least be comfortable this afternoon while I watch the golf."

McIlroy conceded his game was "not quite close enough" over the first two days, and he now needs something special over the weekend to avoid stretching his major drought beyond seven years, although he may also require some help from the elements on Saturday.

"It's close. I guess that's the thing," he said. "I feel like if I was really on my game and sharp with how I've played the last two days, I probably could have been six or seven under. It's close, it's just not close enough.

"I know I need to go out and play really well tomorrow and then I need to pray for a bit of wind in the afternoon and see where that gets me. Right now I'm just trying to play my own game and not even look at the board, just try to play a good solid round of golf tomorrow.

"It's tough to be here and just say I'm glad to be here for the weekend, but the position I found myself in on the 18th tee, that's the reality. But it was nice to birdie the last and guarantee some weekend golf, and just got to try to make the most of that."

British Open intel: 10 notes to know on Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, Rory McIlroy and more from Round 1

The Athletic 15 July, 2021 - 09:50pm

British Open intel: 10 notes to know on Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, Rory McIlroy and more from Round 1

Collin Morikawa jordan spieth

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