Sports

Byrd just greatful for the chance to play Carnoustie

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- On the plane coming to Scotland on Monday night, Jonathan Byrd's excitement over his victory at the John Deere Classic was tempered by his visions of Carnoustie.

The former Clemson standout had watched the Car-nasty Open in 1999, famous for Jean Van de Velde's collapse, and heard the stories of how treacherous the place had been.

"This course is a lot friendlier than the one I saw in '99," Byrd said Friday after posting a two-day total of 3-over par 145 that got him through to the weekend in his first British Open.

Were it not for one bothersome hole -- the relatively benign par-5 sixth hole that he's played 3-over par -- Byrd would be more pleased with his performance. But two double bogeys on Thursday and a handful of missed opportunities Friday cost him.

Standing on the 14th tee Thursday 4-over par, with the menacing closing stretch ahead, Byrd's caddie, Mike Hicks, told Byrd that an eagle on the par-5 would change their week. Byrd made the eagle and Hicks was right.

Having made a handful of previous trips to play links courses in Scotland and Ireland, Byrd relished the chance to come to Carnoustie. He fashions himself a player whose strength is built around imagination and his ability to manufacture shots to fit the situation, particularly on links.

"It's an easy adjustment for me," Byrd said. "I enjoy hitting different shots.

"This is fun. I wish we could play 15 British Opens and 15 Masters every year. That would be great."

Lucas Glover, meanwhile, added a 72 to his opening 71 to stand seven behind leader Sergio Garcia at the midpoint. He didn't strike the ball as well as in the first round when he led the field in greens hit in regulation and, consequently, struggled a bit more. Glover, another former Clemson golfer, made two excellent par saves with long bunker shots at the 15th and 18th holes.

"It was a good day but there were no easy birdies like (Thursday)," Glover said.

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