Snedeker seizes command at Open
Lytham - AFP
Friday, 20 July 2012 23:35 GMT
American Brandt Snedeker took command of the British Open with a stunning six-under par 64 in Friday’s second round, matching the low 36-hole total in Open history and the 18-hole course record.
The 31-year-old American, who missed the cut in each of his three prior British Open starts, reached the clubhouse on 10-under 130, four strokes ahead of first-day leader Adam Scott and Paul Lawrie of Scotland.
On a day when challenging conditions sent scores soaring, steady Snedeker birdied six of the first 12 holes and parred in from there, solving Royal Lytham for his second round in a row without a bogey, the only player in the field who managed the feat.
Snedeker, who withdrew from last month’s US Open after suffering a cracked rib on the right side of his chest from severe coughing, equalled the record two-round low set by Nick Faldo in 1992 at Muirfield. While the American threatened to run away with the lead in his quest for a first major title, World No. 1 Luke Donald of England, eight strokes adrift, warned that the tricky links layout would offer more issues at the weekend.
“It’s never easy playing with a lead,” Donald said. “It’s one of those courses you can be a little bit off and struggle.” A host of late leaderboard starters were with Scott and Lawrie on the front nine, including 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, seeking his first major title since 2008.
They included 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, three-time major winner Ernie Els, past US Open champion Graeme McDowell and reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson. Scott, a 32-year-old Australian seeking his first major title, fired a 64 on Thursday to match the course record set by Tom Lehman.