It paid to get out on the course early at St. Andrews during the second round of the British Open on Friday. After stopping play for just over an hour due to heavy winds that included gusts over 40 MPH, nobody from any of the afternoon groups finished their round in the 60s after quite a few players -- Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Calcavecchia notable among them, with the pair leading the way at 12-under and 7-under for the tournament -- went low earlier in the day. Play was suspended due to darkness with a handful of groups yet to complete their second rounds; they will finish early Saturday morning.
After consecutive three-putt bogeys to begin his day, Tiger Woods stabilized and gutted out a 1-over 73 that left him 4-under for the tournament and eight shots behind 36-hole leader Oosthuizen. Woods nearly pulled off a highly improbable double-eagle on the par 4 18th hole, after he drove the green and saw his ball trickle by the hole. Woods missed his eagle putt, but managed to salvage a birdie to punctuate his round and keep himself in contention.
A few other of the first-round leaders were not so lucky on Friday. Northern Irish wunderkind Rory McIlroy imploded after his 9-under 63 on Thursday, giving nearly all of it back on Friday with an 8-over 80. Everybody's favorite redemption story John Daly suffered a similar fate, finishing his second round at 4-over 76 to fall to 2-under for the tournament and a tie for 28th.
Phil Mickelson did make the cut after a 1-under 73 brought him to even for the championship, although sentimental favorite Tom Watson did not after shooting a 3-over 75 that brought him to 4-over. Watson, of course, nearly made history as the oldest major champion ever when he came within a missed putt of etching his name on the Claret Jug for a sixth time, before falling in a playoff to Stewart Cink.
For more on the British Open, check out our golf blog Waggle Room.