Open Tracker: Els fires 68 to beat Scott by one

Ernie Els reacts to a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

Ernie Els reacts to a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Ernie Els wasn't supposed to shoot a 2-under 68.

Adam Scott wasn't supposed to relinquish a four-shot lead with four holes to go.

But it happened Sunday at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Els buried a 12-foot birdie putt at his 72nd hole to move to 7 under on the tournament, and then watched Adam Scott bogey Nos. 15-18 to give the South African the second Claret Jug of his career.

On a day when Tiger Woods fired a 3-over 73, Graeme McDowell a 5-over 75 and Brandt Snedeker at 4-over 74, a 2-under 68 was not a score that seemed to be feasible at the windy and tough Royal Lytham.

"I'm a little numb at the moment," said Els. "First of all, I feel for Adam Scott. He's a great friend of mind. Obviously, we both wanted to win very badly. But you know, that's the nature of the beast. That's why we're out here. You win, you lose.

"It was my time for some reason."

Scott started the day with bogeys in two of his first three holes, but held it together with a bunch of pars and a birdie at No. 14 before his bogey finish.

"I had it in my hands with four to go," Scott said. "I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes. Look, I played so beautifully for most of the week. I shouldn't let this bring me down."

Els, known for his big heart and caring ways, felt for the 32-year-old Aussie, immediately addressing him during the trophy ceremony.

"Sorry," he said to Scott. "You're a great player, a great friend of mine. I feel very fortunate. You're going to win many of these."

Els won this championship by getting to the green in a timely fashion, hitting nearly 80 percent of the putting surfaces in regulation (57 of 72), allowing him to be near the bottom in one-putts at 19. Els only hit 35 fairways (62 percent), but was able to scramble by not being too far offline.

Els is the 16th different winner in the last 16 majors, but does break the streak of first-time winners at nine. He also clinches a spot in the 2012 Masters, where he was snubbed for an invite this year.

Woods and Snedeker finished tied for third, while McDowell and Luke Donald were T-5. Donald fired a 1-under 69 on Sunday.

See how it all unfolded with our Open Tracker:

• • •

Leaderboard update: 1:18 p.m. EDT

Now tied for the lead with Ernie Els at 7 under, Adam Scott takes to the tee at the 18th hole. Scott pulls driver and finds a fairway bunker on the left, likely causing him to pitch out and then try and get up-and-down for par. He does pitch out and then hits his third shot to about six feet under the hole. If he makes the putt, this tournament will go to a playoff. But Scott misses to the left and Ernie Els is a major champion again, winning his second Claret Jug of his career.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 1:10 p.m. EDT

Els on 18th hole: Ernie Els drains a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th to cap a 2-under 68 to get to 7 under and apply pressure on Adam Scott.

Scott on 17th hole: Adam Scott uses driver to find the fairway at the 17th hole, a nice response to his three-putt bogey at the short 16th. From 176 yards, Scott flies it over the green and into the long rough at the back of the green. Scott gets out of the rough, but sends it about 20 feet past the hole, which he'll have for par. He misses to the left and he is now tied with Ernie Els for the lead. Scott has dropped three shots over the last three holes.

Tiger on 18th hole: Tiger hits the fairway with iron off the tee and then hits a great approach from about 170 yards, landing it about 12 feet behind the hole for a finishing birdie try. Tiger buries the putt to post a 3-over 73 to finish the tournament at 3 under, four shots off the current lead.

• • •

No. 17, Par 4, 453 yards

A leaderboard update: Adam Scott is holding steady at 9 under, with Ernie Els (1 under for the day) three back at 6 under. Brandt Snedeker is five back at 4 under, with Tiger, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald seven back at 2 under.

Off the tee: Tiger takes iron and puts it in the middle of the fairway.

Approach shot: With 5-iron, Tiger comes up short and right, where he'll have to get up-and-down for par.

Around the green: Tiger basically puts with an iron from off the green and runs it to about six inches and taps in for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (thru 17 holes; 2 under for tournament)

Scott-McDowell group: Adam Scott calmly puts his tee ball in the fairway and then puts his approach about 30 feet past the flag. Scott three-putts for a bogey, missing a 3-footer for par. He now leads Ernie Els by two shots, with Els staring at birdie at the 18th hole from about 12 feet.

