KEEP THAT CARD
Danny Willett: He has not finished in the top 10 in a major since his surprise victory at the 2016 Masters, but the Englishman was 12th at this year's U.S. Open and sits tied for eighth at Royal Portrush after a bogey-free 65 Saturday that included only 25 putts.
TOSS THAT CARD
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: He was two strokes behind the lead after the first round, but the 29-year-old from Thailand was one of four golfers to post a 77 Saturday.
ON THE COURSE WITH …
Lee Westwood: Still looking for his first major championship, the 46-year-old briefly was alone in first place. But after he made the turn at 10 under, his tee shot on the 10th hole pushed right into what was described as a rabbit hole. The drive ended up between some mounds of earth covered in think brush and was unplayable. Westwood bogeyed the hole, bogeyed the 15th as well and finished at 8 under.
There was a minor uproar on social media when World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, an Englishwoman doing television for Sky Sports, said of leader Shane Lowry: "It'd be nice to see a British winner of the Open." Lowry is from the Republic of Ireland — which is not part of the United Kingdom, a collection that includes England, Scotland, Wales (the trio that makes up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. That came a day after English soccer legend Gary Lineker jokingly wrote on Twitter that Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was British.
• Xander Schauffele accused the R&A of trying to ruin his image by not keeping private that his Callaway driver failed to conform to the limits of the trampoline effect. Schauffele said he wasn't aware his driver didn't conform until notified. "Other drivers failed," Schauffele said. "… It's an unsettling topic. I've been called a cheater by my fellow opponents. It's all joking, but when someone yells 'Cheater' in front of 200 people to me, it's not going down very well."
• Kyle Stanley said he was caught off-guard by second-round playing partner Bob MacIntyre's criticism that he didn't yell "Fore" on an errant shot but called the controversy "kind of a non-issue." Stanley added: "He's a young player. I've been out here a while. So I don't feel the need to be schooled on the rules of golf."
Par-4, 447-yard No. 10: Lowry was tied for the lead with Tommy Fleetwood and in thick rough right of the fairway. His shot ran up the slopes on the left side of the green and down the mound to about 8 feet for a birdie. He took the lead for good and was on his way to a 30 on the back nine.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I'm really glad I put myself through it. But I need to lie down after that."
— Gary McNeill, the head pro at Royal Portrush since 1999. With 73 players making the cut, McNeill golfed as a noncompeting marker with Paul Waring, and he realized the course was much different with thousands of people watching him.
TWEET OF THE DAY
"Moving up tee times at The Open due to weather is akin to slowing down greens at the Masters because 'they might get kinda fast.' That's the whole identity of the event!"
— Golf writer Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN).
Yes, they did in fact move up the tee times for the final round because of the weather forecast, with NBC beginning its coverage at 5 a.m. Sunday.