British Open Leaderboard 2012: Players Who Must Step Up in Day 2

Alex Field@@afield7Correspondent IIJuly 19, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot to the 18th green during the first round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club on July 19, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With Adam Scott leading the way after the first day of the British Open, there are a few other players who must build upon their day-one performances.

To begin, Bubba Watson, who currently sits in fifth place, after shooting a three-under 67, must continue his hot play if he wants to capture his second major championship this year.

Bubba thrived on the first day by surprisingly nailing the fairways on 64 percent of his drives. If he can maintain his accuracy through day two, he will position himself to sit atop the leaderboard heading into the weekend.

But his accuracy has been erratic at best over the course of his career and if Watson begins to start losing his shots in the rough or in traps, his score will plummet.

He notched four birdies during the opening round, and Watson will need to sustain his putting over the entire course of the tournament rather than just the opening round.

Alongside Watson, Rory McIlroy is another player who played well enough to find himself tied for fifth place with a three-under 67.

McIlroy would have finished higher, had it not been for a costly double bogey on the 15th. Nonetheless, McIlroy was lethally accurate through the opening round, finishing with 78 percent accuracy off the tee. He finished the day with six birdies and is looking comfortable moving forward.

He will certainly need to continue his solid putting and stay out of bunkers if he wants to be sniffing around the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.

The No. 1 player in the world, Luke Donald, is tied for 36th after the first day as he shot an even 70.

Donald will need to be more aggressive if he wants a chance to capture his first major championship. He was able to stay away from the blunders that cost many golfers at this course, but by playing so conservatively, he could not move up the leaderboard.

He finished with only one birdie, and was very accurate with his driver. However, with the amount of talent on display at the tournament, Donald’s performance was only mediocre.

Perhaps he will be more aggressive moving forward after he learns how this course is playing for the British Open, but Donald’s day-one performance was seemingly modest for a major tournament.

As for another golfer seeking his first major, Lee Westwood was cemented to the bottom of the leaderboard after the first day.

He finished the day with a three-over 73, and had five bogeys and one double-bogey. Westwood’s accuracy suffered on the first day and he found himself in traps too often during the first round.

Although he currently sits in 99th, there is hope for Westwood as it is only the first day of the tournament.

He will need to find more greens in regulations as well as more fairways, but if he can grasp the course and learn from his day-one performance, he could improve moving forward.

He desperately needs to be more accurate off the tee, because of the immense rough surrounding the fairways. Rather than Donald, who was overly conservative, Westwood must find some balance if he wants to bounce back.