Wes Short Jr. shot his second straight 3-under 67 on Friday to take a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Senior British Open.
After an up-and-down second round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that included a double bogey on the par-4 sixth, Short closed with three straight birdies to post 6-under 134 and take the solo lead at a senior major for the first time.
“I like it. It makes you think,” Short said of the English links that has hosted the British Open 11 times. “I played a lot of different shots off the tee and tried to avoid the bunkers and had a really nice (run) birdieing the last three.”
Fellow American Scott Dunlap shot 68 and was one shot back. He bounced back from an early double bogey on the par-3 fourth.
“I never played any of the regular Opens here, but I’ve played the golf course probably a half a dozen times and loved it,” Dunlap said. “I really wanted to be here and see what it was like in tournament competition, and so far, so good.”
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who won the 2011 British Open at Royal St. George’s, was third at 4 under after his second consecutive 68 in his Senior Open debut.
“I missed everything today. Kept giving myself opportunities and just not making anything,” Clarke said. “Particularly frustrating, whenever I give myself those chances and not take them, and hopefully that doesn’t cost me at the end of the week. Tee-to-green has all been pretty good. I got off to a bit of a dodgy start today, but after that I played nicely.”
Retief Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion who won the Senior Players Championship earlier this month for his first over-50 title, shot 67 and was 3 under alongside Ken Duke (69) and Bart Bryant (68).
Three-time Senior Open champion Bernhard Langer was four shots back after a 67, and defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 68 to post 1 under.
In his 18th appearance in the event, three-time champion Tom Watson shot 70 to make the cut with a shot to spare at 4 over. Watson has never missed the cut in the Senior Open.
Geoffrey Nicholas of Australia, who qualified for the Senior Open to become the first amputee to compete in a senior major, shot rounds of 88-86. Nicholas’ right leg was amputated at age 11 because of a birth defect.