Date: July 20, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Scott in the hunt at Muirfield

Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez leads the British Open by one shot after carding an even-par 71 on Friday, with Masters winner Adam Scott only four shots behind. The 49-year-old followed up his opening-round 68 with a measured 18 holes in tough conditions at Muirfield on a day when several big names failed to make the cut, including world number two Rory McIlroy and US Open champion Justin Rose. He was followed in by Sweden&aposs Henrik Stenson, Englishman Lee Westwood, world number one Tiger Woods and 2011 joint-runner-up Dustin Johnson, who are all just one shot off the pace ahead of the weekend. Scott is one-over overall in a tie for 11th, while other Australians Jason Day (two over), Marcus Fraser (five over), Geoff Ogilvy and Peter Senior (both eight over) all made the cut. It marks a remarkable return to form for the leading Spaniard, who was until recently sidelined through injury, having broken his right leg in a skiing accident in December. His experience shone through, though, and he does not feel that his age will hold him back from claiming a maiden major title. When asked about what it was like to lead on three-under par despite his advanced years, he told the BBC: “Why? Have I not the right to do it? It is only young people who can do that? “I&aposve been on the tour 25 years, I have 19 victories, and I would love to have a first major in my career. Why not this one?” Despite the pin positions causing a number of grumbles on Thursday, many of the top players will have found the second round more difficult as three of the top 10 dropped off the radar. American Mark O&aposMeara was one of six on three under at the end of the first round but he had dropped seven shots by the end of Friday&aposs round on the Scottish links course, while India&aposs Shiv Kapur dropped six shots alongside Tom Lehman. The great change in wind and the climbing temperatures also tricked overnight leader Zach Johnson, who notched up six bogeys and a double bogey, while Rafael Cabrera-Bello went from second to eighth as he carded 74. Despite the conditions, there were hugely impressive scores from both Westwood and Charl Schwartzel, who both shot three-under rounds – the lowest of the day – to bring themselves firmly into the mix. Westwood looked unstoppable on the front nine as he shot five birdies to go level at the top with Zach Johnson, but the run-in was less fruitful as he bogeyed three of his last six. South African Schwartzel struggled during the first round and even broke his club in frustration but composed himself and returned to shoot 68, leaving the 2011 Masters winner one over. Woods also climbed up the standings after shooting 71 to stay in contention for his fourth British Open win, and first since 2006. There were many others who could not handle the trials and tribulations that Muirfield had to offer, though, and among those missing the cut are top-10 players McIlroy, Rose and Luke Donald. Northern Irishman McIlroy finished the day on 75 to post a final score of 12-over par, while Donald and Rose concluded their tournaments just two shots better. Even on a day when the elements seemed to prevail over sheer golfing ability, 35-year-old American Robert Garrigus did at least manage to produce a moment of magic on his back nine, sinking an eagle putt on the par-four 15th from almost 100 feet. Garrigus guided the ball into the hole from way off the green to leave the crowd in awe and give him something to smile about as he flies home after finishing on 11 over for the tournament.