• • •

No. 16, Par 4, 336 yards

At this point, Tiger is playing for position, now sitting eight shots behind Adam Scott and looking frustrated as he enters the final three holes.

Off the tee: Tiger takes driver with really nothing to lose and puts it nearly pin-high, but well left and in the long rough.

• Second shot: He manages to get a club on the ball, but it only trickles out of the rough and up toward the green, where he'll chip for birdie.

Around the green: Tiger gives it a nice run, but slides it by on the left and he he'll have 4 feet for par. He makes it to stop the bogey streak.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (thru 16 holes; 2 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott takes driver off the 15th tee and hammers it up the right side, but then puts his approach into a greenside bunker on the left, right where Woods was five minutes ago. Scott gets it out and leaves himself about eight feet for par. Scott misses the putt to fall back to 9 under. Meanwhile, Ernie Els leaves a birdie attempt on the lip on the 17th and stays at 6 under.

• • •

No. 15, Par 4, 462 yards

Tiger is now six shots off the pace with the back-to-back bogeys. His driver demons are starting to haunt him, as he needs some distance to make these birdie holes.

Off the tee: Tiger again takes iron off the tee and puts it in the middle of the fairway. He is leaving himself a lot of yardage into the greens.

Approach shot: From more than 240 yards, Tiger tries to get it there, but it hooks a bit left and finds a greenside bunker in a bit of a downslope.

Around the green: From another awkward stance from the bunker, Tiger scoops it out and nearly holes it, but it runs by by about 10 feet, which he'll have for par.

On the green: Tiger pulls his par putt left and taps in for a third-straight bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (thru 15 holes; 2 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott uses driver at the 14th and hammers it down the right side of the fairway, as does McDowell. Scott puts his approach to within 15 feet for another look at birdie. Scott drains the putt to get back to 10 under, now four clear of Ernie Els, who saved par at the 15th and then missed a 10-footer for birdie at 16 to stay at 6 under.

• • •

No. 14, Par 4, 444 yards

That bogey at 13 represents the day well, as Tiger has followed positive with negative almost everywhere on Sunday.

Off the tee: Tiger finds another fairway bunker despite using iron off the tee. He is likely looking at another pitch out to the fairway.

Approach shot: He does pitch out to the middle of the fairway and needs to stick this close to try and save par.

Third shot: And Tiger plays a very nice short from 150 yards to about 8 feet right of the cup.

On the green: Tiger gives it enough pace, but it misses right and he drops another shot.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (thru 14 holes; 3 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott plays it safe at the par 4 and slides it up the left side of the fairway, running off just into the first cut. Scott puts his second shot safely on the green, about 40 feet under the hole. Scott nearly puts the birdie putt in the hole, settling for a par to stay at 9 under.

• • •

No. 13, Par 4, 355 yards

With two birdies in three holes, Tiger is now tied for second, but still four back of Adam Scott.

Off the tee: Again with iron in hand, Tiger mishits this one and finds a fairway bunker, which means he will likely just have to blast out and hit his third shot from the fairway.

Approach shot: He does get out of the bunker, sending it about 75 yards up the fairway.

Third shot: From 120 yards, Tiger hits the green, but leaves it about 30 feet short and to the right, which he'll have for par.

On the green: He two-putts for a bogey, making a mess of the easiest hole on the course.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 13 holes; 4 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Scott hits a beautiful tee ball at the par-3 12th hole to about 15 feet left of the hole. He misses the putt and settles for a par to stay at 9 under.

Elsewhere on the course: Ernie Els birdies the 14th hole to move to 6 under, now just three back of Scott.

• • •

No. 12, Par 3, 198 yards

A little leaderboard update: Adam Scott remains at 9 under, four clear of Ernie Els and five ahead of Tiger and Graeme McDowell. Brandt Snedeker and Thomas Aiken are six back at 3 under.

Off the tee: Playing the last non-par 4 of the day, Tiger hits an outstanding fade to just behind the hole, giving himself another good look at birdie from about 5 feet.

