LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – If you’re just waking up to start your Friday, let the record show that we’re already well into the second round of the 141st Open Championship.
We can report, with a hint of sadness, if truth be told, that there’s barely any wind and that a good many of the bunkers at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club are in flood conditions. How that will effect the second round is to be determined, but given the breadth of this grand championship, even while we’re into Round 2, there’s plenty room to catch up on Round 1.
So, before we tackle Friday’s action, a look back at Thursday’s:
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Some competitions within the competition
• Low ponytail: The honor goes to Miguel Angel Jimenez for firing 71, beating Marcel Siem’s 74.
• Low Watson: Good battle, but Bubba (67) edged Tom (71).
• Low Slapshot brother: An even tighter affair, with Peter Hanson (67) sneaking past Anders Hansen (68).
• Low Indian: If you think it was Jeev Milkha Singh for his 70, think again. Anirban Lahiri shot 68.
• Low hyphenated: Very close, but Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot 70 to sneak past Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (71) and Sang-moon Bae (72).
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Some of this, a little of that
• Worst round by a world-class player: Runaway here to Martin Kaymer. In shooting 77, the German failed to make a birdie and he outscored just two players.
• No chance for skins: Kaymer was one of eight who failed to make a birdie in Round 1. The others? Kevin Na, Trevor Immelman, Richard Finch, Morten Orum Madsen, K.T. Kim, Ian Keenan, Tadahiro Takayama.
• Straight shooter: Tiger Woods led the field by hitting 13 of 14 fairways.
• Crooked club: Simon Dyson was worst off the tee, hitting just four fairways.
• Love those greens: Nicolas Colsaerts hit 16 greens, tying with Brandt Snedeker and Anders Hansen for tops in that category.
• There’s a crack in the rock foundation: His first-round 78 was the latest dip for Robert Rock. Since his stunning win over Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in Abu Dhabi, Rock has played in nine stroke-play events with his best finish a 17th. He shot 75-78 and missed the cut in the U.S. Open last month.
• Proof that it played a tad soft: When Michael Hoey birdied the 18th to shoot 79, who knew he was helping to assure a bit of championship history. It’s the first time since 1998 that no one in the Open Championship opened with an 80 or higher.
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Put those blinders on
Forget those endless practice rounds that include chips and putts from 27 different angles at every green. Jeev Milkha Singh brings his own philosophy into a tournament, even one as hallowed as the Open Championship.
He barely saw Royal Lytham & St. Annes during the warm-up days.
“I just played six holes. I like to play the golf course blind,” Singh said. “That’s the way I like playing coming into a tournament. I think mentally I was a little tired so I just wanted to take it easy. So I just played six and I just saw a few holes and I walked in.”
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Hey, they said it
• “I think I hit half the bunkers of the 206.” – South African George Coetzee, after opening with a 74.
• “My odds must have been really great, you know? I wish I could have put some money on myself. But I don’t think it’s allowed.” – Ernie Els, buoyed by a 67.
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Finally, the only way to start the day
Over here, that would be with the daily weather forecast. It is priceless and here’s the best part of the Friday afternoon forecast: “Thirty percent of a few heavy showers . . . but it could possibly stay completely dry.”
Ah, that about covers it, eh?
According to the sheet that is handed out, the chance of hazards is “nil,” and “the forecast can be amended at any time.”