Johnson and Kisner, housemates and British Open leaders

DOUG FERGUSON - Associated Press
Justin Thomas plays off the 3rd tee during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Friday. - Associated Press

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — A light rain in the morning that gave way to soft sunlight in the afternoon took some of the sting out of Carnoustie.

Just not all of it.

Kevin Kisner found that out with one swing that erased his two-shot lead Friday in the British Open and left him tied with housemate Zach Johnson. He hit an 8-iron that only needed to go 150 yards to clear the Barry Burn in front of the 18th green. Instead, it floated out of the yellow grass to the right, bounced off the base of the rock wall that frames the winding stream and led to a double bogey.

Disappointed but not down, Kisner removed his cap behind the green and scratched his head as if he wondered what hit him.

“They call it ‘Car-nasty’ for a reason,” he said after signing for his 1-under 70. “Even when you think you’ve got it, it will jump up and bite you.”

It took a chunk out of Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world who won’t be around for the weekend. Johnson finished with a double bogey to miss the cut by one. Thomas made three straight double bogeys on the front nine and missed by one.

And it left a wide-open weekend on a course with a history of crazy finishes.

Zach Johnson, whose name already is on the claret jug from his playoff victory at St. Andrews three years ago, played in the morning under an umbrella and finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 67.

Johnson and Kisner are staying in a house of seven players — five of them major champions — and share the lead at 6-under 136.

They played on different ends of a day that started gray and ended with shadows. Scotland’s unusually dry summer finally got a reprieve. There wasn’t enough rain to turn brown fairways green, though it at least kept shots from rolling endlessly.

They head into a weekend with endless possibilities.

One shot behind were Tommy Fleetwood (65), Pat Perez (68) and Xander Schauffele (66). Perez was tied for the lead until he hit into a bunker on the 18th hole and took bogey. Rory McIlroy, pledging to “go down swinging” to rid himself of a bad Masters memory this year, had another 69 and was part of a large group two shots behind.

Jordan Spieth also is in the mix in his bid to take the claret jug back home to Texas. Spieth hit 8-iron through a gap in the trees for a birdie-birdie start to the back nine, and he dropped only one shot — not four like he did on Thursday — over the four closing holes at Carnoustie for a 67. He goes into the weekend just three shots back.

“Very happy to be back in the tournament,” Spieth said.

Tiger Woods still has work to do after a rugged start, good recovery and then a mix of birdies and bogeys that left him stuck in neutral on a better day for scoring. Woods had another 71 and was six shots behind, with 28 players between him and the lead.

“We’ve been fortunate with the conditions. It hasn’t blown yet,” Kisner said. “I think it will blow this weekend and make it even more difficult. Who knows what’s going to happen? We’re going to just keep trying to get after it.”

Carnoustie was a far different test from the opening round, when sunshine baked the fairways crisp and it was difficult to figure out how far the ball was going when it hit the ground. The steady, light rain made them a little slower and a lot more predictable. The greens held shots a little better. Strategies changed. Slightly softer conditions meant power players who were driving beyond the trouble hit more irons off the tee, and shorter players hit more drivers and fairway metals.

Kisner hit 5-iron off the first tee Thursday. He hit 3-wood Friday.

“Hit the same club as the approach,” Kisner said. “That’s a pretty dramatic difference in distance.”

Kisner is a newcomer to what amounts to an American fraternity house at golf’s oldest championship the last three years. Four of them are among the top 11 on the leaderboard going into the weekend with Spieth and Rickie Fowler, who shot 69 and was at 3-under 139.

As for talking shop after work? Nothing is off limits.

“Everybody will tell their horror stories and good stories, and we’ll laugh and eat a big old meal and sit around and watching something stupid,” Kisner said.

Thomas will have one of the horror stories.

The PGA champion took three to get out of a pot bunker from the fairway on the par-5 sixth hole, making the first of three straight double bogeys. Johnson became the first No. 1 player to miss the cut since Luke Donald in 2011, and it was the second straight that the top two players in the world ranking missed the cut in a major.

