The Open's Not Been Kind to Tiger, Rory, and Phil
The grandaddy of golf's Grand Slams has returned to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years.
And for a few of golf's Old Guard, this year was still too soon.
The OG prepared for this challenge in some interesting ways:
- Tiger Woods figured that not playing golf would keep him tuned,
- Phil Mickelsen went on a crash diet, and
- David Duval just ... went.
In a crushing victory for common sense, none of those methods worked.
It didn't take long for the carnage to begin.
What's worse for the locals, homeboy Rory McIlroy became collateral damage.
As to a suddenly slimmed-down Mickelson, when this is one of his better putts on the day ...
... this is no real surprise:
When you're a short-game legend and getting outshot by Jong-Duck Kim, you may as well keep reaching for the Oreos.
Speaking of troubles coming down:
Putting it mildly, the rough is tough, but the sand traps are a bitch.
So it was that these big names fell victim to the cut.
Only McIlroy made a charge to save wounded pride in Round 2.
Dude fell a stroke short in his attempt to make it to the weekend. His 65 was one of the day's better efforts but not enough to overcome that opening 79, where that brain-fart tap-in miss turned out to be the telling factor.
Others, meanwhile, had their moments in the occasional sun:
What a start, indeed.
The Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry may only be a neighbor to Ulster, but he's taking the mantel that everyone thought would belong to McIlroy.
Lowry and fellow lumberjack lookalike JB Holmes topp the leaderboard at the turn at 8-under par.
Holmes has matched the Irishman's spectacular moments with a steady performance:
As usual, the Majors are their own biggest stories. Big-brand names are optional.
There are still enough luminaries remaining to add to the festivities. For example:
- Brooks Koepka is hanging around the leaderboard once again,
- Rickie Fowler is in with a shout to win his first Big One once again,
- Lee Westwood is threatening to break through in a Major at age 46,
- Jordan Spieth is making enough putts in his attempt to match his 2014 Open title, and
- Tommy Fleetwood is looking like he's in the zone this weekend.
This is the Open. The best is yet to come.