On the green: Tiger buries the putt to gain another stroke on Adam Scott, now just four off the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (thru 12 holes; 5 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Being on the clock has definitely pushed this group to play a bit faster. Scott hits a laser of the tee, but finds the right rough, while McDowell takes his tee ball up the left side and it funnels out into the middle of the fairway. But McDowell wastes the beautiful drive with a dead pull to the right, nearly hitting the gallery lining the fairway. He'll have to take a drop from the same spot and sends his fourth shot up the left side, just in front of a greenside bunker. Meanwhile, Scott lays up out of the rough and puts his third hole-high and about 25 feet to the right of the hole. Scott leaves the birdie attempt short and taps in for par, while McDowell taps in for a bogey to fall back to 3 under (4 over for the day).

• • •

No. 11, Par 5, 598 yards

Tiger will need to continue taking chances here at the par 5. He has taken long iron each of the first three days.

Off the tee: Tiger does take driver and the ball fades hard right, missing the fairway, but finding rough that he will be able to hit out of, potentially even able to get to the green.

Second shot: Well, the lie is a bit too tough to attack the green with, but Tiger hits a nice shot that curves up the left side of the fairway and he'll have a wedge into the green.

Approach shot: Tiger doesn't play it long enough and comes up about 30 feet short of the hole.

On the green: Tiger doesn't put enough mustard on his putt and it comes up about 2 feet short, settling for a par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 11 holes; 4 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Now on the 10th hole, this group has been told they are on the clock. Off the tee, McDowell finds a fairway bunker and simply has to blast out, setting up a third from the fairway, which settles about 15 feet left of the hole. Scott finds the fairway and puts it about 15 feet past the hole with his approach. Scott two-putts for a par, while McDowell two-putts for bogey to fall back to 4 under. Scott now leads Ernie Els by four shots.

On the previous hole, McDowell missed the par-3 9th green long, chips past the hole and two-putts for a bogey to make the turn at 2-over 36, while Scott hits the green and two-putts to also make the turn at 2-over 36. Scott owns a four-shot lead over McDowell heading to the back nine.

• • •

No. 10, Par 4, 387 yards

Tiger gets to the back nine six shots off the lead and will now need to take some chances on a course that is eating the final groups up. Tiger will need to pick up two or three shots on the back and hope that Scott continues to slide.

Off the tee: Tiger pulls out driver on the par 4 and finds the fairway. It is likely that we will see more drivers on the back nine, as Tiger has to make something special happen.

Approach shot: Playing a three-quarters wedge, Tiger knocks it stiff to about 5 feet under the hole.

On the green: Tiger buries the birdie putt, with the ball nearly coming back out. Snedeker also birdies to get back to 4 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 10 holes; 4 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Things have become a bit hectic at Lytham, and both of these players need to calm themselves on the shorter par-4 8th. They have fallen way off the pace, with Tiger and Snedeker now a hole-and-a-half ahead of them. Both players hit the fairway off the tee, with Scott putting his approach right in the middle of the green and he'll have a very long putt for birdie. McDowell hits a beautiful second shot to about 8 feet right of the hole. Scott two-putts for par while McDowell buries his birdie putt to get back to 6 under, now three shots off the lead.

Elsewhere on the course: Ernie Els birdies No. 10 to get to 4 under, five shots off the lead.

• • •

No. 9, Par 3, 165 yards

With Adam Scott not taking advantage of the par-5 7th, Tiger has an opportunity here to make up ground at an accessible par 3.

Off the tee: Tiger flies his tee ball off the back of the green, obviously misjudging the wind and its impact.

Around the green: Tiger's chip from the back is poor and he leaves it about 20 feet short of the hole, which he'll have for par.

On the green: Tiger doesn't read enough break and two-putts for bogey to make the turn at 3-over 37 and is six shots off the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (thru 9 holes; 3 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 8, Par 4, 416 yards

That was great timing for a birdie, especially with Adam Scott dropping another shot at the 6th hole.

Off the tee: Tiger takes iron and splits the fairway, but leaves himself around 210 yards into the green.

Approach shot: Tiger takes 7-iron and puts it on the green, but has nearly 40 feet for birdie.