The way golf has been going, it would be reasonable to see the name “Johnson” atop the leaderboard and assume it belonged to the top-ranked player.

But not necessarily at the British Open.

“I’ve been called Dustin many times,” Zach Johnson said. “I doubt he’s been called Zach that many times.”

Johnson overcame a bogey on the opening hole with birdies on the third and fourth holes, and he never put himself under too much pressure the rest of the way.

Already a two-time major champion with titles at St. Andrews and Augusta National, the 42-year-old from Iowa now has made the cut 12 straight times in the British Open, a streak that began at Carnoustie in 2007. His low ball flight, grinding nature and good putting give him the right ingredients.

Kisner is no stranger to pressure at a major. He had at least a share of the lead after each of three rounds at the PGA Championship last summer until a bogey on the 70th hole ruined his chances.

“Hopefully, I’ll have another chance to prove that I can do it here,” Kisner said.

British Open Par Scores


At Royal & Ancient Golf Club

Carnoustie, Scotland

Purse: $10.5 million

Yardage: 7,402; Par: 71

Second Round


Zach Johnson 69-67—136 -6

Kevin Kisner 66-70—136 -6

Tommy Fleetwood 72-65—137 -5

Pat Perez 69-68—137 -5

Xander Schauffele 71-66—137 -5

Rory McIlroy 69-69—138 -4

Erik van Rooyen 67-71—138 -4

Matt Kuchar 70-68—138 -4

Tony Finau 67-71—138 -4

Zander Lombard 67-71—138 -4

Kevin Chappell 70-69—139 -3

Jordan Spieth 72-67—139 -3

Rickie Fowler 70-69—139 -3

Thorbjorn Olesen 70-70—140 -2

Luke List 70-70—140 -2

Danny Willett 69-71—140 -2

Brandon Stone 68-72—140 -2

Ryan Moore 68-73—141 -1

Charley Hoffman 71-70—141 -1

Alex Noren 70-71—141 -1

Adam Scott 71-70—141 -1

Kyle Stanley 72-69—141 -1

Brooks Koepka 72-69—141 -1

Matthew Southgate 69-72—141 -1

Eddie Pepperell 71-70—141 -1

Patrick Cantlay 70-71—141 -1

Webb Simpson 70-71—141 -1

Sung Kang 69-72—141 -1

Francesco Molinari 70-72—142 E

Jason Day 71-71—142 E

Michael Kim 73-69—142 E

Lucas Herbert 73-69—142 E

Tiger Woods 71-71—142 E

Shaun Norris 74-68—142 E

Austin Cook 72-70—142 E

Phil Mickelson 73-69—142 E

Stewart Cink 72-70—142 E

Louis Oosthuizen 72-70—142 E

Sean Crocker 71-71—142 E

Cameron Davis 71-72—143 +1

Haotong Li 71-72—143 +1

Beau Hossler 73-70—143 +1

Marcus Kinhult 74-69—143 +1

Thomas Pieters 70-73—143 +1

Satoshi Kodaira 72-71—143 +1

Yuta Ikeda 70-73—143 +1

Si Woo Kim 71-72—143 +1

Gary Woodland 71-72—143 +1

Adam Hadwin 73-70—143 +1

Julian Suri 74-69—143 +1

Kevin Na 70-73—143 +1

Byeong Hun An 73-71—144 +2

Lee Westwood 72-72—144 +2

Marc Leishman 72-72—144 +2

Brendan Steele 68-76—144 +2

Cameron Smith 73-71—144 +2

Shubhankar Sharma 73-71—144 +2

Masahiro Kawamura 77-67—144 +2

Brett Rumford 74-70—144 +2

Paul Dunne 71-73—144 +2

Rafa Cabrera Bello 74-70—144 +2

Bernhard Langer 73-71—144 +2

Chris Wood 70-74—144 +2

