After 36 holes at the Open Championship, there’s a familiar name at the top of the leader board – Louis Oosthuizen. This marks the third straight major he’s placed himself in serious contention heading into the weekend. The question now is, will it be the third straight runner-up (and what would be the seventh major runner-up of his career), or can he finally take down career major No. 2 at Royal St. George’s?
We’re going to find out this weekend, with the South African holding on to a two-shot lead after tying the 36-hole aggregate scoring record of 129 (64-65, 11 under). Giving chase are a pair of major winners in Collin Morikawa (nine under) and Jordan Spieth (eight under), who is looking to win his first major since the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
As our very own Joel Beall points out, Oosthuizen has a number of statistical hurdles to overcome these final two days if he’s going to get it done, specifically, his driving. He and Morikawa don’t tee off until 10:55 a.m. ET, but the anticipation is already building. We’ll keep you updated on everything that happens up until then and after here in our live blog.
(Scroll down for the latest updates)
10:46 a.m.: Jordan Spieth gets his title push underway, playing a nice cut to find the fairway at the first. Fellow Longhorn Dylan Frittelli puts his tee shot into the rough. Won’t be an easy par from there for Frittelli…ahead DJ makes a beautiful chip from a tough spot right of the green, giving himself a good look to save par.
10:36 a.m.: Dustin Johnson, whose beard is now as long as the gorse, is on the tee and finds the left side of the fairway. Johnson is playing with reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler, who follows Johnson’s lead. There is a lot of swagger in that group. Er, game.
10:29 a.m.: OH NO. Siem leaves the shortie…short. Very disappointing par. As for Koepka, wheels are off, starting par-bogey-bogey. Eight back with a crowd between him and the lead, his tournament hopes are fading and fading fast.
10:23 a.m.: SIEM! The German fist-pumper puts his approach to tap-in range at the first. Sadly, no fist pump.
10:16 a.m.: Crowd favorite Marcel Siem is off, although the cameras are having a hell of a time figuring out where it went (they might have been shocked to show an actual golf shot, to be fair). Andy Sullivan also off, his ball leaking into the heavy rough … As for Casey, his fourth from the junk JUST finds the green then scoots to five feet, giving him a heck of a chance at an all-world bogey.
10:13 a.m.: Paul Casey having trouble at the first. His drive goes into the gorse, and his second can’t get out. He muscles his third way left, also into the heather. Not what the Englishman needed, to say the least.
10:07 a.m.: Sorry for the lack of updates but we haven’t seen a golf shot in 12 minutes. Just the messenger.
9:56 a.m.: Brooks Koepka begins his day with a decent shot at the first, goes a bit to the left but stays in the first cut. Kopeka is part of the crowd at five under.
9:51 a.m.: Our man Jazz Janewattananond got this shot, from this stance, to here:
9:48 a.m.: Jon Rahm begins his day with a bad miss to the right in his approach, and will be in a tough spot to get up-and-down to stay at five under at the first.
9:42 a.m.: Big game hunter Brian Harman holes a 30-yard chip at the second for birdie. And good thing it ran into the pin or else that bad boy was off the green and into the great unknown. Shot moves Harman to five under.
9:36 a.m.: Tony Finau begins his day, also at four under. Also appears to be wearing a Kandinsky painting as a shirt. Count Finau among the crew needing a strong early push to get into the proceedings.
9:31 a.m.: Aside from Young Bob’s 65 and Jason Kokrak’s 66, not much red on the yellow board. Chalk that up to tough pin positions rather than wind.
9:25 a.m.: Rory just had an eight-footer that went 360 degrees around the hole before deciding to stay out. The run has ended. Long live the Rory run.
9:20 a.m.: Wind is starting to pick up, just a tad. We’re not going to see carnage, but expect to see a bump in scores for the afternoon wave.
9:15 a.m.: Shane Lowry begins his day by finding the fairway. The Irishman has an outside chance to defend his title, four under through 36 holes, but will need something special to get in the Sunday mix.
9:10 a.m.: Good news is we can’t possibly jinx Robert MacIntyre, because his round is over. And what a round it was, a five-under 65 for the 24-year-old Scotsman, vaulting him 48 spots up the leader board into a tie for 17th at four under. He’ll have a legitimate crack at his second top 10 in this tournament on Sunday, the first a T-6 at Royal Portrush in 2019.
8:55 a.m.: Welp, we sufficiently jinxed Rory (who just made another bogey to fall to two under) and now we’ve jinxed Sergio. Right after hitting publish on our last update, he lipped out a short six-footer for par, then missed the three-foot comebacker for bogey. Four-putt double, which drops him to two under. HOT start.
8:51 a.m.: It’s been all Rory, all the time early on Saturday, but some other big boys are getting their rounds underway, including Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard made birdie at the first to reach four under, which currently has him in a tie for 17th. He’s been a ghost at the majors since his 2017 Masters win, so it’s nice to see him hanging around at the top of the board again.
8:33 a.m.: It appears as though we made the grave mistake of getting too excited about a Rory McIlroy charge. On cue, he misses a three-foot par putt, dropping his second shot of the day. He’s now eight back.
8:18 a.m.: Here comes Rory! In the least surprising news ever, the four-time major champ is making an early Saturday morning run, going out in four-under 31 to get to four under for the championship. It’s a mini run, but a run nonetheless. If he can have an equally explosive back nine, he might just be able to sneak back into this thing. But for now, he’s still seven off the lead.
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