CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — Justin Rose made his only birdie of the day when he needed it the most, sinking an 18-footer on the final hole to make the cut Friday in the British Open. Other top players weren’t as fortunate.
Three of the world’s top five players missed the cut, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson and No. 2 Justin Thomas. Masters champion Patrick Reed nearly went home after making double bogey on No. 15 and bogey on 16, but parred the final two finishing holes to make the cut on the number at 3-over-par. Jon Rahm didn’t come close, despite an opening 69. Rahm shot a second round 78, but the birdie on the tough 18th hole was little consolation for his week’s work.”At least I can say I made birdie to that pin on the 18th at Carnoustie,” said Rahm, who is ranked fifth in the world. “Besides that, things didn’t happen. I can’t give an explanation really. I don’t know.”
Rose, who is ranked No. 3, came to the 18th hole needing a birdie to survive the cut. He got a big cheer from the crowd after rolling in his putt to avoid heading home.
“Right now my thoughts are I’m delighted,” Rose said. “Twenty minutes ago, I was not very delighted.” Rose said he thought 3 over was going to be the cut line, and it was. Now he’s got an early tee time Saturday and an outside chance to make his way up the leaderboard. “Just got to try to turn it around for the weekend,” he said. “Be out there fairly early tomorrow and certainly try to get into the red as soon as I can and try to make a run.”
Johnson, meanwhile, never recovered from a triple bogey on the 18th hole in his first round. He shot 76-72 to miss the cut by three shots.
It was just as tough for Thomas, who bogeyed two of the last three holes to miss the cut by a shot.
For Rahm, it was an abrupt end to a week in which many thought he might contend for his first major championship. He struggled to explain how he shot the 78 that sent him home. “Right now I’m not in any mental state to think about what happened, to be honest,” he said.
Rahm said there is a fine line between contending and missing the cut in most major championships, when a few stray shots can make the difference. “I don’t think I ever had a grasp on it,” he said. “It’s just sad. You never know in a major. Once you make the cut, you can have a good weekend. You get the right side of the draw, and you’re playing some good weather, and you might be able to make some shots back and make it happen. You never know.”