Jon Super
July 17, 2015

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) The Latest from the 144th British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews (all times local):

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9:50 p.m.

Dustin Johnson ended the day the same way he began it, with the lead in the British Open.

He didn't finish his round, though, after a day on the Old Course filled with rain, wind, cold and finally the gloom of night.

Johnson made it through 13 holes before play was finally called as darkness enveloped the Old Course at St. Andrews. He was 10-under, a shot ahead of England's Danny Willett, who was in the clubhouse at 9-under 135.

Johnson's playing partner, Jordan Spieth, was at 5-under in his quest to add the Open title to the Masters and U.S. Open he won earlier this year. Former champion Paul Lawrie and Jason Day were at 8 under.

They will return Saturday morning to finish their round before the cut is made and the field redrawn.

A rain delay of more than 3 hours just 14 minutes after play began in the second round left 42 players still on the course when play finished.

Among those who did finish was 65-year-old Tom Watson, who walked across the Swilcan Bridge for the last time as a player. Watson stopped at the top of the bridge on the 18th hole for photos and was cheered as he walked up the fairway with a wide smile on his face by the few hundred fans still left in the cold and dark.

Tiger Woods finished 11 holes with seemingly no shot at making the cut in a tie for 129th at 5-over. The cut was expected to be even par.

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8:35 p.m.

What could be worse for Tiger Woods than missing a second straight cut in a major at the British Open?

How about having to wait until Saturday morning to do it.

A miserable year continued for Woods in the second round of the Open, where he showed no sign of doing anything to rebound from his opening round of 4-over 76. While playing partners Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen were vying to get on the first page of the leaderboard, Woods was going the other way.

Worse yet, Woods was playing late after not teeing off until about 6 p.m. because of a three-hour rain delay. He will not finish his round Friday, and will have to come back early Saturday morning when he has almost no chance of making a cut projected to be even par.

Woods, who made only one birdie in his opening round, didn't have any on his front nine and was 6-over for the tournament at the turn.

Woods has not won a golf tournament in nearly two years. His last major championship win came in 2008 when he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

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8:05 p.m.

Hideki Matsuyama could be forgiven for feeling like the odd man out in the duel between his playing partners, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.

The way he started out his second round in the British Open, though, it looked like Matsuyama wanted to get noticed himself.

Japan's best player birdied his first four holes and five of his first seven to move into contention on the Old Course. He was at 5 under, five shots back of Johnson and just one back of Spieth.

Matsuyama could manage only an even par 72 in Thursday's first round, when Johnson took the lead with a 65 and Spieth had a 67. But while all eyes were on the two players who battled for the U.S. Open title last month, Matsuyama made some noise himself.

Johnson, meanwhile, took over the sole lead with his third birdie of the front nine, getting to 10-under-par through eight holes.

The threesome, which didn't tee off until nearly 6 p.m. because of a rain delay, will play until dark, then return Saturday morning to finish their second round.

Among those who have finished two rounds, Englishman Danny Willett was a shot behind Johnson at 8-under-par.

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7:25 p.m.

Dustin Johnson is showing no signs of slowing down in his bid to erase memories of his misfortune at the U.S. Open with a win in the British Open.

Johnson pulled into a tie for the lead with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes at St. Andrews, moving to 9-under-par for the tournament. He was tied there with Englishman Danny Willett, who finished his second round earlier.

Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, fell off the pace with a 3-putt bogey on the fifth hole. It was a two shot swing between the playing partners who dueled last month at Chambers Bay, leaving Spieth five shots back.

There was no chance the two would finish their second round, after waiting 3 hours and 14 minutes for the rain to stop and water to clear from the Old Course. They were to play until dark before returning Saturday morning to finish the round.

Spieth is chasing his third consecutive major championship after winning the Masters and U.S. Open. Johnson, who 3-putted on the final hole at Chambers Bay to finish second, has never won a major.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, was 1-over for the day through four holes and seemed destined to miss the cut after shooting 76 in his first round.

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6:30 p.m.

Nick Faldo pulled out an old sweater, and took a familiar walk.

The last one, at least in competition, he'll take over the famed Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole at St. Andrews.

