British Open 2019: Tee Times, Pairings and Predictions for Saturday Schedule

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

Ireland's Shane Lowry smiles as he finishes at the 18th green during the second round of the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 19, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Shane Lowry and J.B. Holmes lead the Open at the halfway point, with both players surging to eight-under par after two days at Royal Portrush.

Lowry continued his excellent form in Northern Ireland on Friday with a second consecutive 67. That was enough to put him level with Holmes, who backed up a fine 66 on Thursday with a 68 on Day 2.

The leaders have some high-class players in hot pursuit, with English duo Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood just a shot back. Brooks Koepka, who has won three of the previous six major championships, is just three off the lead, as is 2017 winner Jordan Spieth.

Here are the tee times for Saturday's play and a preview of what's to come from Royal Portrush

        

Selected Tee Times (GMT)

3:10 p.m. - Andrew Putnam (-5), Jordan Spieth (-5)

3:20 p.m. - Brooks Koepka (-5) , Justin Rose (-6)

3:30 p.m. - Justin Harding (-6), Cameron Smith (-6)

3:40 p.m. - Lee Westwood (-7), Tommy Fleetwood (-7)

3:50 p.m. - Shane Lowry (-8) , J.B. Holmes (-8)

    

The tee times in full are available on the Open website

    

Saturday Preview

With the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson missing the cut, some big names have already fallen victim to the testing challenge posed by the Portrush course. Holmes and Lowry have been able to excel in the conditions, though, in the hunt for their maiden major championship.

Lowry has been the most consistent player over the course of the first two days. He produced another four-under-par round on Friday, ensuring he goes out in the final pair on Moving Day.

He's enjoying the support from the crowds:

Lowry also said he's allowing himself to consider the prospect of lifting the Claret Jug come Sunday evening, per BBC Sport"I'm obviously going to be thinking about it tonight. There's no point in shying away from it. I'm in a great position but, my goodness, have we got a long way to go."

Like Lowry, Holmes is also on the hunt for an elusive first major, with his best-ever finish in one of the four events a third-place finish at the Open in 2016.

As golf statistician Jason Sobel noted, he was still a long way off then:

Fleetwood and Westwood will also be players to watch over the weekend after bright starts to the competition.

The former has played like a major-winner-in-waiting in recent years, having excelled in bursts at various high-profile competitions and at the Ryder Cup last summer for Europe. Westwood is a surprise name at the top of the leaderboard because the 46-year-old has long been considered past his peak.

Per Steve Douglas of the Press Association, Westwood isn't in particularly determined mood ahead of the final two days despite his lofty position:

One of the pairs set to be the most popular is the duo of Koepka and Justin Rose, as they'll be expected to close the gap to the leaders on Saturday.

The latter has said he's relishing the pressure of being one of the main contenders for the title:

Even at three behind, Koepka will still be the favourite for many, such is his pedigree on the big stage. Given he's finished no worse than tied second in five of the last six majors, he'll surely be in the hunt when the shadows lengthen on Sunday.

There will also be a focus on Spieth on Day 3, as he's showcased signs of returning to his best form over the first couple of rounds. Having won the Open beforehand, the American will be tough to dislodge if he gets among the leaders.

  

Day 3 Leaderboard Prediction: J.B. Holmes (-9), Justin Rose (-9), Brooks Koepka (-8), Tommy Fleetwood (-8)

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