Thursday, July 17, 2008
Black Thursday at Royal Birkdale
Wow. Phil's at +9, Ernie and Vijay are at +10, and some guy named Greg Norman is even through 11 holes, good for second place. So this is what happens when Tiger Woods doesn't show up? (Check live scores here)
Els played the front nine at +1 and then decided to completely melt on the back nine, even as the weather got better, with a cool, breezy +9. Phil and Vijay pretty much mucked up the entire course.
Meanwhile, the top of the leaderboard is loaded with old names like the Shark and Tom Lehman along with relative unknowns, like Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson and Douglas McGuigan. Fisher is apparently some sort of rookie phenom on the European Tour, or at least the British guys on the XM coverage think he is. They also kept talking about "the email from Middlefart" and laughing like 12-year-old boys, so I'm not exactly sure which of what they said was true or conjecture or lunacy.
Oh, by the way, the pictured superstar was also at +10 for his first round. No word on whether Butch Harmon was there heckling him.