Will wind keep howling? That’s the big question heading to weekend at the British Open

By Paul Newberry, AP
Saturday, July 17, 2010

30 golfers back to finish 2nd round at St. Andrews

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — British Amateur champion Jin Jeong and the other 29 players who returned to St. Andrews on Saturday to finish the second round found the Old Course more to their liking.

Facing only a cool breeze, Jeong birdied the 18th hole to complete a remarkable 2-under 70. Of the last 105 players to tee off in the second round, Jeong, Alejandro Canizares (71) and Darren Clarke (70) were the only players to break par.

Now comes the hard part.

Everyone is still chasing Louis Oosthuisen (WUHST-hy-zen) of South Africa, who missed the wicked wind Friday morning in his round of 5-under 67 that put him at 132 and eventually gave him a five-shot lead over 50-year-old Mark Calcavecchia.

Jeong’s birdie allowed him to join the group at 6-under 138 that included Paul Casey and Lee Westwood and Canizares.

The second round was suspended for about an hour because of fierce winds, which made it impossible for all 156 players to complete 18 holes. It was the first delay at the British Open since 1998 because of high wind.

The cut came at 2-over 146, with 77 players qualifying for the final two rounds. The last player in was 50-year-old Tom Pernice Jr..

Pernice was at 1 over and hit what he thought was the perfect tee shot on the 17th, only to find it about a foot into the deep rough. He hit his second shot into the rough on the right, and his pitch toward the green tumbled off the back and onto the road.

He chipped up to 20 feet and took two putts for double bogey, putting him one over the cut.

“What was I thinking on the 18th tee? Well, I’ve got to give myself a chance,” Pernice said. “I wanted to go left because I didn’t think I could get to the green. The wind was more across.”

He played it perfectly, hit wedge to 3 feet and made birdie. With little turnaround time, he was back out on a course and, playing in a one-man group, promptly made birdie on the first hole.

Not so fortunate was Tom Whitehouse, who birdied the 17th to get within one shot of the cut. But after handling the notorious Road Hole, he failed to birdie the 18th and missed the cut.

Also missing the cut by one shot were Justin Rose, coming off two victories on the PGA Tour, and former Open champion Mark O’Meara, who opened with a 69 but was caught in the wind that topped 40 mph in spots late Friday afternoon.

It all depends on Oosthuizen.

Take the 27-year-old South African out of the mix, and there are 19 players separated by three shots. That includes Tiger Woods, a winner the last two times at St. Andrews. His drive on the par-4 18th late Friday came within inches of hitting the pin, and he settled for a birdie and a 73 that put him at 4-under 140, still eight shots behind Oosthuizen.

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