Graeme McDowell admits he was in awe of Rory McIlroy's "battling" performance as the four-time major victor narrowly missed the cut at Royal Portrush on Friday evening.
A brilliant bunker save on the 15th, a smart up-and-down after being short and right on the vast "Calamity Corner" par-three 16th prefaced a highly-eventful par on the 17th where, distracted by TV commentary from the tented village maybe 80 yards behind the tee-box, he leaked his drive into the customers on the right.
Rory McIlroy's opening tee shot of the 148th Open Championship ended up out of bounds, and an opening quadruple bogey set the tone in a first-round 79 at Royal Portrush.
Successive rounds of 67 gave him a share of the Portrush lead with JB Holmes, and there's a certain symmetry to Lowry's story here this week. He finished with a 66.
"I'm just out here on the Tour trying to compete as best I can". Didn't really make any putts.
"You'd be surprised the sort of things we talk about out there. Here, you're trying to get it in the right spot on the green and make a putt".
The third man, Justin Rose, already a major champion by virtue of his US Open win in 2013, has eight top ten finishes in majors since then, three second places including past year at Carnoustie, and is primed for another run just three off the lead.
"It's nice to do it at The Open Championship, it's a big tournament and prestigious tournament and on a great golf course", said the former world number one. That's a big advantage.
"It's gonna be an advantage for me, with the fact that I feel like I'm striking the ball well", Koepka said of the hard conditions expected on Sunday. The favourite one was from Denmark the first week she caddied for me. I don't have to do anything. "Clearly I try to peak for majors". The 2001 Open Champion now sits at an absurd 20-over par. Mentally he's in a great place and meanwhile there's a lot of good players out here. "And, honestly, I stood here starting this week knowing that I'm playing really well".
Look where it has got him this week. I can be very loose tomorrow, I can go out there and I've got nothing to lose.
Tiger Woods entered Northern Ireland looking for his second major of the year, but with some significant health concerns.
There is a two-way tie for the lead after 36 holes at the 2019 British Open from the Royal Portrush Golf Course in Northern Ireland. "He's a got a big lead, but no lead's big enough when the weather gets bad on a links course and he's going to have an terrible lot of pressure on him", Westwood said. "If you miss it [on] the wrong side of holes, you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble".
As Rory then walked to the 18th hole, and the tall task of getting a one-under in the final hole, there were cheers and shouts of "Come on Rory".
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