The 2013 British Open is headlined by Zach Johnson, who shot a five-under 66 at Muirfield Golf Links on Thursday in Gullane, Scotland, to take a one-shot lead over both Mark O'Meara and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
Johnson needed only 26 putts in his round, but to hold his lead into the weekend, he'll have to do so after teeing off on Friday afternoon, when conditions should be tougher, dryer and hotter.
A plethora of elite players are in the thick of the hunt entering Round 2. Some of those, like O'Meara and Tiger Woods, are major champions while others, such as Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson, are seeking their maiden trophies in one of golf's most prestigious events.
Whatever happens, you won't want to miss the action. Below is the listing for TV coverage, live stream information and the top groups to watch at Muirfield as the second round progresses.
Note: Statistics are courtesy of PGATour.com and EuropeanTour.com. British Open information was obtained from the tournament's official website. Tournament history can be located at the Official World Golf Ranking.
When: Friday, July 19
Where: Muirfield Golf Links in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
Tee Times: First group is off at 6:32 a.m. BST (1:32 a.m. ET). For a complete list of tee times in Round 2, visit TheOpen.com.
Real-Time Leaderboard Updates: The Open
TV Schedule (h/t ESPN.com)
ESPN, 4 a.m.-3 p.m. ET
The Open Championship Today: 3-6 p.m. ET on ESPN
Best of The Open Championship encore presentation: ESPN, 7-10 p.m. ET
Live Stream (h/t Watch ESPN, where all events are available)
|Start Time (ET)||Event|
|2:30 a.m.||The Open LIVE|
|4 a.m.||Live Second Round (International View)|
|4 a.m.||Live coverage of Holes 1, 7, 8, 9 and 18|
|3 p.m.||Second round encore presentation|
|7 p.m.||Best of The Open Championship encore presentation|
Top Groups to Watch in Round 2
Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods (Tee time: 4:45 a.m. ET)
Unfortunately, 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen had to withdraw due to a back injury. Geoff Shackleford illustrated the disappointing sequence when Oosthuizen, who has one of golf's best swings, came up lame after snap-hooking his tee shot at No. 9:
Woods and McDowell are left to go at it alone, and Woods—the world's No. 1 player—is showing no signs of being affected by the elbow strain that had kept him out of competition since last month's U.S. Open.
Woods carded a magnificent two-under 69 on Thursday, including a three-under 32 on the back nine in the afternoon, which was nothing short of amazing considering the conditions.
One sign that Woods is locked in at Muirfield is by how well he's putting, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
Two dispiriting double bogeys spoiled McDowell's round, which he capped off with a bogey at No. 18. In spite of that, McDowell is only at plus-four and well within the realm of being able to turn things around.
It would be a shock to see him miss three consecutive major cuts, so I believe McDowell will bounce back and help create the most compelling group in Friday's morning wave alongside Woods.
Bubba Watson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Dustin Johnson (Tee time: 8:45 a.m. ET)
This trio played together for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, but it wasn't successful for anyone except Nicolas Colsaerts.
Now, the tables have completely turned, with Bubba Watson at minus-one and Dustin Johnson looking like a sure-fire contender after a sweet round of 68 to get to three-under.
The sheer power that this group produces is staggering. The conditions at Muirfield will allow them to hit fairway metals and long irons preposterous distances off the tee without hitting their drivers.
Johnson had perhaps the most incredulous club-pull of the first round. To set up his eagle at the par-five 17th, he smashed a seven-iron onto the green from 230 yards away, according to Dan Jenkins of Golf Digest:
If Colsaerts can get his putter going, he has a chance to vault up the leaderboard as well. With the three not starting their second round until 1:45 p.m. local time, that should make things all the more compelling for them if the course is as dry as it was on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson (Tee time: 9:45 a.m. ET)
It's sad to see Rory McIlroy struggle so mightily. His upside-down 2013 campaign continued with a horrendous 79 in Round 1.
His putt into a greenside bunker pretty much summed up his day, as McIlroy managed to find just five of 14 fairways in regulation and only one on the back nine—not exactly a recipe for success at this venue:
ESPN's John Buccigross tweeted this frightening statistic about McIlroy:
Having won the Scottish Open last week, it was clear that Phil Mickelson's game was in a bit better order entering Muirfield, and it showed. Lefty played solid all day, but could have been a couple of strokes better if not for a disappointing par at the 17th and a three-putt bogey at the last hole.
Mickelson wasn't shy in criticizing the setup, which he deemed "beyond difficult," according to Helen Ross of PGATour.com.
While it will be compelling to see how McIlroy responds to this adversity and how Mickelson fares in teeing off on what he perceived Thursday as the wrong side of the draw, another prodigy serves as the third wheel in this pairing.
The 21-year-old Hideki Matsuyama recorded a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open and tied for fourth in his most recent event on the Japan Tour. He carded a highly respectable even-par 71 without drawing even a minute level of attention.
Even closing with two birdies apparently didn't garner him much attention. If Maruyama keeps up his solid play in the second round on Friday, the spotlight will inevitably shine much brighter on him.
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