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The Open: Champion Johnson rues lost chances

By Andy Hampson

Zach Johnson remained hopeful of defending his Open title despite a frustrating end to his second round at Royal Troon.

The two-time Major winner climbed the leaderboard to seven under only to fall back to five under, just one better than where he began the second day, after bogeys on the 15th and 18th.

That left him five shots off the clubhouse lead set by fellow American and 2013 Open champion Phil Mickelson.

Should Johnson defend his title then he would become the first man to do so since 2006 when Tiger Woods won at Royal Liverpool having triumphed a year before at St Andrew's.

However, the 40-year-old knows that he had several chances to put himself in a great position going into the weekend.

Johnson said: "I really had a great opportunity to put a nice low number up but I feel like I gave a few back there towards the end.

"I actually hit a good tee-shot on 15 but still made a bogey. At 16 I was essentially trying to make a four but I barely made a five and 18 was bad too. Sour endings considering where I put myself.

"But there are certainly some positives. I feel like the best thing going for me right now is I haven't played my best yet and I can still go out and do that this weekend."

Belfast Telegraph


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