By Jim Moriarty
Curtis missed the cut upon a return to Royal St. George’s, the scene of his greatest triumph; Glover made
par on the 18th hole to share the 36-hole lead with Darren Clarke at four-under 136.
11: 18 a.m.
Two English fans in the gallery following Lee Westwood
have watched their countryman go double bogey and bogey on Nos. 8 and 9, respectively. Making matters worse
is the fact Westwood is playing in the calmest conditions
seen all week at Royal St. George’s. “I can’t believe he’s
letting a day like this go to waste,” one of them says.
4: 24 p.m.
Greg and Louise Joyce of St. Louis just want to get a few
shirts to remember their first trip to the British Open. But
they find out upon entering the merchandise tent that the
credit-card machines are down. “We got here at 7: 30 and
learned the place wasn’t open until 8, so we decided to
come back on our way out,” says Louise. “And now this.”
12: 45 a.m.
Darren Clarke birdies the 18th for his second straight 68.
Sitting at four under overall, he’ll surprisingly, considering
the mild weather, hold a share of the lead at day’s end.
12: 53 a.m.
Lucas Glover finishes with a par on the 18th to match
Clarke at four under. Glover’s spot on the leader board
allows the British press to indulge in their fascination
with the former U. S. Open champion’s beard. BBC radio
commentators inform Glover he would be the first
bearded winner since at least the 1890s. “Ironing and
shaving are my two least-favorite things to do,” Glover
explains. “I can eliminate one of them.”
6: 40 p.m.
The list of English players disappointing their fans at
the Open continues to grow. In addition to Westwood,
World No. 1 Luke Donald and Ian Poulter also have
missed the cut. For Poulter it’s the first time in his career
he has missed cuts in consecutive majors.
2: 21 p.m.
Isao Aoki, working for Japanese TV, is on the first tee
chatting with starter Ivor Robson as he awaits Ryo
Ishikawa’s start to the second round. As Aoki goes on
with a story, Robson politely interrupts, explaining that
he needs to introduce a group.
6: 51 p.m.
Putting out for par on the 18th, Ben Curtis waves to the
crowd, then shakes the hand of caddie Andy Sutton. Sitting 11 over par, this week’s finish is a far cry from 2003,
when Curtis surprised everyone with his victory at
Royal St. George’s with Sutton on the bag. That they’re
together again this week, however, is coincidence as
Sutton is working for Aaron Baddeley, who is paired
with Curtis for the first two days. Sutton’s result isn’t
much better, as Baddeley will also miss the cut.
david davies/ap photo;darren carrol
7: 50 p.m.
It’s not all golf for the golfers in Sandwich. Stewart Cink
and Tom Lehman are spending the evening at a local
movie theater, watching the new Harry Potter movie.
Americans Will Nixon, Trent Cole and Trey Headley are
enjoying a pint and watching the BBC telecast on the
jumbo screen when they do a double take at the voice
they hear hearing give the commentary. “Is that Jim
Nantz?” says Nixon. Sure enough it is, the CBS commentator moonlighting for the week.
The last threesome finishes play, concluding the second
rounds with everyone making the cut within seven
shots of the lead. If the R&A had a 10-stroke rule, 100
players would be playing on the weekend rather than
just the 71 who are at three over or better.
Turns out Tiger Woods was at the Open
Championship after all. Not the wee version, the Wii version. He was in the HSBC
Golf Zone, a pavilion full of interactive
golf stuff of which the digital Woods
There was something called the
Tri-Screen Simulator, which was at least
two screens more than I required. This
is where the longest drives were being
calculated. The hole depicted on the
large fabric dropsheet was No. 1 at the
Old Course at St. Andrews, an odd choice
for a long-drive competition. Nonetheless, I saw one young man belt his tee
ball a virtual 306 yards down the middle,
nearly reaching the burn. I’m pretty
sure I saw Ian Baker-Finch, too, because
another fellow’s drive went under the
white railing and onto the road in front
There was a hitting bay where you
tried your luck with hickories, and yet
another that measured the carry and
total distance of an iron shot along with
the clubhead path, the launch angles
(vertical and horizontal), the speed of
both the ball and clubhead and the spin
rate. I didn’t actually queue up for that
since I already had a pretty good idea of
the launch angle of a screaming shank. I
did, however, get my picture taken with
cutouts of Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy,
who are larger in two dimensions than
The highlight was the replica of the
Road Hole bunker. You got two tries to
escape from lies placed, rather rudely I
thought, uncomfortably close to the imposing sod face. My best effort thudded
a mere inch shy of clearing but, unlike
Michael Campbell, the ball did not tipple
forward. The experience struck me as
somewhat similar to Disney World building a replica of Old Sparky, hooking it up
to a car battery and letting you sit down
for a second or two.