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Xander Schauffele accuses R&A of trying to ruin his image by not keeping private that his Callaway driver failed to conform to the limits of the trampoline effect. He says one player jokingly referred to him as a cheater and he claimed he was not the only player whose driver didn’t pass in random testing this week.
Tommy Fleetwood is looking to prevent the biggest golfing party ever seen on the Emerald Isle from exploding into life at Royal Portrush on Sunday. Fleetwood is the only player who can realistically stop Ireland’s Shane Lowry from winning the British Open. The 28-year-old Fleetwood is four shots behind Lowry and will play in the last group on the final day for the first time at a major. Fleetwood shot 5-under 66.
Brooks Koepka doesn’t need to reach too far back in the memory bank to know how precarious a big lead can be. He nearly gave away his last major just two months ago after leading by seven shots going into the final round of the PGA Championship.
Lee Westwood’s relaxed approach to the British Open had its ups and downs. He moved up to the top of leaderboard on the front nine and down a rabbit hole on the back. The 46-year-old Englishman birdied three of the first four holes at Royal Portrush to briefly stand alone as the leader. But he plugged a ball on the 10th hole and then added another bogey to finish the third round eight shots behind leader Shane Lowry.
The cheers grew louder and Shane Lowry kept getting better in the British Open. He made two straight birdies around the turn at Royal Portrush to break out of a four-way tie for the lead. He made three straight birdies at the end of his round. He finished with a 63 and a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood.
Graeme McDowell knows pressure, from delivering the winning point for Europe in the Ryder Cup to winning the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. All he was trying to do Friday in the British Open was make the cut. He made four pars to do it.
Rory McIlroy fell just short in his quest to make the cut at the British Open at Royal Portrush. The Northern Irishman produced a 6-under 65 that will live long in the memory. McIlroy struggled to hold back the tears in his post-round interviews. He felt he connected with his fellow natives who so rarely see Northern Ireland’s most famous active sportsman in the flesh.
So now we know. Tiger Woods isn’t done, no matter what it looked like on his slog through the only two rounds he’ll play in this British Open. He’s also not in danger of being put in traction anytime soon, no matter how many times he is asked about his surgically repaired back. He’s just not 23 anymore. And that may be the worst part of being a superstar in any sport.
Lee Westwood is back for another shot at erasing his “nearly man” tag in the majors. The 46-year-old Englishman is on the leaderboard at his 25th British Open after shooting a bogey-free 4-under 67 in the second round to get to 7 under. Westwood has 18 top-10 finishes in his 81 appearances in the majors. Westwood says of his chances: “I literally don’t care anymore.” It is the first major that Westwood’s girlfriend is his caddie.
Everyone in the massive grandstand rose to cheer and celebrate a bold performance by Rory McIlroy. It was the support and affection he longed for on his walk toward his final hole at Royal Portrush in the British Open. Except this was only Friday. McIlroy narrowly missed the cut as J.B. Holmes and Shane Lowry share the lead.
Jordan Spieth knows he can win the big ones. Perhaps that’s why he saves his best golf for them. The three-time major winner moved his name up the leaderboard at the British Open with a superb four-hole run near the end of the front nine. He birdied the fifth and sixth, then eagled the seventh and birdied the eighth. He ended up with a 4-under 67 in the second round at Royal Portrush to bring him to 5-under 137 overall on a mild morning on the Dunluce Links.
Tom Lehman took a final walk up the 18th hole in the British Open with his son on the bag and a few tears in his eyes. The 1996 Open winner missed the cut after adding a second round 76 to his opening 78.
The strangest weather J.B. Holmes ever experienced was at Royal Portrush. Just not on Thursday in the British Open. He had his first experience in links golf in Northern Ireland during a college trip in Kentucky.
The excitement that always surrounds Tiger Woods even brought out the hired help near the fourth hole at Royal Portrush. They couldn’t help his sore back or his soaring score at the British Open. The Masters champion shot a 7-over 78. That is his highest first-round score at the tournament and third-highest opening at any of the four biggest events in golf.
A day Rory McIlroy had been anticipating for so long came apart almost before it began. A dreaded snowman on the first hole, a triple on the last and McIlroy shook hands with his playing partners before walking to the scoring tent to sign a card with a fat 79 at the bottom.
David Duval lost a few golf balls on his own in the opening round of the British Open. It’s one that was found that brought him the wrong kind of attention with a score of 14 on one hole and a 91 when he walked off Royal Portrush. It matched the second-highest score in British Open history, behind the 15 that Herman Tissie made on the short “Postage Stamp” eighth hole at Royal Troon in 1950.
An emotional opening shot by Darren Clarke. A shocking one by Rory McIlroy. Tiger Woods had his worst score to start a British Open. Brooks Koepka quickly got into contention again. The Open returned to Royal Portrush after 68 years and made up for lost time. J.B. Holmes had a one-shot lead after a 66.
Shane Lowry shot 4-under 67 and was in second place in the first round at the British Open after benefiting from coming into the tournament somewhat under the radar. The buzz among the locals at Royal Portrush has been all about Northern Irish natives Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell this week. Lowry feels at ease on the Dunluce Links having won the North of Ireland title there as an amateur in 2008.
Darren Clarke almost welled up when his name was announced to applause from the packed grandstand at No. 1 and the galleries lining the fairway before he hit the first shot at the British Open. The 50-year-old Clarke was playing at his home of Royal Portrush. He made three birdies in his first five holes and ended with an even-par 71.