Never known for his sentimentality, the three-time British Open champion let his emotions show, at least a bit. After hitting his tee shot on the 18th hole, Faldo donned a bright yellow sweater he wore when winning his first Open at Muirfield in 1987.

He posed on top of the famed Swilcan Bridge, both arms in the air, as if he had won another Open. Then he invited his son, Matthew, who was also his caddie, up for a father-son photo.

Soon, Faldo - who shot 71 after an opening 83 to miss the cut - was posing with playing partners Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler on the bridge, too.

A few hundred feet away, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth took a break from putting on the first tee to applaud. So did the fans in the huge grandstands lining the final two holes at the Old Course.

Faldo, who now works as a commentator for CBS, had said he would let it be known when he crossed the bridge whether this was his last Open. Afterward, he didn't commit.

But the yellow sweater and big smile said it all.

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5:48 p.m.

Finally, the star pairing in the British Open is out on the Old Course.

Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth spent most of the day waiting, but by the time they got to the first tee the sun was out and there was still some golf to be played.

The players who tangled last month at the U.S. Open won't finish their second rounds before dark, but the 3-hour, 14-minute rain delay might have been worth it. The wind that was expected to howl in the afternoon had somewhat subsided as they teed off just before 6 p.m., both making pars on the short par-4 first.

Johnson slept on the overnight lead after shooting a 65 Thursday morning, though he was two behind Danny Willett when he finally began play. Spieth, who added the U.S. Open title to his Masters crown when Johnson 3-putted the last hole at Chambers Bay, wasn't far behind at 67.

Even with play still possible until about 10 p.m. Johnson and Spieth won't finish on a day when rounds were averaging more than five hours. Both will have to come back Saturday morning to finish their second rounds before the field is pared down.

Tiger Woods, playing two groups behind Johnson and Spieth, will also have to finish Saturday. Unless he rallies it may be his last round after a first round 76 left him in danger of missing the cut.

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5:30 p.m.

Thank goodness for a good hotel on the golf course.

Clubhouse leader Danny Willett said he was up at 5 a.m. exercising and watching the rain pour down as play briefly started before a delay of more than three hours.

Instead of having to sit in the locker room, though, he hopped on a shuttle to the Old Course Hotel just off the 17th hole and laid down on his bed for an hour or so before beginning his pre-round routine again.

The routine worked, as the Englishman shot a 69 to get to 9-under midway through the tournament.

Geoff Ogilvy said he also went back to his room, had some breakfast and sat around for a few hours before walking back across the course to the driving range.

Other players improvised as well during a storm that created large ponds on the 18th hole.

Padraig Harrington said he slept for an hour and a half in a European Tour van, happy he wasn't forced to go on the course in the squall. Scotland's Marc Warren, who knows a few things about weather in these parts, went to his car and sat watching some TV and listening to music before dozing off a bit.

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4:10 p.m.

It's still early, quite early in a second round at a British Open that was delayed three hours this morning by rain.

But there is a clubhouse leader, with England's Danny Willett giving the big names a target to shoot at with a 3-under 69 that put him at 9-under-par midway through the Open at St. Andrews.

Willett, having a breakthrough season with a win in South Africa and his first appearance in the Masters, now has something else on his resume: A spot on top of the leaderboard of his country's Open.

He got it by going low early, then hanging on as the wind started to pick up on the back nine of the Old Course. Bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17 cost him a couple of shots, but the 27-year-old rolled in a 12-footer for birdie on the final hole to go two shots ahead of other early finishers, Zach Johnson and Scotland's own Marc Warren.

Phil Mickelson looked like he was going to make a run, getting to 5-under through 10, but a double bogey at the par-3 11th slowed his momentum.

First-round leader Dustin Johnson wasn't scheduled to tee off until nearly 6 p.m., playing with Jordan Spieth, the winner of the Masters and U.S. Open.

Also waiting to play was Tiger Woods, who has a lot of work to do if he is going to remain in Scotland much longer. Woods shot a 76 in his opening round to tie for 139th, and is in danger of missing the cut for the second straight major.

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3:05 p.m.

Despite predictions that afternoon winds would wreak havoc on the world's best players, the Old Course at St. Andrews remains there for the taking.

The winds so far haven't been as bad as forecast. The play has been even better.

