The dust has settled and the players show survived the cut are getting down to business. They even the players who are 9 stokes back understand that a low round of 64 or 63 will put them back into the hunt. So holding back is not an option today. Conversely, those at the top of the leader board will likely play an aggressive conservative approach to their round. Take advantage when they can and protect their score the rest of the time! Moving day at The Open will be great to watch!
One of the interesting aspects of Carnoustie Golf Course is the bunkering and the water hazards. As a Canadian, most of our courses are relatively flat with a few bunkers around the green and very little water to contend with. Additionally, our greens are fairly flat compare to Carnoustie and very small. It is not unusual to watch players at The Open have 70 foot putts with two or three break changes. This is unheard of where I play. The mental difficulty of playing a course like Carnoustie is compounded by the sheer beauty and architecture of the course.
I have to say that I like the coverage on The Open App. It offers two free streaming views: Featured group (at 6 am EST, is Bryson Dechambeau and Henrik Stenson) and the turn holes 8,9,and 10. Additionally, they use animation to set up the holes and to follow the ball flight of the players. The announcers talk just enough to make it interesting, but not over powering to detract from the golf. If you are on the road or are not near a TV, I recommend you down load The Open App and get plugged in.
At the end of today’s play, I expect the leaderboard to move around. Of course, I am hoping to see Tommy Fleetwood at the top, but I am not sure if Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner will be their. Expect they will be in the top 5, but will lose ground to someone who will shoot low and move up from around 6th place.
The top three movers today are likely to be:
Tommy Fleetwood: he knows the course and currently holds the course record. He is riding high from yesterday’s lowest round of the day and his final round at the US Open. This might be his year.
Rory McIlroy: Rory is ready to regain his form of old. If he even remotely shows up then he will be tough to beat. His short game is stellar and putting is strong. Keeping his ball in play will be his key today. I expect he will shot a 65 or 66 if the course conditions stay relatively calm.
Xander Schauffele: We hear his name quite often of late. At 24, he is has all the makings of a star on the PGA Tour. I have not watched him much over the past year, but he is definitely on my radar. Consistency of play is key to his success today. With only 24 putts in round two, this is one part of his game he needs to keep going.
Matt Kuchar: he is my dark horse pick. Currently at 4 under, this quiet player seems to always hand around the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately, he is not the giant killer one would expect from a player with such a smooth game. He is definitely a player who can play aggressively conservative. Kuchar just my sneak up and be at the top of the leaderboard today.
Moving day at The Open is great fun. I like to watch players evaluate the risk reward of every shot and see how the navigate the course. The top players above are my pick as movers and shakers on moving day at the Open.
Who are your big picks for today?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!