News Column

Woods Struggles at Open Championship

July 19, 2013

England's Lee Westwood moved into contention midway through the second round of the Open Championship at Muirfield on Friday, while Tiger Woods battled to stay in touch.

The 40-year-old equalled the low round for the day so far with a 3-under-par 68 to finish 2-under-par, three behind overnight leader Zach Johnson, who had yet to begin his second round.

On greens with a little more give than day one after an overnight watering but a wind totally different from day one, Westwood played near flawless golf on the front nine as he picked up five birdies.

A sixth birdie at the par-three 12th took him to 5-under and a share of the lead. But three bogeys in the last six holes dropped him back alongside Woods, who birdied the last for a 70.

"I made the most of the softer conditions - I wouldn't say they were really soft but it was certainly more scoreable than yesterday - and just picked up birdies where I could," said Westwood, who is chasing his first Major.

Westwood and Woods share a coach in Sean Foley, but the Englishman said he had also been bending the ear of former Open champion Ian Baker Finch for tips on his putting.

"(It's) just been about getting a little bit more connection with my arms and body and a few more tips just to clear my mind, let me hit a nice smooth stroke and let me enjoy what I'm doing," he said.

"I was trying not to give any shots away unnecessarily - you're going to drop shots - but not to make any many massive mistakes and have a lot of patience."

Woods, bidding for his 15th Major but his first in five years, looked solid on the front nine, picking up two birdies with just one bogey.

The birdies dried up on the back nine and one bogey, at the par-four 11th, dropped him back to 1-under-par before a fine birdie at the last put him alongside Westwood and Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Masters champion Adam Scott is not far away after a 72 to add to his first-round 71, leaving him 1-over-par, alongside former Masters winner Charles Schwarzel, who matched Westwood's 68.

Several big names look certain to miss the halfway cut, including Luke Donald, who finished 10-over-par while Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington will have to wait after finishing 6-over.

Two-time champion Rory McIlroy, who shot a 79 on day one, was due to tee off in his second round later in the day.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH