Day two of the 144th British Open Championship saw the winds pick up and made things interesting, with Round 2 continuing tomorrow morning.
Rise and shine! If you’re just waking up, you missed a rainy start to #TheOpen Friday. Photos: http://t.co/xNgEyySdLr pic.twitter.com/nwhPosgM9X
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) July 17, 2015
With conditions starting off rough, as expected for the morning group, it looked to be another typical challenge the golfers had to contend with in the Open Championship. The overnight weather pushed back tee times by more than three hours.
Good news. Play will resume at 10am today. Great work from all the greenkeeping staff. #TheOpen #RainDelay https://t.co/hPiAvzLFdz
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 17, 2015
Unbelievable job by all greenkeepers onsite @TheOpen this week for play to re start 👏👏👏
— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) July 17, 2015
However, after all was tidied up by the grounds keepers at the Old Course in St. Andrews, play resumed and a new leader emerged from the pack.
Englishmen Danny Willett shot a -3 under 69 second round to move him into the lead before the afternoon wave of Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth got underway. Willett, who missed the cut last year, put himself in great position to contend this weekend.
After opening the front nine with a 33, he finished even par on the back nine giving him a total of 69. Willett was able to navigate his way on the course, where the cross winds were becoming more of a factor than yesterday.
A winner of two tournaments on the European Tour, his best finish in a Major is tied for 15th at the 2013 Open Championship, held at Muirfield Golf Links.
That’s when Dustin Johnson made his statement. He opened with a front nine 33, including back-to-back birdies on holes 4 and 5. He made the turn and opened with a birdie and bogey. After the 13th hole, play was halted due to darkness. Johnson and Spieth hit their second shots on the 14th hole, just short of the putting green when play was called. Johnson will resume his second round tomorrow am 7:00 am, local time.
He currently leads Willett by one stroke at -10. Despite the ever-changing elements at the time he was playing, his dominant, aggressive driving never changed. Before the 11th hole, he was bogey-free for the round.
How we stand after Friday: 1. D. Johnson, -10 (13) 2. Willett, -9 (F) T3. Lawrie, -8 (12) T3. Day, -8 (11) #TheOpen pic.twitter.com/zfkr4L489P
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 17, 2015
There were plenty of storylines that developed from Friday, but none more than the farewells of two golfing legends. First, it was Sir Nick Faldo paying his respects on the Swilkin Bridge earlier in Round Two. Despite not making the cut, that didn’t stop Faldo from bringing back an old friend:
Nick Faldo goes out in style at #TheOpen http://t.co/E418uEOlKi pic.twitter.com/OrPcQBHFFP
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 17, 2015
Later in the round, it was the anticipated farewell of Tom Watson. Under the cover of darkness, Watson crossed the historic bridge one more time and waved to the Scotland faithful. He literally made time stop in the city of St. Andrews, as patrons stopped what they were doing and came to see Tom Watson making his final crossing up the 18th fairway. A legend passed in the night, but will always be remembered.
Tom Watson waves at the crowd at St Andrews for the final time. Watson has won The Open 5 times. pic.twitter.com/AOtsHi9hGn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 17, 2015
Conclusion of the second round will be tomorrow morning, with coverage on ESPN starting at 2 am EST. Immediately after the end of the second, the third round will begin.
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A tip of the cap to five-time Champion Tom Watson on the final hole of his final Open Championship appearance. pic.twitter.com/s5ijxxgnh0
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 17, 2015