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Zach Johnson of the US plays a shot on the 12th fairway during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Friday July 20, 2018.

Johnson takes early lead in British Open

Fri, July 20, 2018 16:56

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 20, 2018 (News Wires) - The way golf has been going the last few years, it would be reasonable to see the name "Johnson" atop the leaderboard and assume it belonged to the No. 1 player in the world. But not necessarily at the British Open.

Zach Johnson - not Dustin - already has his name on the claret jug. And the way he handled the rain Friday in his round of 4-under 67, he might have a chance to see it on that precious silver trophy again.

Johnson holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th and had a one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood at the midway point of the second round. Fleetwood, the top player on the European Tour last year, put together the best round of the week at Carnoustie with a 65.

Rory McIlroy had another 69 and was two shots behind.

Johnson was at 6-under 136, and had to wait to see if it would hold up. Kevin Kisner, the 18-hole leader, was among the late starters.

The light rain from overnight never let up. It wasn't enough to turn the color of grass from brown to green, just enough to be a nuisance playing in rain gear, with towels hanging from the inside of umbrella to stay dry and putting surfaces that were slightly slower.

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.


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