British Open Cut Line 2012: Recapping Those Who Made the Cut

Paul Ables@@PaulAblesBRContributor IIIJuly 21, 2012

British Open Cut Line 2012: Recapping Those Who Made the Cut

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    The third round of the British Open is upon us, and the true contenders have begun to separate themselves from the pack.

    The first two rounds featured high scoring across the board, as over 20 players finished under par. The cut line was set, and players who shot +4 over par or worse were sent home for the weekend.

    The following slides take a quick look at the players who made the cut for the final two rounds of golf's third major championship of the year.

The Favorites

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    Heading into the tournament, some of the world's greatest players figured to be the favorites to take home the Claret Jug.

    After two days of intense golf, some of those tournament favorites put themselves in prime position heading into the weekend by making the cut.

    The headliner is obviously Tiger Woods, who finished the second day sitting in third place on the leaderboard. Woods was sitting at -6 under par after pulling off a brilliant shot on the 18th green. Facing a difficult chip shot, he turned a potential bogey into a birdie by holing the shot, negating the need for his putter.

    He figured to be the preemptive favorite heading into the British Open, but other players have lived up to expectations as well.

    Australian Adam Scott had the best round of the day after the first round, posting a score of 64 to lead all players at -6 under par. He kept up his beautiful play by shooting 67 after round two and was second overall with a score of -9 under par.

    Meanwhile, former champion Ernie Els kept pace with the rest of the field and finished -3 under par heading into the weekend. He hopes to capture his first major championship since the 2002 British Open.

    Masters champion Bubba Watson surged to -3 under par after the first round, but he finished even for the championship with a disappointing second round of 73. He is still in contention to finish among the top ten, if he can catch fire in the final two rounds.

    Other favorites did not fare so well. Phil Mickelson shot consecutive rounds of 73 and 78 to finish +11 over par and missed the cut. Sergio Garcia finished one shot away from the cut line at +4 over par, narrowly missing another chance to claim his first major championship. 

    Rory McIlroy had a roller coaster weekend, finishing the first day -3 under par and only three shots out of the lead. However, his second round was rough and he posted a 75, taking him down to +2 over for the week.

    Lee Westwood did make the cut, but he is sitting at +3 over par and is far from contention. 

The Surprises

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    There are always some surprises at major events, and the biggest surprise of all was the play of Brandt Snedeker.

    Contending for the first time in a major championship, Snedeker set a British Open record by finishing the second round with a score of -10 under par, sitting one shot ahead of Adam Scott. 

    Snedeker opened tournament play with a strong round of 66, then followed it up and matched Scott's first day total of 64. His calm demeanor and solid ball striking proved to be a powerful recipe for attacking the links course. He heads into the weekend as the clubhouse leader.

    Another surprise player who made the cut is Thorbjorn Olesen, who finished at -4 under par by finishing up his second round by shooting 66. He is also a relative newcomer to the major championship field and was only two shots away from the top three contenders.

    Graeme McDowell also played extremely well, knocking down key putts and finished tied with Olesen at -4 under par. Other players who joined him there were Matt Kuchar and Thomas Aiken.

    One of the surprise contenders who made the cut was Tom Watson. He is one of the greatest players in the game's history, especially at the British Open, but old age is beginning to catch up to him. Regardless, he remained in play for the weekend by shooting 71 and 72, narrowly missing the cut line by one stroke.

The Cut Line

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    Players who shot +4 over par or higher missed the cut for the 2012 British Open, and there were some notable players who had to go home for the weekend.

    Sergio Garcia is one of them. He narrowly missed the cut line and finished right on the +4 over par line. He will have to pursue his first major elsewhere, as he is now out of the field.

    Phil Mickelson followed up a disappointing first day with a worse score in round two. After shooting 73 after one round, Mickelson shot a 78 and finished the tournament +11 over par.

    Y.E. Yang shot +4 over par on the first day, and he scored even par in the second round to miss the cut by one stroke. 

    Former champion David Duval did Yang one shot worse, posting consecutive rounds of 74 and 71 to finish +5 over par for the championship.

    Fellow Americans Stewart Cink, Tom Lehman and Bo Van Pelt also missed the cut and tied Duval's score of +5 over par. 

    Former PGA champion Ben Curtis also missed the cut and finished +9 over par.