2017 Open Championship

The second round was suspended at 5:30 p.m. due to heavy rain, resuming 15 minutes later at 5:45 p.m.

The Open Championship marks the 15th event this season with some form of suspension/delay.

36-Hole Cut
76 professionals and one amateur at 5-over 145 from a field of 151 professionals and five amateurs.

At the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, the cut came at 9-over 149 with 83 players advancing.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Second-Round Leaderboard
Jordan Spieth           65-69—134 (-6)
Matt Kuchar             65-71—136 (-4)
Ian Poulter             67-70—137 (-3)
Brooks Koepka           65-72—137 (-3)
Richie Ramsay           68-70—138 (-2)

Jordan Spieth
One day following a bogey-free 5-under 65, Jordan Spieth carded a 1-under 69 to move to 6-under 134 (matching the 36-hole record at Royal Birkdale) and into sole possession of the lead by two strokes over Matt Kuchar.

Spieth (65-69) has now opened major championships with two rounds in the 60s three times in his career, going on to win the first two: 2015 Masters and U.S. Open.

Spieth’s previous best opening 36-hole score at The Open was 139, leading to a T4 finish at St. Andrews in 2015. In major championships, Spieth’s best first 36-hole score is 130 (64-66 en route to winning The Masters in 2015).

Spieth is making his fifth start at The Open Championship (T30-2016, T4-2015, T36-2014, T44-2013).

Spieth’s opening-round scoring average at The Open is 68.60. By comparison, he entered the day with a second-round average of 74.00, outperforming that average by five strokes Friday.

With his win at the 2017 Travelers Championship, Spieth collected his 10th career PGA TOUR title in his 120th start at the age of 23 years, 10 months, 29 days. He joined Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era with 10 PGA TOUR wins before the age of 24. Woods had 15 before he turned 24.

Players with Most PGA TOUR Wins Under the Age of 24 (since 1983)
Player  Wins
Tiger Woods     15
Jordan Spieth   10
Rory McIlroy    6
Justin Thomas   4
Phil Mickelson  4

Spieth is seeking to join Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win three legs of the grand slam before the age of 24. Nicklaus won the 1963 PGA Championship at the age of 23 years, 6 months. By comparison, Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open (his third leg en route to the grand slam) at the age of 24 years, 5 months, 19 days.

A victory for Spieth on Sunday would come in his 121st PGA TOUR start at the age of 23 years, 11 months and 26 days. He is set to turn 24 next week (July 27).

This marks Spieth’s 10th 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. Of the previous nine, he was able to convert for the win at the 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2016 SBS Tournament of Champions, 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and 2017 Travelers Championship.

Spieth’s 36-hole leads/co-leads         Result
2013 Quicken Loans National                     6th
2014 Farmers Insurance Open                     T19
2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am           T4
2015 Masters Tournament                 Won
2015 U.S. Open                          Won
2016 SBS Tournament of Champions                Won
2016 Masters Tournament                 T2
2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am           Won
2017 Travelers Championship                     Won
2017 Open Championship                  TBD

Overall, Spieth has now held the lead/co-lead 11 times in major championships (three times after the first round, four times after the second round and four times after the third round).

Additional career highlights: In 2015, Spieth became the youngest winner of the FedExCup and of the TOUR Championship (22 years, 2 months)…With his win at the 2013 John Deere Classic, Spieth became the youngest PGA TOUR winner since 1931, winning less than two weeks before his 20th birthday. That same season, he earned a Captain’s Pick for the U.S. Presidents Cup Team and was voted Rookie of the Year.

Second-Round Leader Statistics
At The Open, the second-round leader/co-leader has held on to win 46 times, most recently Rory McIlroy in 2014.

A year ago, Phil Mickelson followed an opening-round 8-under 63 with a 2-under 69 to maintain the lead at The Open Championship. Eventual champion Henrik Stenson was alone in second place, one stroke back.

The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 16 of 35 stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR this season, most recently Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.

In nine previous Open Championships held at Royal Birkdale, Lee Trevino (1971) is the only 36-hole leader/co-leader to eventually step into the winner’s circle.