On the green: Tiger gives his long attempt a nice run and comes to rest about 2 feet to the left and raps that in for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 8 holes; 4 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Both players find the fairway with driver at the par-5 7th hole, and then both get greenside with their second shots, with Scott running through the green and McDowell on the front of the green. Despite the ball moving before his third shot (he received no penalty because it hadn't been addressed formally), Scott putts from off the green and sends it 8 feet past. The no penalty will be controversial, as he took practice swings before walking away. McDowell's eagle putt runs by the hole by about three feet. Scott misses his birdie putt and taps in for par, while McDowell also misses and Scott retains his four-shot advantage.

• • •

No. 7, Par 5, 592 yards

The par-4 6th was Tiger's best friend the first three days and quickly turned into his enemy on Sunday, with the triple-bogey 7 likely costing him a shot at the tournament.

Off the tee: Tiger pulls driver and finds the right rough, but the ball seems to be sitting nicely. Snedeker hooks his drive to the left and likely will have to take a drop.

Approach shot: Tiger lays up and will have a chance to attack the pin from the left rough. Meanwhile, Snedeker does take a penalty and hits his fourth out of a bunker, still with a wedge into the green for his fifth shot.

Third shot: Tiger takes wedge and flies the green and will have a chip for birdie.

Around the green: In need of a big shot, Tiger chips the ball in for birdie to get within five of the lead again. Snedeker double-bogeys to fall back to 5 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (thru 7 holes; 4 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Both players hit the fairway at the 6th hole, but both find greenside bunkers with their approaches, with McDowell in the same position as Tiger was about 10 minutes ago. McDowell takes two shots to get out of the bunker, but the second shot is great and he taps in for a bogey to fall back to 5 under. Scott's lie in the bunker is great, but he runs it about 15 feet past the hole. He misses the par putt short and picks up a third bogey on the day and falls to 9 under.

• • •

No. 6, Par 4, 492 yards

Tiger gets to the sixth hole as the only player to birdie it all three days. It is playing as the most difficult hole on the course for the week, but Tiger has managed the hole well and one-putted each day.

Off the tee: Because of the wind, Tiger takes 3-wood and plays a low stinger that runs up the right side of the fairway and Tiger should be able to attack the green again. Snedeker sends his tee ball to the right and into the rough.

Approach shot: From 220 yards out, Tiger tries to hammer it into the wind and finds a greenside bunker, where he buries slightly and will have the face of the bunker to deal with. This would be an amazing up-and-down. Snedeker hits his second shot to the right of the green and he'll have a long chip from the rough across a bunker and plenty of green.

Around the green: Taking an unplayable lie here is an option, but Tiger takes the chance and can't get it out of the bunker. Nearly laying down to hit his next shot, Tiger manages to get it out, but has 40 feet left for bogey.

On the green: Tiger leaves the bogey putt about 4 feet short, and this could be it for Tiger, who couldn't afford to drop shots on Sunday. He misses the 4-footer and settles for triple-bogey. Snedeker manages to save par to stay at 7 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (thru 6 holes; 3 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: McDowell goes into a bunker on the left side off the tee at the par-3 5th, while Scott goes long and off the green to the right. Scott's chip comes up about 12 feet short and he'll be looking at that to avoid a third bogey in his opening four holes. McDowell gets up-and-down from the bunker for par to stay at 6 under. Scott also pars to stay at 10 under.

• • •

No. 5, Par 3, 219 yards

Tiger and Brandt Snedeker are both even on the day and both have now picked up a shot on Adam Scott, who picked up his second bogey in the opening three holes. The 5th hole is playing tough on Sunday and the wind will make this tee shot difficult.

Off the tee: With 6-iron, Tiger plays a low shot into the green and it runs just off the back, leaving a fairly straightforward chip back to the middle of the green.

Around the green: Tiger decides to putt from off the green and finds the right line, but leaves it about 2 feet short. He knocks that in for another par. Snedeker gets up-and-down from a greenside bunker for par to stay at 7 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 5 holes; 6 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott sends his tee ball up the left side of the fairway and then plays his second shot to about 25 feet right of the flag. McDowell also hits the green. Both players two-putt for par. Scott stays at 10 under, McDowell at 6 under.

• • •

No. 4, Par 4, 392 yards

A day after going 2 over in the first three holes, Tiger gets through them at even. Tiger is now tied with McDowell at 6 under, with Snedeker in solo second at 7 under, four back of Adam Scott.

