The British Open has been a sun drenched spectacle of difficulty for many golfers at Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland, but not everyone has been having such a hard time, as Tiger Woods is squarely in contention as the tournament heads into Saturday play, as he sits just one stroke behind Miguel Jimenez for the leaderboard's top spot.
Woods had an even day on Friday in the second round after shooting a two under par on Thursday in the opening round and now he has the chance to go for his first major championship in 20 tries and his first since winning the US Open back in 2008 when he did it in a playoff on basically one knee. Jimenez holds a one stroke lead over Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson and Woods, while a number of other players are close, but only nine are under par for the tournament heading into the weekend.
Woods has played better on Thursday and Friday in recent majors than he has on the weekend, but he has a chance to change that up this weekend in Scotland. Last time on the course at Muirfield Woods put up the worst score of his career, but that appears to be out of his system, as was his performance from last time he was on the course a month ago at the US Open. Woods dealt with an elbow injury in that major and he said he was fine heading into the British Open and that appears to be true, as he was solid all day on Friday.
Woods' biggest challenge was converting a number of par puts on the day and that saved his score and now he sits with a 2-under 140 total heading into Saturday. Woods missed out on the par-5 ninth for a birdie and bogeyed on the 11th hole, but he was able to save par on the 10th, 13th and 14th holes and finished with a solid play on the 18th to get even on the day. Graeme McDowell said Woods looks like he is playing with a winning hand, but both spoke on Friday about the tough conditions on the course.
Charl Schwartzel took the course to task on Friday, saying that the conditions on the day were unfair and basically a "lottery" for the players to deal with. Schwartzel had a very good day and is just one over par, but as he tries to win the Claret Jug he realizes that challenges still lie ahead. Rory McIlroy took himself out of action on the first day with a rough round, while Phil Mickelson is still in contention as play moves to the weekend.
POS START CTRY PLAYER TO PAR TODAY THRU R1 R2 R3 R4 TOT
1 4 Miguel Jimenez -3 E F 68 71 - - 139
T2 15 Henrik Stenson -2 -1 F 70 70 - - 140
T2 27 Lee Westwood -2 -3 F 72 68 - - 140
T2 9 Tiger Woods -2 E F 69 71 - - 140
T2 4 Dustin Johnson -2 +1 F 68 72 - - 140
T6 15 Martin Laird -1 E F 70 71 - - 141
T6 2 Rafael Cabrera Bello -1 +3 F 67 74 - - 141
T6 1 Zach Johnson -1 +4 F 66 75 - - 141
T6 9 Angel Cabrera -1 +1 F 69 72 - - 141
10 27 Ryan Moore E -1 F 72 70 - - 142
T11 9 Jordan Spieth +1 +3 F 69 74 - - 143