HOYLAKE, England — Masters champion Bubba Watson and a number of former British Open winners, including two-time champion Ernie Els, three-time winner Nick Faldo and Padraig Harrington, were among those missing the cut Friday.
Watson finished his morning round well before the cut of 2-over 146 was determined. But he figured his 4-over total after rounds of 76 and 72 would not see him playing the weekend, saying, "I can't wait to get back to see my wife and child."
The cut hit American former champions hard. John Daly, who won at St. Andrews in 1995, Justin Leonard (1997), David Duval (2001), Ben Curtis (2003) and Todd Hamilton (2004) all left early, as did two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, who was the runnerup at the U.S. Open.
John Singleton, a factory worker from 10 minutes down the road who got into the Open via local qualifying, can go back to his day job with his head held high after shooting 78-70 and missing the cut by only two.
BUBBA TV: Watson said the only golf — outside the Masters — he watches on TV in America is the LPGA Tour because "they're always positive.'' He added: "It would be rare to hear a negative comment. I hate the negative comments. I mean, guys are trying their hardest. We always hear, 'Oh, that's terrible,' and this and that. 'I did this when I was 17 years old. Shot 63 before.' That's why I don't watch coverage anymore. There's too much negative stuff going on in the world — not just golf, the whole world. Just can't even watch the stuff."
tee for two: A two-tee start will be used for the first time in the tournament's 154-year history because heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast. Tournament official David Rickman said play today is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT) off the first and 10th tees. The compressed schedule will allow for up to five hours of delays and enable the third round to be completed.
good old tom: The ovations from the packed galleries remain as warm as ever for Tom Watson. His scoring continues to be just as impressive, too. The 64-year-old extended his record of being the oldest to make the cut at the game's oldest major when he shot 1-over 73. That put him at 2-over 146, on the cut line. "Let's see what happens on the weekend," the five-time British Open winner said, with that glint in his eye. "See if the old guy can maybe get it rolling a little bit." Watson, who has never won at Royal Liverpool, needed a par 5 at 18 to stay for another two days and, to the delight of the spectators filling the horseshoe stand around the green, he avoided trouble and made it with ease.