British Open Odds: Tommy Fleetwood Favorite Entering Third Round
British Open Odds: Tommy Fleetwood Favorite Entering Third Round
The Open: Sandy Lyle enjoys a fitting finish at Carnoustie
21 July, 2018, 10:17
"Didn't think much of it".
Despite an uncharacteristically - for him - late start time of 3.21pm, two birdies in his first four holes saw the galleries grow around him as hopes were raised of seeing a return to the Woods of old who dominated majors for more than a decade.
It was all Sandy Lyle could do to hold back the tears as one of the greatest Scottish golfers in history bowed out of the British Open for probably the final time on Friday. Maybe some people do assume, when they see the name up there, that it's Dustin.
So on Friday, McIlroy hit only six drivers, employing impressive patience.
McIlroy made his splash on the worldwide stage as an 18-year-old amateur when the Open was last staged at Carnoustie in 2007, and he spoke in the build-up about how he hoped to rekindle some of that boyish enthusiasm. "I've sometimes forgotten that, and just need to get back in that mindset".
He walked onto the first tee as rain steadily fell and whipped out his driver, unleashing a booming tee-shot to underline his strategy for the day. He's on a mission of aggression after what he viewed as troubling caution at Augusta and Shinnecock. "There's always a chance I could play my way back into the tournament".
"I'm committed to making sure, even if I don't play my best golf and don't shoot the scores I want, I'm going to go down swinging and I'm going to go down giving it my best". Today wasn't quite as good, but I finally birdied the par-five (the 14th).
If the victor here is to come from among those who have come close enough before to induce the kind of horrid suffering at which golf specializes, then there are those, too.
One of the house rules: victor pays for the flight home, though not everyone will be on the same plane this year with players headed in too many different directions. As weird as it is, it's sometimes harder losing to your close friends than it is to someone you don't even know. I know with that comes expectation and that's something to learn and handle.
The Northern Irishman believes that there's plenty more to come, adding: "I feel there are low rounds in me. The more you do that, the more experience you gain, and from there, it's only a matter of time".
"I may not play well, but I'm going to go out and fight", said Johnson, who is sharing a house with first-round leader Kevin Kisner as well as defending champion Jordan Spieth and a handful of other young Americans in Carnoustie. He left it well short, behind a bunker, and had to play a pitch over the top of the bunker and onto the green. "So I only had 150 to carry the burn".
"In tough conditions that's a really good round of golf and it makes such a nice difference to birdie the last too". "Definitely didn't shoot myself out of it, which very easily could have happened". It was in a different grass than usual.
An early eagle followed by a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th hole vaulted Kisner one stroke ahead of South African Erik van Rooyen in ideal morning conditions at a relatively tame Carnoustie.
"That's the beauty this golf course is right now", said Johnson, Kisner's housemate, in a mosh pit of players tied at two under. I will try, I won't totally, totally give up.
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