Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen would absolutely be the coolest name to ever win a British Open. Obviously no lead is safe in these conditions, demonstrated so sadly by Rory McIlroy (above), who shot 63 Thursday, but was already at 63 through 14 holes today. (He finished with an 80, nearly a stroke per hole worse than Thursday, to drop to 1-under.)
But Oosthuizen holds a five-shot lead over 50-year-old Mark Calcavecchia, the largest 36-hole cushion since Bobby Clampett in 1982, after shooting an early morning 67 to reach 12-under for the championship. (That’s somewhat of an ominous stat, since Clampett plummeted from 11-under to even to eventually lose by four.)
How brutal has it been? A wind-delay chased players off the course when Rory McIlroy was on the fourth hole, because balls wouldn’t stay still on the green — and even some fairways. (McIlroy’s a classy kid. He did an interview with ESPN after grinding to an 80, whereas John Daly took a swing and knocked over a plant after signing his card, and refused to talk to the media after only shooting a 76.)
The best post-delay round is Nick Watney’s 1-over 73. ESPN’s Andy North thinks the Old Course is playing 5-6 strokes tougher from the morning to afternoon. To play off Tom Watson’s metaphor Thursday, when he said, “The Old Lady had no clothes,” she was wearing a chastity belt today.
Oosthuizen, Calcavecchia, Miguel Angel Jimenez (T6, 5-under) and Rickie Fowler (T73, 2-over) tied for the low round Friday at 5-under, compared to the 16 players who shot 67 or better on Thursday. Ricky Barnes (T6, 5-under) got to 5-under through 10 before backing up to a 71, and Casey (T3, 6-under) was also working on a 5-under round before a triple-bogey on the Road Hole.
Other big names have been ruined. Ernie Els is 7-over through 17 to fall from 3-under to 4-over, while Angel Cabrera (76), Padraig Harrington (+4 through 14), Kenny Perry (+6 through 13), Geoff Ogilvy (78), Tim Clark (80), Nick Faldo (81) and Ryan Moore (84) all ballooned from the bubble to miss the cut.
Seventy-two players are sitting 1-over, with players backed up to the 10th hole at 9:20 p.m. local time.
[AP Photo/Jon Super]