Date: July 20, 2019
Author: Justin Falconer at Royal Portrush

Day misses by one, Aussies bow out

Jason Day looked an almost certainty to qualify for the weekend at The 2019 Open before a dramatic back nine implosion.

For much of Friday, it seemed the World No.18 would join fellow Queenslander as the only Australians with a weekend tee time at Royal Portrush.

After birdies at 10 and 12, Day was 3-under for the round and 4-under for the tournament.

Standing on the 13th tee, he’d made just one bogey in 30 holes and was only four shots back of then leader JB Holmes.

But everything unravelled over the final six holes for Day and caddy Steve Williams, the 2015 US PGA champ notching four bogeys and a double in the next five holes to torpedo his hopes of lifting the Claret Jug.

Day's week in Northern Ireland ended at 2-over par on the back of a 3-over 74 second round, the cut line holding firm at 1-over.

Day again declined to discuss his round with the media.

Adam Scott needed to go low on Friday afternoon to have any chance of making the cut and a bogey at the par-4 1st set him back.

The 2013 Masters champ responded immediately with back-to-back birdies, but his week effectively ended when he handed those strokes back with bogeys on eight and nine.

An even-par back nine meant Scott eventually carded a 2-over 73 to finish at 9-over for the tournament, missing the cut in a major championship for the first time since last year's US Open.

In another sign he isn’t fully comfortable on the greens, Scott reverted to the long putter after using his shorter flatstick on Thursday.

Earlier, Marc Leishman rounded out a disappointing week with a 1-over-71 second up effort.

The Victorian made one birdie on the front nine but dropped two shots on his way back to the clubhouse, settling at 8-over-par through 36 holes.

Leishman is playing next week in Memphis so he won’t need to wait long for redemption, but the 35-year-old was bitterly disappointed in his two days’ work at a tournament he loves dearly.

“It didn't pan out how I wanted it to. I played terrible both days,” Leishman said.

"I wasn't reading the greens well so I didn't make many putts. My irons were bad, which is normally the strength of my game.

"I drove it okay so that's probably the only positive to take out of the week.

"So pretty disappointing. One of my favourite tournaments of the year so hopefully I'll be back next year and give it another crack.”

Dimi Papadatos was the first Australian on course and he matched Leishman’s effort on Friday, Papadatos improving by 12 strokes overnight to cap off his major championship debut.

Fellow first-timer Jake McLeod will also leave Portrush with a spring in his step after an even-par-71 on Friday kept him at 5-over for the tournament.

The 24-year-old made five birdies, including a sensational hole-out after short-siding himself left of the 14th green.

McLeod’s former Queensland teammate Cam Smith will be the only Australian to qualify for the weekend’s action, following a blistering 5-under 66 that took him into the top five on the standings.