ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) â€” Rare flooding, sunshine, more rain & always wind. None of it seemed to matter to Dustin Johnson at St. Andrews.
On a wild day of weather Friday at the British Open that delayed the start of the second round by more than three hours, Danny Willett of England set the early target with a 3-under 69 that allowed him to walk off the Old Course with his name atop the leaderboard.
Just not for long.
p>Johnson, who teed off at 5:48 p.m. local time, ran off three birdies in four holes on the front nine & went out to 33 to reclaim the lead at 10-under.
Willett posted his two rounds at 9-under 135.
Just like he did when he opened with a 65, Johnson looked like the man to beat. Jordan Spieth could see it clearly because he was playing next to him. The Masters & U.S. Open champion overcame a pair of three-putt bogeys with three birdies on the front nine, though he still was in danger of falling further behind in his quest for the third leg of the Grand Slam.
United Statesâ€™ Dustin Johnson tees off from the 7th hole during the second round of the British Open …
Adam Scott made three birdies on the far end of the Old Course & had a 67 to join a large group at 7-under 137 that included former Masters champion Zach Johnson (71), Marc Warren of Scotland (69) & Robert Streb (71).
Tiger Woods was on his way to making the wrong kind of history. He has never missed the cut in the U.S. Open & British Open in the same year. Woods did not make a birdie on the easier on the front nine for the second straight day & was six shots over the projected cut line.
Friday moreover was a time for farewells.
First it was Nick Faldo, who captured one of his three Open titles at St. Andrews in 1990. Faldo spends most of his time in the broadcast booth for CBS Sports, yet he came down from the tower to play St. Andrews one last time.
He wasn't sure he could play because of a deep cut on the middle finger of his left hand & was in the hospital in the early morning hours getting it fixed. His kids wanted him to play, & Faldo didn't want to miss that iconic walk across the Swilcan Bridge. He switched into a sweater he wore for his first Open win in 1987, thrust both hands in the air atop the bridge & finished with a par for a 71.
"I'll remember that," Faldo said.
Because of the delay, it wasn't clear if five-time Open champion Tom Watson would finish. He had no chance of making the cut.
Willett was the No. 1 amateur who played in the 2007 Walker Cup with Johnson, Rory McIlroy & Rickie Fowler. After struggling with a back injury, he showed a return to form by winning in South Africa late last year, & then reaching the semifinals of the Match Play Championship until losing to Gary Woodland.
But this is another level. He has not finished higher than 15th in his nine previous majors. Small wonder that when he finished his round, one of his many text messages came from his mother. She congratulated him on making the cut.
ST. ANDREWS, ScotlandDanny WillettDustin Johnson
Source: “Associated Press”