Off the tee: With iron off the tee again, Tiger takes it up the right side of the fairway and will have a chance to attack the flag.

Approach shot: From 150 yards, Tiger takes his time in making a club choice, eventually choosing 9-iron and knocking it to about 15 feet under the hole.

On the green: With little movement in this putt and uphill, Tiger plays too much break and it runs past on the left side and leaves himself 2 feet for par. He knocks that in for another par. That is two birdie opportunities wasted for Tiger, and he'll need those if he wants to make a run. Snedeker also two-putts for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 4 holes; 6 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott finds the left rough off the tee at the 3rd hole, leaving himself just over 240 yards to the green. His approach shot comes up well short and finds a deep bunker about 20 yards in front of the green. McDowell found the middle of the fairway off the tee and attacks from just over 235 yards with fairway metal and finds the green, about 30 feet to the right of the hole. Playing his third shot from a bunker that is about 6 feet deep, Scott gets it out and puts it about 25 feet under the hole for par. Scott two-putts for bogey to fall back to 10 under and McDowell two-putts for par to stay at 6 under. Both players are 1 over for the day.

• • •

No. 3, Par 4, 478 yards

That shot out of the bunker was just as impressive as Tiger's hole-out for birdie at the 18th on Friday, and it came at a critical time, with Adam Scott opening with a bogey.

Off the tee: With long iron in hand, Tiger splits the fairway again and will have more than 260 yards into the green.

Approach shot: Tiger challenges the green from way back and yells at the ball to stay on his initial line, and it does, finding its way on to the left side of the green, about 20 feet under the hole.

On the green: Tiger finds the perfect line, but leaves it about 2 inches short and settles for a par. Snedeker also pars to stay at 7 under and is alone in second.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 3 holes; 6 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: Adam Scott re-groups and gets a nice kick out of the right and finds the middle of the fairway at the 2nd hole, while McDowell finds a fairway bunker. McDowell has to simply to play his second shot out sideways to get back into the fairway. Still outside Scott, McDowell's third shot goes off the back of the green. Scott plays a fantastic second shot to about 5 feet under the hole, and he buries the birdie putt to get back to 11 under. McDowell almost makes his par chip, but settles for bogey and now trails by five shots.

• • •

No. 2, Par 4, 481 yards

A much better start for Tiger on Sunday, avoiding giving any shots back at a fairly straightforward par 3. Now, Tiger was seen warming up with driver, but he'll still need to be careful about when he uses it.

Off the tee: With fairway metal in hand, Tiger sends his tee ball into the right rough, but should have a clean shot to the green. Snedeker splits the fairway.

Approach shot: From just over 235 yards, Tiger takes 5-iron and tries to muscle it up to the green, but finds a greenside bunker and he'll have to scramble for a second straight hole. Snedeker flies the green and will have a tough chip from behind the hole.

Around the green: With little room coming out of the bunker, Tiger plays a magnificent shot to about 2 feet.

On the green: With his pants whipping in the wind, Tiger drains the putt for a nice par save. Snedeker also gets up and down for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 2 holes; 6 under for tournament)

McDowell-Scott group: McDowell sends his tee ball at the 1st hole well to the left, but avoids the bunkers and should be able to give a chip a good run. Scott gives his club a twirl after impact, but runs off the back of the green, right where Tiger was for his chip. McDowell chips to about 4 feet after his wayward tee ball, while Scott chips past the hole and leaves himself 3 feet for par. Scott pulls his par putt to the left and opens with a sloppy bogey to fall back to 10 under. McDowell makes his par putt and now trails by three shots.

Elsewhere on the course: Ernie Els drops a shot at the par-4 2nd hole after missing the fairway left.

• • •

No. 1, Par 3, 205 yards

Tiger is in his normal Sunday garb, donning a red shirt with black stripes up top, black slacks, a black hat and black shoes. For his career, the largest 54-hole comeback he has pulled off is five strokes, which is what he faces today in trying to run down Adam Scott.

Off the tee: Facing about a 10 mph wind from the left, Tiger takes 6-iron and flies right past the flag and just off the back of the green, where he'll have a chip for birdie.