Paul Casey 73-71—144 +2

a-Sam Locke 72-73—145 +3

Tom Lewis 75-70—145 +3

Henrik Stenson 70-75—145 +3

Bryson DeChambeau 75-70—145 +3

Keegan Bradley 74-71—145 +3

Jason Dufner 75-70—145 +3

Ryan Fox 74-71—145 +3

Ross Fisher 75-70—145 +3

Tyrrell Hatton 74-71—145 +3

Yusaku Miyazato 71-74—145 +3

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 74-71—145 +3

Justin Rose 72-73—145 +3

Patrick Reed 75-70—145 +3

Rhys Enoch 74-71—145 +3

Gavin Green 72-73—145 +3

Missed Cut

Daniel Berger 73-73—146 +4

Branden Grace 74-72—146 +4

Justin Thomas 69-77—146 +4

Chez Reavie 69-77—146 +4

Tom Lehman 75-71—146 +4

Matt Wallace 74-72—146 +4

Sergio Garcia 75-71—146 +4

Russell Knox 73-73—146 +4

Hideki Matsuyama 75-71—146 +4

Fabrizio Zanotti 72-74—146 +4

Martin Kaymer 71-75—146 +4

George Coetzee 75-71—146 +4

Peter Uihlein 74-72—146 +4

Charl Schwartzel 74-73—147 +5

Kelly Kraft 74-73—147 +5

Matthew Fitzpatrick 72-75—147 +5

Jorge Campillo 72-75—147 +5

Jordan Smith 74-73—147 +5

Andy Sullivan 71-76—147 +5

Oliver Wilson 75-72—147 +5

Shane Lowry 74-73—147 +5

Brian Harman 71-76—147 +5

Chesson Hadley 73-74—147 +5

Jon Rahm 69-78—147 +5

Alexander Levy 73-75—148 +6

Dustin Johnson 76-72—148 +6

Bubba Watson 75-73—148 +6

Bronson Burgoon 74-74—148 +6

a-Nicolai Hojgaard 72-76—148 +6

Charles Howell III 75-74—149 +7

Russell Henley 69-80—149 +7

Ryuko Tokimatsu 72-77—149 +7

Abraham Ancer 71-78—149 +7

Mark Calcavecchia 73-76—149 +7

Ernie Els 73-76—149 +7

Scott Jamieson 75-74—149 +7

Sang-Hyun Park 76-73—149 +7

Marcus Armitage 80-69—149 +7

Jimmy Walker 72-78—150 +8

Dylan Frittelli 71-79—150 +8

Jason Kokrak 72-78—150 +8

Padraig Harrington 76-74—150 +8

Jazz Janewattananond 74-76—150 +8

Thomas Curtis 82-68—150 +8

Emiliano Grillo 76-74—150 +8

Hideto Tanihara 75-75—150 +8

Anirban Lahiri 76-74—150 +8

Jhonattan Vegas 76-74—150 +8

Alexander Bjork 72-78—150 +8

Haraldur Magnus 72-78—150 +8

Kodai Ichihara 78-72—150 +8

Patton Kizzire 77-74—151 +9

Michael Hendry 73-78—151 +9

Shota Akiyoshi 77-74—151 +9

Todd Hamilton 75-76—151 +9

Ryan Armour 75-76—151 +9

Matt Jones 75-76—151 +9

Sandy Lyle 75-76—151 +9

Retief Goosen 74-77—151 +9

Danthai Boonma 78-74—152 +10

Jonas Blixt 77-76—153 +11

Nicolas Colsaerts 79-74—153 +11

Grant Forrest 80-73—153 +11

Minchel Choi 79-74—153 +11

Brandt Snedeker 76-78—154 +12

Ian Poulter 73-81—154 +12

Masanori Kobayashi 82-72—154 +12

Brady Schnell 79-75—154 +12

a-Yuxin Lin 80-74—154 +12

Jack Senior 79-76—155 +13

Ashton Turner 78-77—155 +13

James Robinson 75-81—156 +14

Andrew Landry 80-77—157 +15

a-Jovan Rebula 79-79—158 +16

Jens Dantorp 76-82—158 +16

Darren Clarke 82-83—165 +23

David Duval 80-WD

Justin Thomas plays off the 3rd tee during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Friday. Thomas plays off the 3rd tee during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Friday. Associated Press


Associated Press