Ireland’s Shane Lowry holds joint lead

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A bogey finish at the 18th hole was a frustrating end to what had been an excellent day for Shane Lowry who was loudly cheered by the home fans onto every green.He played so well on the front nine getting off to a fast start with two birdies. He was particularly good around the greens, sometimes taking a read off playing partner Phil Mickelson’s shots. He was less good on the back nine once he got to -10 and holding the lead, he had to battle the rain and a stiffer wind and had 2 bogeys. However he was pleased with two 67s for the opening rounds. He said he had got himself into a great position and didnt feel under pressure from the expectations of the Irish supporters, he was enjoying it because in Memphis next week he would probably be followed by only 10 men and a dog.

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“I just want to go home” says Tiger

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Tiger Woods has withdrawn from his next tournament and goes home from Royal Portrush today saying he needs time off and wants to get ready for the Fedex playoffs. In 83 starts in a major its the first time that both he and Mickelson have missed the cut in the same event.

At his post round press conference Tiger said

“I kind of grinded my way around the golf course today. I had a chance to get it back to even par for the tournament. I didn’t handle the par-5s well. I was in perfect condition all three of them, if I handled those par 5s well I would be right there,” he said.

“It has been more frustrating than anything else because this is a major championship and I love playing in these events. I love the atmosphere. I love just the stress of playing in a major. And unfortunately, I’ve only had a chance to win one of them and was able to do it. But the other three I didn’t do very well.

And when asked where he thinks he will tee-up next Woods indicated would not in the city made famous by Elvis Presley.

“I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and get ready for the playoffs,” he said.

“We’ve got the playoffs coming up, and anything can happen. Last year I almost stole the whole FedExCup at the very end. If it wasn’t for Rosie’s little break there at the bunker, it could have been interesting.

“So get ready for those events. And after that then have a break.

“No, I just want some time off just to get away from it. I had a long trip to Thailand and then trying to get ready for this event, to play this event, it’s been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and different hotels and everything. I just want to go home.”

Woods had to have a 45 minute treatment on his back immediately following his second round and also ahead of day two of this week’s event.

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Day 2: same house, different hero

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Wise words from Tom Lehman after playing his last Open

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1996 Open Champion Tom Lehman, who is 60 this year, bowed out of the Championship for the last time today with his son on the bag. He said that he told him that there was nobody in the world he would rather have had walking down the fairway with him. It may be his last one but maybe next time I’ll be caddying cor you. I hope that comes true.

Here’s a story from the transcript of Tom’s favourite Open memory.

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Koepka ready to clean it up

 

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Five shots behind current leader Shane Lowry Brooks Koepka admitted post round that he was heading to the practice green. He was a little frustrated with his putting and rued missed opportunities which he put dow  to his average putting. He is currently at 58 putts for the two rounds, about average for the field, but still hasnt found his feel on the slower greens which are reading 10 on the stimpmeter. He thinks it is feel rather than speed and is going to check his fundamentals of set up and alignment. With onkyy 2 bogeys in the first two rounds it may be that he can still perform, as he did at the US Open, whole not putting particularly well. He talked about cleaning it up and figuring it out for the weekend.

Interesting footwear for the week,  Nike’s new moon landing shoes.

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Statistics at The Open so far

Some surprising results from the official Open statisticians NTT Data.

DRIVING DISTANCE IN YARDS

Kirayama 349, Bjerregaard 348, Van Rooyen 343, Westwood 342, Rahm 340

Shortest: Garcia 235, Pepperell 256, Grace 267

DRIVING ACCURACY FAIRWAYS HIT

Fitzpatrick 88%, Lowry 87%, Andrew Johnston 85%, JB Holmes 84%

Least accurate Spieth 39%, Thomas 39%, Schauffele 42%, Molinari 42%

GREENS IN REGULATION APPROACH

Noren, Levy, Harrington, Pan, Fritelli, Simpson 100%

Worst Mickelson 33%, Grace 33%

PUTTING

Garcia, Lowry, Fujimata, Wilson, Grace 1 putt per hole

Highest: Sterne, Inamori, Simpson, Lombard 2.17 putts per hole

 

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Today’s pin positions at The Open

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