The 2014 British Open championship leaderboard was star studded after July 17. Not only did Tiger Woods break into the early Open championship leaderboard with a hot back nine, Rory McIlroy did even better while Jim Furyk, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia weren't too far behind. However, Woods and McIlroy are just as capable of being well over par on a given day these days -- but will that day come in the second round on July 18?
Woods teed off his second round at 9:05 a.m. est, with first round leader McIlroy to follow 22 minutes later. As the day goes on, conditions are expected to be rougher than they were yesterday, with the possibility of a rougher weekend. If that happens, the Open championship won't be as easy to navigate as it was in round one.
Bad weather would be just one more problem for both Woods and McIlroy, as they try to recapture their old glory. Woods' injuries, six-year long major slump and the eternal pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's major title record are among his usual obstacles. As for McIlroy, his chances to become the next Woods have been hampered by erratic play, despite his two major championships.
Friday's have been a particular staunch opponent for McIlroy, as he has a long history of shooting well over par in second rounds after hot opening rounds. Given how he had six birdies and no bogeys to top the early Open championship leaderboard, he may well be due for a tumble.
Woods didn't have that much of a big start in his first round, as he shot +1 on the front nine before getting five birdies on the back nine. Yet every time he makes a run at a major, he hasn't carried the momentum through an entire week or weekend. Since this is his first major of 2014 and only his second tournament in the last several months, a victory here would be one of the great triumphs of his career.
However, the Open championship still has a long path ahead and many twists and turns left to navigate. Furyk, Scott and Garcia are just as likely to overtake Woods and McIlroy, or lesser known golfers like George Coetzee, Brooks Koepka or Francesco Molinari may top the leaderboard instead. But the one day wonders and the serious weekend contenders will become clearer after today's action on ESPN.