Around the green: Tiger plays a very nice chip shot to about a foot right of the cup, which he taps in for a par. Snedeker two-putts for a par as well.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (thru 1 hole; 6 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson and Ernie Els - playing right in front of Tiger and Snedeker - both par the opening hole to stay at 5 under.

• • •

Update #8: 9:11 a.m. EDT

Ian Poulter becomes the sixth player to shoot in the 60s on Sunday, picking up birdie at the 18th hole to polish off a 3-under 67 and finish the tournament at even par. An eagle-2 at the par-4 2nd got Poulter's round started in the right direction.

• • •

Update #7: 9 a.m. EDT

Geoff Ogilvy and Miguel Angel Jimenez are both in the clubhouse after posting 3-under 67s, leaving both at level par for the tournament.

A sign that the stiffer winds are definitely a factor? Only 5 of 33 rounds posted today have been under par.

• • •

Update #6: 8:19 a.m. EDT

Nicolas Colsaerts bookended Lytham with a pair of 65s, finishing his impressive Sunday round with a nice par after finding the long rough to the left of the fairway. Colsaerts finishes the Open at 1 under.

Of the 24 rounds that have been recorded, only three players have broken par.

• • •

Update #5: 8:03 a.m. EDT

Some marquee names have made it to the back nine with some nice rounds going, with Ian Poulter (thru 13), Jim Furyk (thru 12) and Rickie Fowler (thru 10) all 2 under on the day and 1 over for the tournament. Poulter holed out for eagle on the par-4 2nd hole.

• • •

Update #4: 7:51 a.m. EDT

Nicolas Colsaerts is showing that there are still low scores are Lytham, burying a birdie putt at No. 16 to get to 5 under on the day and 1 under for the tournament.

Miguel Angel Jimenez is also playing well, getting back to even for the tournament after going 3 under thru his first 13 holes.

• • •

Update #3: 7:26 a.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy has three bogeys, a double-bogey and two birdies on his card on Sunday thru 17 holes (that'd be 3 over for the day). He is sitting T-65 at 8 over for the tournament. This comes after an opening 3-under 67 left him three shots off the lead. McIlroy has yet to post a top-10 finish in a major since his win at the 2011 U.S. Open.

No one currently on the course is better than 11 shots out of the lead (Nicolas Colsaerts, Steve Stricker and Peter Hanson are all at even par, with the latter two only on the second hole).

• • •

photo

The Round 4 hole locations at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Update #2: 7:04 a.m. EDT

Graeme McDowell - who sits four shots behind leader Adam Scott - took to Twitter to share the Round 4 hole locations and said:

"Today's pins. Back 9 especially look fairly accessible. Looking forward to the challenge."

Take a look at them yourself here. (or click on the picture to the right.)

• • •

Update #1: 6:56 a.m. EDT

With the leaders set to tee off in about two-and-a-half hours, the players on the course currently are simply playing for position and a bigger paycheck.

Nicolas Colsaerts - who was one off the lead after the first round - has the best round of the day going, sitting at 4 under thru 11 holes and is back to even par for the tournament. Both Jim Furyk (thru 7 holes) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (thru 9 holes) are 2 under on their respective rounds and are at 1 over overall.

A few rounds have already been posted, with John Senden carding a 2-under 68 the best thus far. Tom Watson polished off his Open with a 3-over 73, while his playing competitor on Sunday, John Daly, posted a 4-over 74.

The worst round of the day belongs to Andres Romero, firing a 12-over 82 to fall back to 18 over for the tournament, currently dead last.

• • •

Tournament coverage: Saturday

5 Things: Adam Scott is 18 holes from his first major title, but he'll have big names like Graeme McDowell, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Brandt Snedeker trying to cut down that four-shot lead. Story.

Looking for help: Will Tiger Woods' game plan have to change now that he is five back of Adam Scott? Does Ernie Els or Zach Johnson have a chance from six back? Weather might be their best friend. Story.

Dream come true: Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell dreamed of one day getting into the final group of an Open Championship. On Sunday, that dream will come true, with the Claret Jug on the line. Story.

In position? Brandt Snedeker didn't card a bogey for the first 40 holes at Royal Lytham. But he made up for lost time with five in his next seven holes. Thankfully, he's comfortable coming from behind. Story.

