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The 148th Open Royal Portrush

The 148th Open


Big name players miss the cut

You can’t be anything other than at your best at The Open and any player that doesn't hit those high standards is always at risk of an early exit.

That was the case for several big names at The 148th Open, with the cut savagely freeing up their weekend on a thrilling day at Royal Portrush.

While JB Holmes and Shane Lowry are sitting pretty at the top, it was a frantic afternoon for others as they battled to make the magic +1 mark.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who you won’t be seeing again this week:

Tiger Woods

For just the second time in his career, Tiger Woods has missed the cut in multiple majors in one season.

The three-time Champion Golfer looked a shadow of the player who so memorably won the Masters in April, with fitness issues clearly prohibiting his movement and swing.

Couple that with the difficult conditions he went out in on Thursday afternoon and the result was an ugly +7 round of 78 on the opening day.

Ever resilient, Woods rebounded on Friday and offered brief hope that he could remarkably make he cut when he dropped two birdies in the first six holes.

But three more bogeys put pay to that and he exits stage left.

Rory McIlroy

The damage for Woods may have been done in the first round but for Rory McIlroy, it was done on the first hole.

The Holywood boy – a Champion Golfer in 2014 – tugged his tee shot out of bounds and could not recover, firing an approach into a bush before eventually trudging off with a quadruple bogey.

A double bogey and triple bogey in the closing three holes rubbed salt into the wound and he left with a +8 round of 79.

The four-time major winner came back well on Friday and dropped birdie after birdie to give himself a chance. But he ran out of holes in the end, with pars on 17 and 18 seeing him finish at +2, one off the target.

Phil Mickelson

The 2013 Champion Golfer has struggled for much of 2019 and embarked on a dramatic weight loss programme in order to shake things up.

Sadly for him, it is yet to have the desired effect and Mickelson – who has always endured a love-hate relationship with links golf – can now take the weekend off.

Much of the damage was done Thursday morning, with two bogeys in the first six holes setting the tone for the day. He turned at +2 before going to drop four more shots.

That left him at +5 and any chance of a famous comeback to make the weekend was all but extinguished at the second on Friday, where he registered a double bogey.

He eventually finished on +8.

Gary Woodland

It’s been a crazy few weeks for Gary Woodland and it all appeared to catch up with him at golf’s original championship.

Last month, the popular American claimed his first major at the US Open while his wife is also on the verge of giving birth to twins.

And all of that conspired to knock off his stride as he struggled to get to grips with the Dunluce Links, compiling rounds of 74 and 71 to miss the mark by two.

Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke can be proud of his efforts this week but ultimately, he just fell short and missed the cut by two strokes.

The Portrush native struck the first tee shot on Thursday and made a birdie, which will undoubtedly go down as one the moments of his career.

But there was a bitter twist to come, with a triple bogey on the 18th on Friday leaving him on +3 and two shots away from the weekend.

Best of the rest

There are plenty of other big names packing their bags, including Australia’s Jason Day – who was -3 at one point before falling back to +2.

Champion Golfers Zach Johnson, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie also bid goodbye while Ian Poulter limped along to +7 and the much-fancied Adam Scott +9.

Tom Lehman bid farewell to this year’s Championship and perhaps The Open for good, with his exemption as a Champion Golfer now expired.

While there will also be no Silver Medal winner this year as no amateur made it to the weekend, with Ireland’s James Sugrue and Japan’s Takumi Kanaya missing out by a stroke.

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