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The Open: Tiger and Phil are delighted to be still in the frame

Confident: Tiger Woods is upbeat on Open hopes
Confident: Tiger Woods is upbeat on Open hopes

By Andy Hampson

Tiger Woods feels he is still in contention at the Open despite failing to make up ground in the second round at Carnoustie.

The former World No.1 signed for a second successive level-par 71 yesterday.

Woods said: "I played a bit better yesterday. Today wasn't quite as good but I did make a birdie on a par five, so that's a positive. It'll be a pretty packed leaderboard and I'm figuring right there in it."

It was an eventful round for the 14-time Major champion with some spectators having a near miss as he played out of the rough on the second hole.

A wayward tee shot forced Woods to play out of long grass from an awkward stance on a steep bank.

The ball flew low off the club towards spectators but took a ricochet away from any people.

It had been a risky shot - as he could have comfortably pitched back onto the fairway - but he did point out he had asked spectators to move.

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He said: "I kept moving them back. If you noticed, I moved them back about 40 yards.

"I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could.

"I was very, very fortunate that it got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green."

Woods bogeyed the hole, as he did the third, but responded immediately with successive birdies. Further birdies on the 11th and 14th came between bogeys on the ninth and 16th.

He said: "I got off to not exactly the best start, two over after three, but I got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer and we were able to get the ball down a bit further, control the ball a bit easier. There were certainly birdies to be had out there."

Phil Mickelson hopes he is in position to launch a weekend charge after clawing back to level par.

The 2013 champion bettered his two-over-par first-round effort at Carnoustie by four strokes as he signed for a 69 yesterday.

And the 48-year-old was frustrated not to have been even further in credit having spoiled his round with a double bogey at the par-five sixth and another dropped shot on the eighth.

Mickelson said: "I just keep making a few too many mistakes and have left way too many shots out there on the course in the first couple of rounds for no good reason.

"It's frustrating but, again, I love the challenge of it, so hopefully it will turn around for me and I can make a move.

"A lot of strange things happen here, especially with the weather. It may or may not come in. We've seen a lot of crazy things in this tournament take place.

"The course is just set up beautifully. It changes the way you are trying to attack the course or play conservative. It's a fun test."

Belfast Telegraph


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