The first two days of the British Open at Royal St. George’s Golf Club were filled with red numbers, and not much margin for error.
As the sun set on Friday, and a friendly 36 holes concluded, 52 players were under par. Another 12 settled at even (140) and another 13 fell one-stroke over ... and they closed the gates behind them.
The remaining 78 visitors to the storied golf club are now free to roam about the country, having exceeded the 1-over cutline. Still another, Will Zalatoris, injured his back during the first round and withdrew on Friday morning.
The vanquished included a number of recognizable names, and several past championship winners. Phil Mickelson, 51, who stunned the golf world with his PGA Championship win in May, shot a second-round 72 and departed the last major of the season at 12 over. Mickelson captured the championship at Muirfield in 2013.
Darren Clarke, a 42-year old winner at Royal St. George’s in 2011, went home with a two-day total of 6 over. Two more past British Open champs, Ernie Els and Stewart Cink, also failed to advance. The 48-year old Cink’s exit was especially surprising, given his opening round of 4-under 66. But a subsequent 77 spelled doom and a total of 3 over. The 51-year-old Els, who won British Opens in 2002 and 2012, shot 72-72 to finish at 4 over.
More past British Open winners bit the dust at 2 over, including Francesco Molinari (2018), Henrik Stenson (2014) and Martin Kaymer (2014). Other major championship winners going home included Keegan Bradley (2 over), Jimmy Walker (2 over), Patrick Reed (3 over), Jason Day (5 over) and Lucas Glover (5 over).
Marc Leishman, who has three top-10s in the British Open and tied for second in 2015, also fell on his sword, one shot guilty at 2 over. Tyrrell Hatton and Patrick Cantlay, two players considered championship threats at the outset, also missed the cut.
The turbulent Hatton stomped on an iron after hitting a poor shot, and suffered a fatal bogey at No. 17 on Friday, dropping to 2 over. Cantlay (3 over) tried to rebound from an opening 74, but his 69 on Friday came up short.
On the flipside, amateurs Matthias Schmid (1 under) and Yuxin Lin (1 over) both made the grade. Schmid did so in spectacular fashion, shooting a second-round 65 to match Tom Lewis’ record for the lowest amateur round in British Open history. Lewis shot his 65 in the opening round at Royal St. George’s in 2011.
More Day 2 British Open Coverage from Morning Read:
- Oosthuizen Leads, Spieth Lurks Through Two Rounds at British Open
- One Day After Ripping His Equipment, Bryson DeChambeau Says He 'Feels Really Bad About It'
- Could a Brit Finally Win a British Open? Several Contenders Have a Shot
- Morikawa Takes Run at Open Scoring Record, Shoots 64 to Surge Into Contention
- From Challenge Tour to British Open, Marcel Siem Plays Way into Contention
- Amateur Matthias Schmid Etches Name in Open Lore With Second-Round 65
- Will Zalatoris WD From Open, One Day After Painful Shot Out of Deep Rough
- Bryson DeChambeau Rips Gear, Says Driver 'Sucks' After Uneven Opening Round