Through two rounds, Kevin Kisner and Zach Johnson lead the Open Championship at 6 under par. Trailing the duo is the trio of Tommy Fleetwood, Pat Perez and Xander Schauffele. Full scores
Grab your scuba gear
Fleetwood dazzled early morning viewers to a bogey-free 65, which vaulted him up the leaderboard after an opening 72. Fleetwood has become a major championship force in the last 13 months and looks primed to capture his first in the near future. Fleetwood set the course record at Carnoustie last fall in the Dunhill Cup and did the same at Shinnecock Hills in June. Fleetwood might be the world's premier ball-striker, so when the putts fall it’s a spectacle.
The closing stretch
The final four holes at Carnoustie are ejecting players. The holes are making finishing off a round an arduous task. As it stands through two rounds, the holes play as the 6th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd most difficult holes on the course.
It's not quite gone, yet
Chief U.S. Open complainer Zach Johnson came out firing in the morning, shooting a 67 to set the pace on Friday. The former Open Champion's game is a great fit for the fast Carnoustie setup, which favors placement over power. ZJ has played the treacherous final four holes two-under on the week.
A Mongolian Reversal
Rory McIlroy fired a second consecutive round of 69, which puts him in tie for 6th. Oddly, it’s been Rory’s short game that has been spectacular this week. It's the first time that Rory has opened a major with a pair of scores in the 60s since the 2014 PGA Championship, which he won. In fact, the last three times he's done it, he's won.
So you’re saying there’s a chance
U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka got off to a disastrous start at Carnoustie, shooting a 5-over 41 on the front nine Thursday. 27 holes later, Koepka sits at 2-under on the championship and 18th place. It will require perfect golf over the next 36 holes for Koepka to make it two majors in a row. Brooks was also +5 through 9 holes at the U.S. Open, and we all know how that turned out.
Jordan Spieth and Slick Rick Fowler are lurking three shots back at 3-under. Spieth hasn’t had his A-game tee to green this week, but his short game has kept him in it. Fowler has been rock solid and is one hot round away from thrusting himself into the major mix. Along with Spieth and Rickie, last year’s Open runner-up Matt Kuchar is two shots back after a second round 66.
The South Africans
Zander Lombard and Erik Van Rooyen managed to back up their stellar opening rounds of 67 with even-par 71s. They will head into the weekend in a tie for 6th and in the mix. It's a big surprise for Lombard, who has missed 14 of 18 cuts on the European Tour this year.
Same name, different spelling
Budding American star Xander Schauffele played his way into the mix after scorching the back nine to a 5-under 31 and a round of 66. Schauffele is becoming a fixture in big time events. He has two top-6 finishes at the U.S. Open, a runner-up at the PLAYERS, a win at the Tour Championship and a top 20 in his first Open appearance last year. Xander's success this week has come from having the ball on a string off the tee, and given his success in his short career, expect him to hang around the lead.
While not so much a winner, Tiger did shoot his second round of even par to be only six shots back through 2 rounds. Tiger played extremely conservative during Friday’s soft conditions, continually leaving himself long irons into greens. Still, he hasn’t shot himself out of the tournament just yet. He has one of the best Saturday scoring averages on the PGA Tour this season, so we will see how this week goes.
Kevin Kisner (not really a loser)
Kisner headed to the 18th tee with a two-shot lead over Zach Johnson but found Barry's burn on the 18th, making a double bogey to fall back to 6-under.
Rain came in overnight and really softened the course for Friday’s round. It didn’t necessarily make the course easier, but it did soften the fairways and remove some of the firm conditions. It appears that the rest of the weekend will be dry, and it can get back to the fiery conditions we all want to see!
High profile MC Hammers
The top two players in the world, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas missed the cut. DJ struggled for the second straight day, particularly on the 18th hole which he played five-over on the week. Justin Thomas looked prime to contend after an opening 68, but the morning rains ruined his chances at major number two. Thomas made three consecutive double bogeys on the front nine to end his chances.
Sergio Garcia missed the cut for the fourth consecutive major championship.
The struggles continue for Hideki Matsuyama, who triple bogeyed the 18th hole to miss the cut by one shot.
Jon Rahm had another tough day at a major, losing his round and his cool en route to a second-round 78 and an MC hammer.
Date it before you marry it
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Late/Early tee times
The group that got the rough end of the draw was the wave of players that went late on Thursday, early on Friday. Over the two rounds, the scoring average of the waves totaled out to a 1.3 stroke difference between the two.
From the pro shop
We are stocked with some new gear in the pro shop. Check out the new “width and angles” and “tree management” t-shirts and a restocking of hats. As always, thanks for the support and reading The Fried Egg.