The Open: virtual matchplay between Snedeker and Scott
Adam Scott, from Australia, hits for the sand to the 10th green during the first round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. AP Photo/Mark Duncan
Playing flawless golf, Brandt Snedeker will take a one-shot lead over Australian Adam Scott into the third round tonight of the British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The 31-year-old Nashville native’s 10-under 66-64-130 equals Nick Faldo’s 66-64 record set at Muirfield in 1992 as the lowest 36-hole score in British Open history.
For omen-seekers, Faldo went on to win two decades ago with 12 under, from John Cook at 11-under, and Jose Maria Olazabal at 10-under.
Faldo’s prizemoney was $190,000.
Whoever wins this 141st Open will bank $1.357 million.
Tonight will see Snedeker and Scott paired together at the tail of the field on moving day Saturday, both capable of giving this tough par 70 layout a bit of hurry-up – weather permitting.
So far Mother Nature has been relatively kind with periods of rain, but precious little wind, that has a course history of blowing a gale.
Scott shot a course record 64 in the opening round with two bogeys, Snedeker matched that last night bogey-free. In fact the American is the only golfer in the field bogey-free for 36 holes.
Lurking is Tiger Woods and his cold putter at 6-under.
Grim-faced for 35 holes, the former world number one for a record 623 weeks blasted out of a green-side bunker at the 18th to find the bottom of the cup.
It had taken Woods 36 holes before he smiled, and then it was fist-pump time and a grin as broad as the Sydney Heads to celebrate a rare, but timely, birdie.
At 5-under – the exciting 22-year-old Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.
At 4-under – Paul Lawrie, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, and little known South African Thomas Aiken.
At 3-under – Ernie Ells.
And at 2-under – world number one Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, Kiwi Steve Alker, and James Morrison.
But it was the cut that held as much attention as the top of the leaderboard.
It bounced between 2 and 3-over all afternoon, which had the latter particularly anxious – the likes of Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, KJ Choi, and ageless Tom Watson who had missed a virtual tap-in putt on 17, but sensationally birdied 18.
That made the difference. 3-over will play the weekend.
Notable cut casualties – Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Anders Hansen, YE Yang, and Charl Schwartzel at 4-over, Stewart Cink at 5, Martin Kaymer and Ryo Ishikawa at 6, defending champion Darren Clarke at 7, Trevor Immelman at 9, Davis Love III at 10, and the biggest shocks, Phil Mickelson at 10-over, and Angel Cabrera at 11.
If the first two rounds are to be the guidelines, the third major of the year will be virtual matchplay between Snedeker and Scott, with Woods the danger if his approach shots are closer to the pin.
So far Snedeker has a clean sheet with 10 birdies, Scott 12 birdies and 3 bogies, Woods 8 birdies, and 2 bogies.
Bring it on.