While you were sleeping Friday at The Open: LIV golfers making a move

Dustin Johnson is contending through two rounds at the Open Championship.

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Day 2 at the Open Championship is underway on a soggier, softer Old Course. What did you miss while you were sleeping? Some of the same, some things different. Read on below …  

Tiger’s Open likely to come to a close

Tiger Woods held everyone’s attention just 24 hours ago as he prepped to make a run at the 150th Open Championship. In a matter of moments Thursday, he hit into a divot, played into the burn, then made double bogey. His opening 78 properly calmed expectations. On Friday, Woods needed a 66 or so to make the cut, and that’s just not going to happen. 

Woods opened with a couple pars before going birdie-bogey on 3 and 4. He then drove into a boorish spot, up against the wall of a bunker right of 6. He splashed out of the sand — essentially a penalty stroke — into the rough, then played up to the green for another bogey, moving to seven over for the event. Tune in for his walk over the bridge Friday afternoon and try to avoid the looming questions that follow, like when will we see him next? 

Softer St. Andrews

Players and fans woke to a much different setting Friday morning. Thursday, the course was caked in sun. Friday, it took on some rain. Mother Nature sprayed a soft drizzle all morning in St. Andrews, adding some much needed moisture to a course that had become absolutely baked in the recent heat wave and wind. The fairways are more firm than the greens this week, but with just a little rain, the course was playing a bit softer in the second round. Players could spin shots back a bit more on the greens, if ever so slightly. What does it mean for the afternoon? Go time. The wind is expected to die down as the day goes on, making conditions absolutely ripe for scoring. 

LIV Golfers make a move 

Amid all the magic of visiting the Home of Golf, it can be easy to forget that a civil war wages on in pro golf’s background. LIV Golf vs. the PGA Tour has taken a bit of a backseat to the Open Championship, but that can only last for so long. Dustin Johnson and Talor Gooch, two of the best golfers who have signed on with LIV, each made a charge Friday morning. 

Gooch birdied the 1st, 3rd and 14th to race up to seven under, finishing one back of 18-hole leader Cameron Young, while Johnson has reached seven under himself through 14 holes. Sergio Garcia, after shooting 75 in his first round, erased all of that with five birdies and an eagle in his first 14 holes Friday. Could a LIV golfer actually win this week? There’s nothing stopping them. It would be treated as a massive victory for the rival golf league. 

Scottie Scheffler, too!

Early in the week, Scottie Scheffler discussed how he doesn’t feel much of the perception that he’s the No. 1 player in the world. Despite winning four times this year, including the Masters, Scheffler’s popularity could certainly grow. Through 30 holes in the Open, he’s well on his way to testing that theory on another global stage.

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The World No. 1 made birdie on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 Friday morning to reach seven under, one shot back. A win this week, or even just a top five finish, would almost certainly crown Scheffler as the PGA Tour Player of the Year. He doesn’t have a ton of links golf experience, but are we allowed to doubt anything about his game these days? The answer is no, not anymore.

Calc’s Farewell 

Marc Calcavecchia, the 1989 Open Champion, walked his final round in an Open Championship Friday. Calc was first off Friday morning after shooting 83 on Thursday, finishing with a par on the last for a two-day total of 20 over. His week was nothing more than ceremonial, but that’s okay. That’s how it should be. He two-putted to finish and kissed his wife, who was caddying for him. A 30-year Open career finally complete at the Old Course.

“I felt it. I felt the emotions,” he said. “Got a little mildly choked up, but all the way around, the last two days, the fans were great. They were cheering for me and pulling for me, and they’ll aware that this was my last Open. So that was pretty cool. It means a lot. It really does.”


Sean Zak

Golf.com Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine, currently working on a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews. You can read about those travels here and catch his latest thoughts on the Drop Zone Podcast:

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