Stricker alive; Lefty less lucky
Steve Stricker kept a personal streak alive by making the cut at the British Open, the 25th major championship since 2009 that he has played on the weekend.
Former champions Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington weren’t as fortunate, heading home after failing to get inside the cut line of 5-over-par.
Harrington came close, barely missing out on holing a chip on the final hole.
Mickelson, meanwhile, added a 7-over 77 to the 3over 73 he shot in the first round to finish at 10-over.
“Unfortunately it’s the first cut I’ve missed this year,” Mickelson said. “And I missed it with flair.”
Mickelson, with his brother, Tim, on the bag in place of former longtime caddie Jim Mackay, looked like he might make a run at playing on the weekend when he opened with a birdie on the first hole. But a triple-bogey 7 on the third hole set him back, and he made four straight bogeys to open the back nine.
“It’s part of the game,” Mickelson said. “I don’t want to put too much stock in it, because I’ve really been hitting the ball well and playing well. So rather than dwell on two rough days here, I’ll go back home and get ready for these upcoming events.”
It was the first cut Mickelson has missed all year. He has never gone through an entire season without missing a cut.
The 50-year-old Stricker, who tied for 16th at the Masters and at the U.S. Open this year, has never won a major championship. He opened this one with an even-par 70, then added a 2over 72 in blustery conditions in the second round.
Harrington, who won here the last time the Open was at Royal Birkdale in 2008, couldn’t believe the chip that would have gotten him inside the cut line didn’t go in. He with two 73s.
“It looked like it was going in all right,” he said. “The story of my day.”
Not so Speaking Marked stylish. Young talent.
Justin Thomas, who opened with a double bogey, posted a 9 on the sixth hole after an adventure in the deep rough.
He tried to hack it out of the rough, but his hands came off the club and the ball stayed there. He tried it again — same thing. On the third try, he didn’t see where it went and couldn’t find the ball, leading to a penalty stroke and a drop.
Thomas shot a 10-over 80 and missed the cut.
Competitive golf hasn’t been limited to Royal Birkdale this week.
There was a match down the road at Southport & Ainsdale between the 13year-old sons of Ian Poulter and John Daly.
Luke Poulter registered a 1-up victory over Little John Daly in eight holes.
Rory McIlroy was in the mixed zone chatting with reporters about his second round, while Lee Westwood was only a few feet away talking about his.
McIlroy suddenly turned as he heard someone speaking loudly in Spanish.
“I thought that was Lee speaking Spanish,” he said, laughing at the thought.
It actually was Jon Rahm, a Spaniard who is fluent in English and Spanish.
Mark O’Meara was embarrassed when he hit the opening tee shot of the 146th British Open out of bounds on his way to an 11-over 81.
He made up for it with a second round more befitting a former champion.
O’Meara, playing in his last Open at the age of 60, shot an even-par 70 in difficult conditions with a bogey on the last hole. It wasn’t enough to make the cut, but it did make him feel better.