Day 2 of The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes saw a flurry of action on the leaderboard, with Aussie Adam Scott holding firm near the top of the leaderboard. Now sitting in second place behind American Brandt Snedeker, Adam is joined by 5 other Aussies to make the cut: Greg Chalmers (T15), Geoff Ogilvy (T28), John Senden (T40), Aaron Baddeley (T51) and Brendan Jones making it “on the number” with +3 total (T68).
Highlights of the day:
Of the other Aussies, Ashley Hall followed up a topsy-turvy first round one-over 71 with a 75 on Friday, but having tasted golf at the top he plans to be back.
“Traditionally, I’d be sitting back at home saying ‘those three guys from Australia didn’t do so good’ because normally the guys from IFQ in Australia and Africa don’t do that good, and maybe it is because they’ve had this long six months to think about it,” he said.
“There has been such a big buildup. If I qualified two weeks ago, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but because I’ve known for six months, it has been there.”
“But there isn’t any other time to play it, so you have to get on with it.”
On Thursday Hall followed a six-over outward nine with a brilliant five-under return, proving — if ever proof was needed — that he has the game to compete with the best.
He’ll take that thought with him on the long flight back home, and then take a break for a family wedding in Perth before teeing it up again in OneAsia’s Thailand Open at Suwan Golf & Country Club from August 9-12.
“All I have to do is think about what I did so good on the back nine yesterday and try forget the rest,” he said.
“I’ll try and focus on what I was doing, and why, because I’ll want some good results for the rest of the year.”
Hall said a big difference between the two rounds was also the hole locations.
“Some of the pin positions were a bit harder to get at today,” he said. “There were quite a few right on top of mounds, or right beside them, and so were quite tricky to get to.
“Today knocked me around a bit. I didn’t have quite what I had yesterday, but I still tried to stay positive. I told my dad (who was caddying for him) that all I needed to do was get to three over, maybe, but it didn’t quite happen on the back nine.”
Another Aussie making his Major début, Nick Cullen finished his second round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes with a memorable 18-foot birdie putt, but his one-over 71 for a tournament total of +4 saw him miss the cut by one shot.
The 18th proved Cullen’s downfall in the opening round when he took three shots to get out of a bunker (there are 206 scattered around the course) leaving him with a triple-bogey on a card he admitted did not contain much pretty golf.
“Today I hit it a lot better, I hit a lot of greens,” said Cullen, who won the first event on the OneAsia schedule this year, the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open, and currently lies second on the Order of Merit with earnings of U.S. $180,686.00.
“I had a lot of chances, but I did not hole a thing. I missed a lot of putts.
“I think I hit, maybe, nine out of the last ten greens — and a lot of them were really close. I missed a lot of eight, nine footers, but didn’t hole a thing until the last.”
That said, Cullen knows he can draw on what he has learnt in the past week.
“It is obviously a good experience. You know what you have to do and I didn’t quite do it this week,” he said.
“But I’m not too far away, and coming into Thailand I know its my next event and I’ll be ready.”
Cullen intends ditching his errant putter before the OneAsia Thailand Open at Suwan Golf and Country Club from August 9-12.
“I played well enough today to shoot a good score, but I just didn’t putt well,” he said.
“So I’ll be changing my putter after this week and hopefully with a new one it will work better.”
A first taste of the Open, playing alongside the biggest names in golf, has left Cullen with an appetite for the big league.
“This is where you want to be, four times a year, playing the majors, and playing events with all the top players in the world,” he said.
“It is what you play for and what you practice for.”