Second-round leaders/co-leaders at Royal Birkdale with eventual finish:
2017    Jordan Spieth           65-69—134 (TBD)
2008    K.J. Choi               72-67—139 (T16)
1998    Brian Watts             68-69—137 (2)
1991    Gary Hallberg           68-70—138 (T32)
Andy Oldcorn            71-67—138 (T64)
Michael Harwood 68-70—138 (2)
1983    Craig Stadler           64-70—134 (T12)
1976    Seve Ballesteros        69-69—138 (T2)
1971    Lee Trevino             69-70—139 (1)
Tony Jacklin            69-70—139 (3)
1965    Tony Lema               68-72—140 (T5)
Bruce Devlin            71-69—140 (T8)
1961    Harold Henning          68-74—142 (T10)
Dai Rees                68-74—142 (T10)
1954    Thomas Spence   69-72—141 (T12)

The lowest opening 36-hole score at The Open Championship is 130, set by Nick Faldo at Muirfield in 1992 and Brandt Snedeker at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012. The lowest opening 36-hole score at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale is 134, set by Craig Stadler in 1983 and matched this year by Jordan Spieth.

The lowest second round at The Open Championship is 63, set by Mark Hayes (1977), Greg Norman (1986) and Nick Faldo (1993). The lowest second round at The Open hosted at Royal Birkdale is 65 by Camilo Villegas in 2008.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar (2nd) opened with rounds of 65-71—136 (-4), equaling his second-best opening 36-hole score in major championships. The only time he went lower through 36 holes was at the 2013 PGA Championship (133).

Kuchar owns eight top-10 finishes in 46 previous major starts, led by a T3 at the 2012 Masters Tournament.

This week marks Kuchar’s 13th start at The Open, with his lone top-10 finish coming in 2012 (T9). He struggled early at The Open, missing the cut in his first five starts, but has since reeled off seven made cuts in his last eight starts.

A seven-time PGA TOUR winner, Kuchar is in search of his first win on TOUR since the 2014 RBC Heritage. So far this season he has collected four top-10 finishes in 18 starts, led by T4 finishes at the Masters Tournament and the Memorial Tournament. He currently is No. 35 in the FedExCup standings.

Brooks Koepka
A 2-over 72 dropped Brooks Koepka out of a three-way tie for the lead and into a tie for third with Ian Poulter. The U.S. Open champion will enter the weekend trailing Jordan Spieth by three strokes.

Koepka’s 72 snapped a streak of seven-consecutive under-par rounds in major championships.

Koepka is seeking to become the first player since Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters Tournament, U.S. Open) to win two majors in one year. Overall, 19 players have won two majors in a season (32 times). Here’s a list of players who have performed the feat since 1990:
Player (# of times won two)     Year    Majors
Jordan Spieth                   2015    Masters, U.S. Open
Rory McIlroy                    2014    Open Championship, PGA Championship
Padraig Harrington              2008    Open Championship, PGA Championship
Tiger Woods (4)                 2006    Open Championship, PGA Championship
Tiger Woods (3)                 2005    Masters, Open Championship
Tiger Woods (2)                 2002    Masters, U.S. Open
Tiger Woods                     2000    U.S. Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship
Mark O’Meara                    1998    Masters, Open Championship
Nick Price                      1994    Open Championship, PGA Championship
Nick Faldo                      1990    Masters, Open Championship

Players who have won the U.S. Open and Open Championship back-to-back in the same season (5): Tiger Woods (2000), Tom Watson (1982), Lee Trevino (1971), Gene Sarazen (1932), Bobby Jones (1926, 1930).

In all, 18 players have won the U.S. Open and Open Championship in their career, most recently Rory McIlroy when he followed up his 2011 U.S. Open win with a victory at the 2014 Open Championship.

Additional Player Notes
Ian Poulter, at 3-under 137 after rounds of 67-70, will enter the weekend of The Open Championship inside the top 10 (T3) for just the second time (9th in 2002) in 16 starts at this event. His best finish came in 2008 (at Royal Birkdale), finishing runner-up to Padraig Harrington by four strokes.

Richie Ramsay, a three-time winner on the European Tour and 2006 U.S. Amateur Champion, enters the weekend at 2-under 138 (solo fifth) after rounds of 68-70. Ramsey had missed the cut in four of his six previous Open Championship starts, with a T58 in 2013 and T68 in 2015 representing his weekend appearances.

Sitting 5-over through his first six holes in round one, Rory McIlroy (T6) has since played his remaining 30 holes at 6-under, including Friday’s 2-under 68. McIlroy is in search of his fifth major championship (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship).

Richard Bland (T6) is winless in 415 previous European Tour starts, third most starts without a victory on that Tour. He is making his third major championship start, missing the cut at the 2009 U.S. Open and the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello sits T10 (six behind Spieth) as he seeks to join Phil Mickelson (2013) as the only players to win the Scottish Open and Open Championship back-to-back in the same season.

Ernie Els fell to T20 (seven behind Spieth) following a 3-over 73 Friday. The 2002 and 2012 Open champion still managed to make the cut for the 22nd time in 27 Open appearances. Here’s an updated list of the most sub-70 scores in Open Championship history: Els (41), Nick Faldo (37), Jack Nicklaus (33), Tom Watson (30).