Beware the Viking: Who exactly is 22-year-old Thorbjorn Olesen? He could be a rising star of tomorrow. Story.

Bold stroke? The R&A and the U.S. Golf Association will take a serious look at belly and long putters, and specifically the act of anchoring the club to the body. Story.

Rough day: Jason Dufner started the day with a new caddie after his normal looper fell ill. Then came a penalty at the par-5 seventh. The bright side? Dufner's 73 could have been worse. Story.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods turned in a pair of 3-under 67s in the first two rounds of the Open Championship, but is four shots back of leader Brandt Snedeker as the third round starts. Follow live!

Notebook: With Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson failing to stick around for the weekend, Steve Stricker now owns the longest made-cut streak in major championships. Notes.

• • •

Tournament coverage: Friday

Iron-man: With iron after iron, Tiger Woods dissected Royal Lytham on Friday to the tune of a second consecutive 3-under 67. Whether his game plan of bunting his way around will work is yet to be seen. Story.

Weekend warrior: With an unlikely birdie at 18, Tom Watson satisfied his competitive side with a made cut at the Open. Story.

Day at the beach: Rule No. 1 about links golf? Don't go in the bunkers. On Friday at Royal Lytham, an extra hazard made accuracy even more important: Water filling those very bunkers. Story.

Rough day: Rory McIlroy will be playing the weekend at the Open Championship, but his 5-over 75 Friday wasn't inspiring. Phil Mickelson will be heading back home after an 8-over 78. What happened? Story.

Golden opportunity: Brandt Snedeker has yet to pick up a bogey at the 141st Open Championship, allowing himself to move to 10 under and build a commanding lead at Royal Lytham. Story.

All eyes on him: Adam Scott should have won a major by now, right? Forget the past, as the present state of his game could lead him to the Open Championship come Sunday. Story.

Notebook: Thorbjorn Olesen has blistered Royal Lytham's par 3s to the tune of 6 under. His reward? A Saturday pairing with the one-and-only Tiger Woods, who Olesen calls his "idol." Notes.

Tiger Tracker: Coming off a solid 3-under 67, Tiger Woods tees off in the afternoon on Friday at the Open Championship, giving him a chance to survey what the course will challenge him with. Follow shot-by-shot!

Looking back: With the second round underway at the Open Championship, take a look back at some interesting tidbits from Round 1, including Miguel Angel Jimenez winning the battle of ponytails. Story.

Plans for the weekend? Americans Ted Potter Jr., Troy Kelly and Justin Hicks all gave themselves a chance at Royal Lytham. Story.

• • •

Tournament coverage: Thursday

Looney Lytham: From Rory McIlroy plunking a kid on the head - and the ball ricocheting out-of-bounds - to putters in a bunker, Royal Lytham offered plenty of odd moments on Thursday. Story.

Searching for Lefty: Anyone seen Phil Mickelson? He sprayed the ball all over Royal Lytham on Thursday, reverting to the days when the Open Championship simply was not his cup of tea. Story.

That's all you got? The world’s elite turned up for the 141st Open Championship expecting Royal Lytham & St. Annes to play like a lion and found a pussycat. Story.

Great Scott! Adam Scott brought in a different mindset on Thursday morning: Play the first hole like it is the 72nd hole of a tournament. After a 6-under 64 at Royal Lytham, looks like it might work out. Story.

Deja vu? Tiger Woods teased the world last month at the U.S. Open. Is his solid 3-under 67 on Thursday a sign that he is really back? Even Tiger says there is "a long way to go" at Royal Lytham. Story.

Notebook: Rory McIlroy was able to recover from one big mistake with a pair of birdies, while Luke Donald and Lee Westwood will have plenty of work to do on Friday. Notes.

Staying hot: Fresh off a PGA Tour win, Zach Johnson shot a 65 Thursday at the Open Championship, his best score in a major by three shots. If he sticks to his game plan, he could be looking at a second major title on Sunday. Story.

Tiger Tracker: Tiger Woods fired a 3-under 67 to sit three shots back of leader Adam Scott, hitting fairways and greens like a machine, with his putter hot early and suspect late. See how his round unfolded.

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