Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
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British Open cut rule explained: Who makes the weekend | The Open Championship

British Open cut rule explained: Who makes the weekend | The Open Championship

It looked easy. Carnoustie looked gettable. A long par save at the 9th seemed to maybe even provide the most energy of all.

Lush, meticulously manicured, emerald-green Augusta National, Carnoustie is not - nor are any of the venerable courses in the British Open. My swing just didn't quite hold up to the end of my round. Then after a bogey at 3, he came back with a birdie at No. 6.

Playing in the most hard conditions of the day, Woods' progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open. "The balls were definitely rolling". "I thought I played a pretty solid round". Unfortunately, I didn't take care of both par 5s, and I hit 8-iron into both of them. It plays at just over 7,400 yards with just two par 5s but it is as dry as it's ever been. This is anything but flat. "There's some guys that will see it completely different than the way I see it and vice versa".

Woods' mood could perhaps be explained by his failure to recapture the form many associate with the successful golfer, who became the first athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career in 2009.

Even during practice, Tiger Woods draws the punters and is expected to attract the largest galleries when the Open Championship starts at Carnoustie. I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. "You're just able to see this one", Woods said. "It's no big deal". This year, 2 under might qualify. It ultimately failed to arrive but Rory McIlroy remains in the hunt, three shots off the lead.


"That combination with an Open Championship, the way it needs to be played, I think, is a really good spot for me to kickback into shape".

Van Rooyen was far from the only player to struggle at the 18th, the scene of Frenchman Jean Van de Velde's infamous meltdown in 1999, when he frittered away a three-shot lead on the last day as he tried to play out of the Barry Burn. Should the 34-year-old from SC emerge as the latest major champion from the United States, perhaps Europe would be as well waving a Ryder Cup white flag. Hopefully for his sake, this one turns out better than that one did. He needed just 22 putts on Thursday. That's the best part about it. He got in a round at the Old Course at St. Andrews after the 68 he shot at Carnoustie! "This is my first big pro event and it's as good as it gets", he said. "The golf course is tough".

Woods had a bit of an up-and-down round, but finished dead even. Former Open victor Sandy Lyle went off first on Thursday, and he told Golf Channel what he thinks the victor will eventually land at. I feel like any time I'm around the green I'm going to make 4 or par at the worst. "I don't think it will be less than that. I feel good about the game", he said as he targets the $1.89 million first prize.

The takeaway: Nobody has any better idea of how the rest of this week is going to go after 18 holes than they did before 18 holes. Brooks Koepka was in serious trouble after a front nine of 41 but responded in a manner befitting his back-to-back US Open champion status. He then went to another coach and he got confused.

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