2015 Open Championship winner Zach Johnson (T20) turned in the round of the day with a 4-under 66.

2016 Champion Golfer of the Year Henrik Stenson is currently T24 (eight behind Spieth) as he bids to become just the sixth player to post consecutive Open Championship victories since 1960: Padraig Harrington (2007-08), Tiger Woods (2005-06), Tom Watson (1982-83), Lee Trevino (1971-72) and Arnold Palmer (1961-62).

Sergio Garcia (T24) followed a 3-over 73 with a 1-under 69 Friday as he bids for his fourth consecutive top 10 at The Open Championship (T5-2016, T6-2015, T2-2014). Here’s a list of players who have won the Masters Tournament and the Open Championship in the same year (8): Tiger Woods (2005), Mark O’Meara (1998), Nick Faldo (1990), Tom Watson (1977), Gary Player (1974), Jack Nicklaus (1966), Arnold Palmer (1962), Ben Hogan (1953).

Making his 70th major championship start, Steve Stricker (T24 at 2-over 142) made his 25th consecutive cut in a major, the current best streak in golf. His best finishes in majors came at the 1998 PGA Championship (2nd) and 2016 Open Championship (4th). Stricker owns three top-10s at The Open, including a T7 at Royal Birkdale in 2008.

On his 40th birthday Friday, Paul Casey followed an opening-round 66 with a 7-over 77 to fall to T35. At Royal Birkdale in 2008, Casey battled back from an opening-round 78 with rounds of 71-73-70 to finish T7. His only other top 10 in 14 Open Championships came at St. Andrews in 2010 (T3).

Chris Wood (T35) holed out for eagle from the fairway on the par-4 18th hole to close with a 2-over 72. The eagle moved him to 3-over 143 through two rounds, ensuring a weekend appearance at Royal Birkdale. Wood had quite the beginning to his Open Championship career, finishing T5 as an amateur in his debut at Royal Birkdale in 2008, followed by a T3 the following year.

Of the five amateurs in the field, Alfie Plant (71-73—144/T45) was the only one who managed to make the cut. Making his debut appearance at The Open Championship, Plant should be able to handle the pressure this weekend. The self-admitted adrenaline junkie’s bio lists past exploits as bungee jumping from the highest bridge in South Africa, diving with Great White Sharks, walking with lions, jumping out of a plane on his 16th birthday and running the 2012 London Marathon. Plant will join Justin Rose (1998) and Chris Wood (2008) as Silver Medal winners over the last three Opens contested at Royal Birkdale.

Padraig Harrington missed the cut by one stroke with rounds of 73-73 (+6). He was seeking to win back-to-back Open Championships hosted at Royal Birkdale. En route to his win in 2008, Harrington carded rounds of 74-68-72-69 to win by four over Ian Poulter.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut following rounds of 73-77 (+10), just the fifth time he has missed the cut in 24 starts at The Open Championship. Mickelson ended his short stay at Royal Birkdale with just four birdies, snapping a streak of 18 straight made cuts on the PGA TOUR. Mickelson is still in search of his 43rd PGA TOUR victory, with his last coming at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

1998 Open Championship winner (at Royal Birkdale) Mark O’Meara followed up an 11-over 81 with an impressive even-par 70 Friday. The missed cut was just the seventh in 31 Open Championship starts for the 60-year-old PGA TOUR Champions member.

John Deere Classic champion Bryson DeChambeau missed the cut with rounds of 76-77 (+13). Just 11 players have followed a PGA TOUR victory with a major victory the following week (or in the next start if no TOUR event was contested the following week). The last player to perform the feat was Rory McIlroy at the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship.

In his 42nd overall appearance and 41st consecutive, Sandy Lyle missed the cut with rounds of 77-76 (+13). The record for most Open Championship appearances is 46 (Gary Player), with Lyle’s 42 ranking second.

Miscellaneous Notes
Royal Birkdale’s scorecard yardage is 7,156 yards. Here’s how long the course has played each round this week: R1 (7,041 yards), R2 (7,088 yards).

Statistical leaders through two rounds: fairways hit (20 of 28: Mark Foster, Prayad Marksaeng), greens hit (26 of 36: Russell Henley), putts (48: Dustin Johnson, Robert Dinwiddie.

Toughest/Easiest hole:
R1: toughest (par-4 sixth, 4.500); easiest (par-5 17th, 4.538).
R2: toughest (par-4 13th, 4.705); easiest (par-5 15th, 4.609).

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Jordan Spieth (65), Matt Kuchar (65), Joost Luiten (68)
R2: None