England's Danny Willett became the first player to get to double digits under par, making birdie on the 10th hole to get to 10 under in his second round. Willett, who has won just once in seven years on the European Tour, was 4 under for the day through 13 holes, following his opening 66.

Heavy rains that forced postponement of the second round for more than three hours helped to soften the course even more, and players were taking advantage. Among them was Phil Mickelson, who was 2 under through eight holes and 4 under for the tournament.

While the early players were out making birdies, some of the biggest names were still having lunch. First-round leader Dustin Johnson wasn't scheduled to tee off until nearly 6 p.m., playing with Jordan Spieth, the winner of the Masters and U.S. Open.

Also waiting to play was Tiger Woods, who has a lot of work to do if he is going to make the cut. Woods shot a 76 in his opening round to tie for 139th, and is in danger of missing the cut for the second straight major.

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1:55 p.m.

It looks like Tiger Woods will get a chance to play on the weekend at the British Open.

Just not the way he planned it.

A rain delay of more than three hours Friday pushed tee times back, meaning Woods and playing partners Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen almost surely will not finish their second round before dark.

For Day and Oosthuizen, that means getting up a bit earlier than planned on Saturday to finish their second rounds and prepare for their remaining 36 holes. For Woods, it likely means turning in his scorecard and telling his pilot to gas up the private jet for a late morning getaway.

Woods, who missed the cut badly after an opening 80 at the U.S. Open last month, played almost as poorly in the first round of the British on Thursday on his way to a 4-over 76. That left him in a tie for 139th and in need of a huge rally to make the cut.

Woods acknowledged as much after his first round, saying he hoped that bad weather would force a lot of players into making mistakes and that he would be able to move up on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for Woods, the rains that caused the round to be postponed further softened the course and it was playing relatively easy for the early players.

It will be two years next month since Woods last won a tournament, and he hasn't won a major since capturing the U.S. Open in 2008.

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12:50 p.m.

Former champion Paul Lawrie isn't the only Scot with an eye on winning a British Open on home turf.

Marc Warren, a journeyman who has made only one cut in two previous Opens, moved into contention Friday with a string of early birdies on an Old Course that once again was there for the taking.

Warren made three birdies in a four-hole stretch beginning at No. 4 to get to 7 under on the front nine, after opening with a 68. Lawrie, who won at Carnoustie when Jean Van de Velde famously imploded in 1999, had a later tee time after his opening 66.

The sun came out occasionally and winds were generally tame when play began after a 3 hour, 14 minute delay caused by heavy rains that turned areas of the 18th hole into small ponds.

Warren was among those on the course enjoying early success, briefly tied for the lead at 7 under with Zach Johnson, Danny Willett, and first-round leader Dustin Johnson.

Dustin Johnson was in a pairing with Jordan Spieth set to tee off late in the afternoon, when winds were expected to pick up. Spieth is chasing the third leg of the Grand Slam of golf majors, something no modern player has ever accomplished.

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12:10 p.m.

Phil Mickelson wants an even playing field, or at least as even as you can get when the luck of the draw can play a big role in where you stand going into the weekend of the British Open.

Mickelson had an afternoon tee time in his first round Thursday, forcing him to play in the worst of the wind. While the early starters took advantage of soft and mild conditions, he struggled on the incoming holes for a 2-under 70 that left him five shots off the lead held by Dustin Johnson.

Mickelson was supposed to go out Friday morning, but a rain delay pushed his tee time back just past noon. Still, the winds were relatively calm as his time approached, though they were expected to pick up in the afternoon.

''You need an element of luck if you're going to do well in this tournament,'' Mickelson said after the first round. ''You need the luck of the draw. You just can't be given a disadvantage, a significant disadvantage the first two days.''

The last time the Open was at St. Andrews in 2010, Mickelson thought he was put at a disadvantage when play was stopped for players behind him in the afternoon on Friday because winds were so strong that balls weren't staying on the greens. He warned after his first round that he would be unhappy if tournament officials did that again, when the leaders from Thursday were scheduled to play.

''If it picks up and blows and gusts like it could very well in the afternoon, it could even itself out,'' Mickelson said. ''But if they call play, that would be very disappointing.''

