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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sneds & the Waggler Invade England

Some of my predictions from yesterday were spot on, while others weren't. My most accurate turned out to be my "under par" number -- I guessed 25, the actual number was 27. Here's the update on my "5 to Watch":
  • Tiger Woods: -6, 3rd
  • Rickie Fowler: +3, T68
  • Lee Westwood: +3, T68
  • Francesco Molinari: +1, T40
  • Zach Johnson: -1, T15
Westwood and Fowler made the cut on the number. It's interesting that Lee moved up nearly 30 spots with a round of par on a calm day. Apparently the R&A set the pins high on difficult knobs trying to get them above the water table (I don't see that changing this weekend, btw), and nobody could figure out how to deal with them.

Except Sneds, of course. All he did was tie Nick Faldo's -10 record for 36 holes. The other big mover (in my opinion, anyway) was Jason Dufner aka the Waggler. While -4 may seem a long way back, we have to remember that it's not just the score -- it's how many people you have to pass. Jason was at even when the day started, behind 27 other players. All of the players now at -4 (including Jason) are now T5. In essence, they only have to pass 4 players... and a little weather (predicted for Sunday) could give them the chance. Let's not forget Rory McIlroy's infamous 2010 Open, with rounds of 63-80-69-68 to snag solo 3rd. Most of the players are clearly struggling to deal with better-than-expected conditions, so there's no telling what kind of bad rounds might happen if the weather turns!

I don't expect much change at the top of the leaderboard today. Conditions are expected to be much the same until Sunday, when winds up to around 25mph are expected. Today we'll probably see the top 10 or so jockey for position; I'm not sure what the score will be at the end of the day, but I expect to see Adam Scott leading. I don't think Sneds is going to play badly, but he's gotten awfully lucky with some of his tee shots and I don't see his luck holding up. It only takes one or two bad breaks in that rough to make par a great score. Unless Tiger's putter gets hot, I expect him to repeat his last two performances and finish at -8 or -9. Beyond that, I expect McDowell, Kuchar, and Dufner to get in the mix.

Apparently the bunkers are in everybody's heads. Let's see how the leaders handle them today!

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