A look at some post-round player reactions on Friday of the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool
George Coetzee produced a fine 69 to move into a share of the lead in the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
The South African reached six-under-par at one stage after three consecutive birdies on the back nine, but had to settle for a five-under-par 36-hole total.
He sits two clear of Adam Scott – who birdied his last two holes to salvage a 73 – with Justin Rose (-2) and Phil Mickelson still very much in contention heading into the weekend.
Below, see what Coetzee, Scott, Rose and Mickelson had to say about their rounds, and their chances of winning The Open.
– “This is definitely my favorite major. It’s nice to play well, obviously, in a very prestigious event. And to have my birthday coincide with it is also nice. It was quite a good feeling to look at my name and be at the top of the leaderboard.”
– “Before yesterday’s round we knew that it was going to be a little windy in the afternoon, and it looked like it was going to be pretty miserable this morning. So when I played yesterday, I thought to myself you probably need a couple of birdies just to try to make the cut the next day.”
– “Up until the age of 16 I never broke 80 at the coast. Never mind playing on links, I couldn’t understand why the ball was going so short. But as the years went on I tried to kind of teach myself how to play at the coast, and one of my Sunshine Tours wins was on a links golf course. I enjoy playing links golf. There’s a lot more imagination and you can putt from anywhere.”
– “There were some ups and downs, but it was really, really important to finish with a couple of birdies and put me in good shape for the weekend, I think. If the wind stays up this afternoon, I shouldn’t be too far back.”
– “Today was much tougher out there. Just the slight direction change and the gusts. All of a sudden there were holes where I was hitting 6-iron from in the 140s. That’s when you know it’s pretty windy. And drives are going miles and 4-irons are going 300. It’s crucial on how well you adjust to that on a day like today.”
– “Tomorrow doesn’t look great, and I think that’s all right. The last 36 of the major is going to be a grind. And if it’s tough conditions, you know, I’m certainly up for that challenge. I feel like I’m swinging the club really well. So the tougher it gets I think more of that favors me, if I can keep swinging well.”
– “I was pleased with a 70. It was difficult out there today, and that was probably just good enough to keep me right in it. I couldn’t have asked more out of today, to be honest with you. It was tough out early and I was 1-over par through 7. I had a couple of nice strokes around the turn. Chipped in at 9 and 10, which felt like I got my championship going. And I felt from that point I could probably pick up a couple more, but the course definitely proved to be difficult.
– “Even the downwind holes it was hard to get the ball close to the hole, as it often is. Picking one up at the last there was a nice way to finish
– “There’s always a tipping point with links course. I think 10-to-15-mile-an-hour breeze, it’s sort of fun to play. If it gets over 15, if it gets toward 20 miles an hour, which I would imagine it did today, that’s when it gets quite extreme and quite difficult, and the ball starts oscillating.”
– “I think in the worst case I’ll be a handful back at the end of play today.”
– “If the wind stays up, absolutely I am in it. But I have a feeling that the conditions are supposed to get softer this afternoon. And if that’s the case, I’ll be quite a ways back. But tomorrow when the conditions come in, there’s going to be a lot of scores that go 5, 6, 7-over par. If I can shoot something under par, I’ll be right in it for Sunday.”
– “My game’s really close. Yeah, it’s really close to being good. I’m striking it so good. And if I putt the way I putted the last nine holes for the weekend, I’m going to have a good chance.”