Many of the elite golfers in the world find themselves near the top of the leaderboard at the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Those players will vie for the title this weekend, but not everyone was lucky or good enough to make it that far.
The British Open cut line in Hoylake, England, ultimately fell at two-over par. Tiger Woods was among those who barely cleared it, but plenty of expected contenders will be leaving the Open Championship early. That includes a number of past major champions.
Conditions have proven to be quite favorable at Royal Liverpool through two rounds, but some high-profile golfers were unable to find their groove regardless. Here is a full listing of those who failed to make the cut at Hoylake along with further analysis regarding some of the top players who are already heading home.
|Dawie Van Der Walt||+3|
|Brendon de Jonge||+4|
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||+4|
|A Shun Wu||+7|
Notable Cut Players
Bubba Watson has won The Masters two out of the past three years and quickly became one of the most popular golfers in the world. His unorthodox style sets him apart from everyone else and has allowed him to have a great deal of success. At the same time, though, he tends to be inconsistent and it is difficult to predict how he will perform from one tournament to the next.
Watson struggled out of the gate with a four-over 76 in the first round, so he needed to shoot a 70 in the second round in order to get to the cut line. Watson had his opportunities, but the lefty fell just short with an even-par 72.
After missing the cut, Watson was probably quite disappointed and that was apparent during his post-round interview. Watson chided the media and accused those who cover golf of being overly negative, per ESPN.com's Bob Harig.
I mean, guys are trying their hardest. We always hear, 'Oh, that's terrible,' this and that, this and that. 'I did this when I was 17 years old. Shot 63 before.' So no, that's why I don't watch coverage anymore; there's too much negative stuff going on in the world, not just golf, the whole world. Just can't even watch that stuff. ... Oh gosh, there's a lot. There's not been one positive thing. I'm waiting on that one. Then I'll start reading. Well, I can't read yet, but I'll start.
Perhaps Watson has a point, but he seemed to be speaking out of frustration more than anything. It was definitely a tough couple of rounds for him, so he needs to put it behind him and focus on closing out the season strong at the PGA Championship and the other remaining tournaments.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
There may be no more unique and entertaining player in golf than Miguel Angel Jimenez. The 50-year-old Spaniard is unlike any other golfer, as he has a different look and routine than anyone else. He is well known for his love of wine and cigars, and Golf Digest went so far as to break down his preparation for the British Open:
Although Jimenez has never won a major, he has at least one top-10 finish at all four of them. Jimenez almost always finds himself in contention through two or three rounds at majors, but things didn't click for him at Royal Liverpool. He shot a three-over 75 Thursday and followed that with a one-over 73 in the second round for a total of four-over.
Jimenez didn't play terribly over the first two rounds of the tournament, he just didn't take advantage of the good conditions. Many other golfers were able to do that, so it resulted in Jimenez falling a couple strokes below the cut line.
The weekend rounds at the Open Championship won't be quite as interesting without Jimenez in the fold, so many fans are likely disappointed that The Mechanic wasn't able to come through.
As a two-time British Open champion, Ernie Els is always viewed as a contender in golf's oldest major. He somewhat surprisingly won the title two years ago and usually finds himself in the hunt. That wasn't the case this year, as Els was never able to recover from a rough first-round performance.
Which missed cut surprised you the most?
He shot a seven-over 79 Thursday in a round that was marred by Els accidentally hitting and injuring a fan with his first tee shot. That clearly rattled Els and he admitted that he simply couldn't get on track after being shaken by that moment, according to Karen Crouse of The New York Times.
"There was blood everywhere," Els said. "I really felt bad about hurting the guy the way I did. ... I was thinking about him bloodied all over. It wasn't nice. I was kind of finished mentally. You just think of the worst."
Els later reported on Twitter that the fan was fine, but he had already dug himself a deep hole. He certainly fared much better during the second round to the tune of a one-over 73, but the reality is that the South African star needed to shoot well under par in order to make the cut.
That didn't happen unfortunately, which made for a rare occurrence in relation to the success that Els has traditionally had at the British Open, per PGA Tour Media:
Els has had so many great Open Championship moments that it was tough to see him struggle, but even the very best players in the world have off tournaments.
The focus for Els now shifts toward the PGA Championship. The fact that he was able to right the ship to some degree and shoot a respectable second-round score is at least a solid consolation prize in the wake of a poor overall showing.
If he can carry that over to the PGA Championship, then he should be in line for a much better performance.
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