After one round of play, Rory McIlroy holds a one-shot lead over Matteo Manassero at the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy's six-under 66 has given the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland the kind of start he's used to. The question is: Can he sustain his momentum? That has been his problem in the past. Take a look at this tweet from the Golf Channel's Jason Sobel:
I don't mean to be a downer here, but the last time Rory McIlroy led The Open after one round, he shot 80 the next day.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 17, 2014
If you're stateside, you'll have to get up pretty early in the morning to watch most of the field begin second-round play. McIlroy continues his quest at 9:27 a.m. ET.
Here's a look at the rest of the stateside tee times and groupings for Friday's action, per the tournament website:
1:25 a.m.: Jamie McLeary, Matthew Southgate, Hiroshi Iwata
1:36 a.m.: Roberto Castro, Victor Riu, Tyrrell Hatton
1:47 a.m.: Dong-Kyu Jang, Nick Watney, Shawn Stefani
1:58 a.m.: D.A. Points, Y.E. Yang, Brendan Steele
2:09 a.m.: Scott Stallings, Pablo Larrazabal, Bryden MacPherson
2:20 a.m.: George Coetzee, Charley Hoffman, Michael Hoey
2:31 a.m.: Kevin Streelman, Brendon de Jonge, Brendon Todd
2:42 a.m.: Gary Woodland, Sandy Lyle, Kevin Stadler
2:53 a.m.: Brandt Snedeker, Graham DeLaet, a-Cheng-Tsung Pan
3:04 a.m.: Boo Weekley, Danny Willett, Ashun Wu
3:15 a.m.: J.B. Holmes, Jonas Blixt, Chris Kirk
3:26 a.m.: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bill Haas, Thongchai Jaidee
3:37 a.m.: Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, Zach Johnson
3:53 a.m.: Webb Simpson, Jamie Donaldson, Yusaku Miyazato
4:04 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson
4:15 a.m.: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Russell Henley, Billy Horschel
4:26 a.m.: Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner
4:37 a.m.: Ryo Ishikawa, Lee Westwood, Keegan Bradley
4:48 .m.: Kevin Na, Joost Luiten, John Senden
4:59 a.m.: John Daly, Tommy Fleetwood, Ross Fisher
5:10 a.m.: Mark Wiebe, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, a-Paul Dunne
5:21 a.m.: Oliver Fisher, Chesson Hadley, Shane Lowry
5:32 a.m.: George McNeill, Richard Sterne, Chris Stroud
5:43 a.m.: Gregory Bourdy, Jin Jeong, Matthew Baldwin
5:54 a.m.: Justin Walters, Rhys Enoch, Billy Hurley III
6:05 a.m.: Christopher Rodgers, Scott Jamieson, Byeong-Hun An
6:26 a.m.: David Howell, David Duval, Robert Karlsson
6:37 a.m.: Dawie van der Walt, Cameron Tringale, Masanori Kobayashi
6:48 a.m.: Chris Wood, Matt Jones, Bernd Wiesberger
6:59 a.m.: Erik Compton, Hyung-Sung Kim, Marc Leishman
7:10 a.m.: Koumei Oda, Ben Martin, Anirban Lahiri
7:21 a.m.: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Brooks Koepka, Edoardo Molinari
7:32 a.m.: Branden Grace, Freddie Jacobson, a-Ashley Chesters
7:43 a.m.: Justin Leonard, Ben Curtis, Paul Lawrie
7:54 a.m.: Francesco Molinari, Ryan Moore, Thorbjorn Olesen
8:05 a.m.: Matteo Manassero, a-Bradley Neil, Mikko Ilonen
8:16 a.m.: Thomas Bjorn, Patrick Reed, Stewart Cink
8:27 a.m.: Tom Watson, Jim Furyk, Darren Clarke
8:38 a.m.: Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia
8:54 a.m.: Harris English, Paul Casey, Matt Every
9:05 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera, Henrik Stenson
9:16 a.m.: Charl Schwartzel, Padraig Harrington, K.J. Choi
9:27 a.m.: Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth
9:38 a.m.: Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker
9:49 a.m.: Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen
10:00 a.m.: Stephen Gallacher, Hunter Mahan, Victor Dubuisson
10:11 a.m.: Nick Faldo, Todd Hamilton, Mark Calcavecchia
10:22 a.m.: Ryan Palmer, Brett Rumford, Tomohiro Kondo
10:33 a.m.: John Singleton, Peter Uihlein, Marc Warren
10:44 a.m.: Paul McKechnie, Kristoffer Broberg, Juvic Pagunsan
10:55 a.m.: Rhein Gibson, Brian Harman, Hyung-Tae Kim
11:06 a.m.: Chris Hanson, Oscar Floren, Yoshinobu Tsukada
Here's a look at the real-time leaderboard:
Need the viewing information for Friday and the rest of the tournament? Here you go:
|Date||Time (ET)||Station||Live Stream|
|Friday, July 18||4 a.m. - 3 p.m.||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
|Saturday, July 19||7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
|Sunday, July 20||6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
Bold Predictions for Friday
Biggest Riser: Justin Rose
The 2013 U.S. Open champion could only manage an even-par performance on Thursday, but he'll be better on Friday.
In his last seven outings, Rose has chopped an average of three strokes off his first-round score on the second day. In only one of those seven tournaments has his second-round score been higher than his first.
He'll make a move up the leaderboard heading into the weekend.
Co-Leaders: Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia
Woods has that look of confidence and intensity about him at Royal Liverpool. He seems comfortable physically for the first time in a long while. That spells trouble for the rest of the field.
After Thursday's round, Woods was happy and positive about the future. Per ESPN's Bob Harig, Woods said:
I knew I could do it. That's why I was telling you guys it was so important for me to play at Congressional. The fact that I was able to recover every day, and the fact that I was stronger, more explosive the more days I played.
I'm only going to get better from that point. And I'm getting stronger, I'm getting faster, I'm getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.
The three-under 69 on Thursday only fed the beast. On a course that he loves and has been player friendly, Woods will duplicate his score on Thursday to move to six-under par overall and a share of the lead.
Garcia is playing well for now. He seems to routinely stumble on the biggest stages. However, that slip-up may not occur until the weekend when the pressure is at its height.
For now, expect Garcia to back up his four-under 68 with another strong showing to finish even with his good friend (sarcasm intended) Woods.
Falling out of Contention: Matteo Manassero
Manassero is one of three Italians near the top of the leaderboard, but the 21-year-old's time in contention will be short-lived.
He still lacks the experience to hold his own deep into a major tournament, and the second round figures to be the moment he turns into a pumpkin.
The best frame of reference for Manassero was his performance at the Masters in April. After a decent one-under 71 in the first round, he fell apart in the second round. A nine-over 81 sent him to eight-over par, and he missed the cut.
The fall might not be that drastic on Friday for Manassero, but I'd be surprised if he's still in the top 15 heading into the third round.