Mickelson's last win was at the Open two years ago, when he roared from behind with four birdies in the last six holes to get his name on the claret jug for the first time.

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11 a.m.

Tom Watson thrilled massive crowds here over the years, winning five British Opens and nearly pulling off a victory for the ages when he lost in a playoff in 2009 at Turnberry.

With a weather delay Friday, he could play his last Open with just a smattering of fans to watch him cross the Swilcan Bridge for one final time.

Watson doesn't figure to make the cut after shooting 76 in the first round on an Old Course that played long for the 65-year-old. With a weather delay of more than three hours, he will either finish his last round when it is nearly dark or else have to come back early Saturday for a few final shots.

Either way, it could be anti-climactic for the player who cried on the 18th hole at St. Andrews a decade ago when he was paired with Jack Nicklaus in his final Open round. This will be Watson's last Open after 38 appearances, the first of which he won in 1975.

''There is a certain sense of melancholy. You can sense that. The regret that it's over,'' Watson said this week. ''It's a little bit like death. The finality of the end is here. But what tempers that very much are the memories and the people I've met along the way.''

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10:10 a.m.

They're off again at soggy St. Andrews, after a rain delay that means the second round of the British Open won't be completed until Saturday morning.

Play was suspended for 3 hours, 14 minutes Friday after storms moved in and dumped large amounts of rain on the Old Course. Parts of the 18th hole were so flooded that teams of workers with push brooms swept ankle-deep water into the Swilcan Burn.

Forecasters are predicting more inclement weather, including some blustery showers later in the day along with strong winds.

The delay will force some players to return Saturday morning to complete their second rounds. That will almost surely include first-round leader Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who originally had a mid-afternoon tee time but are now scheduled to go off just before 6 p.m.

Johnson shot a 65 on Thursday to take the early lead, while Spieth, who is going for the third leg of a Grand Slam no modern golfer has ever won, had a 67.

Tiger Woods was two groups behind Johnson and Spieth, and in danger of missing the cut after a first-round 76.

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9:30 a.m.

A little rain - make that a lot of rain - isn't going to stop the best players in the world in the British Open.

Play is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. in a second round that earlier lasted only 14 minutes before being postponed because of heavy rains that soaked the Old Course and flooded parts of the 18th hole.

The delay of a little more than three hours means all players won't complete their second rounds Friday. That will likely include first-round leader Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who originally had a mid-afternoon tee time.

Johnson shot a 65 on Thursday to take the early lead, while Spieth, who is going for the third leg of a Grand Slam no modern golfer has ever won, had a 67.

Tiger Woods was two groups behind Johnson and Spieth, and in danger of missing the cut after a first-round 76.

Heavy rains in the early morning hours left large pools of water on the 18th, forcing workers with brooms to try and sweep it into the Swilcan Burn, which before Friday was the only water on the course.

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8:45 a.m.

The huge grandstands are deserted. The area around the famous Swilcan Bridge looks more like a lake than a links.

Heavy rain forced postponement of play Friday at the British Open, where weather always seems to play a factor one way or another in the outcome.

The good news in the forecast was that the rain would ease by late morning, and the ground of the Old Course tends to dry quickly. The bad news for the players is the rain is supposed to be followed by winds of up to 35 mph (55 kph) and possible blustery showers in the late afternoon.

First-round leader Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who is going for the third leg of the Grand Slam, might do well sleeping in. They had mid-afternoon tee times to begin with, and the delay will push those back even further.

Forecasters say Saturday will bring more rain, with wind gusts of up to 45 mph (70 kph). Things are supposed to be a bit better on Sunday, though there's still a good chance of some rain to make things interesting.

But this is Scotland, so that's nothing new.

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7:20 a.m.

The second round of the British Open lasted all of 14 minutes before play was stopped on Friday.

Those players who had to face the stronger, tougher wind in the first round didn't get much of a reprieve when they returned to the Old Course at St. Andrews. It was still blowing. And it was raining.

It's all about being on the right side of the draw in the British Open. And at the moment, it looks like Jordan Spieth was on the right side as he goes for the third leg of the Grand Slam. The Masters and U.S. Open champion played Thursday morning in the easier scoring conditions. Spieth shot 67 and was two behind Dustin Johnson, who played in the same group.

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