Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Hardy: Halftime at the 2018 British Open

This is the best major next to the Masters. Now don't get all upset – I love the U.S. Open too. But the British has the added value of being on at what I call "old guy time." Super-early weekend mornings? Perfect.

I'm up at 6 a.m. anyway, and I'd rather watch golf than just about anything else. Plus, it leaves more time for my typical Old School Saturday; Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, I don't know ... we might not have enough time.

Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT: Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a bunker on the 14th hole during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steven Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT: Rory McIlroy plays a shot from a bunker on the 14th hole during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steven Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

British Open: Halftime Thoughts


Carnousite Golf Links is playing hard and fast in the fairways, and soft and bumpy on the greens. Not soft or bumpy by my standards, but certainly by the world's top players' standards. Many have figured it out, while others were left wondering how a 400 yard drive could turn into a bogey.

Zach Johnson is in the Figured It Out group. He's won it before at St. Andrews (2015) and has the 2007 Masters to prove he's not a one-trick pony. He started his second round with a bogey at the par-4 1st hole, but birdies at 3, 4, and 6 allowed him to go out in 34. He played a bogey free back nine to come home in 33 for a 4-under par-67. He shares the lead with ...

Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT: Kevin Kisner reacts on the 18th green during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT: Kevin Kisner reacts on the 18th green during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Kisner. I think Kisner has it figured out, but a double bogey on the final hole of the second round has me wondering. His opening-round 5-under 66 leads me to believe his journey into the Barry Burn on the 36th hole was a momentary lapse in an otherwise solid first half.

One bright spot in Kisner's hiccup is the fact that a lot of players now have hope going into moving day. Had he made a routine par, guys like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jason Day would be eight strokes off the lead before they teed off in the third round. Instead, some fan favorites still have a chance at making a run since they're only six shots back.

Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT; Tiger Woods reacts on the 18th green during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 20, 2018; Carnoustie, SCT; Tiger Woods reacts on the 18th green during the second round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports)

Brendan Steele (who joined me last week on the Sports Hub Golf Club) carded an impressive 3-under par-68 in the opening round, but found some trouble in the rough conditions early wavers faced on Friday. His second-round 76 moved him from T-5th to T-47th. Good enough to make the cut, but disappointing after he was looking to make good on my request for a top-10 finish.

Apr 5, 2018; Augusta, GA, USA; Brendan Steele hits his tee shot on the 2nd hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 5, 2018; Augusta, GA, USA; Brendan Steele hits his tee shot on the 2nd hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

And the world's No. 1 player, Dustin Johnson? He never got it going in the 1st round, making only one birdie to go with three bogeys and a triple-bogey seven on the par-4 18th. His scorecard on the back nine of the second round was a bloody mess; birdies, bogeys, a double, just two pars, and when you added it all up it amounted to an even par-35. He ended up 1-over on the day, 6-over for the tournament, and three shots on the wrong side of the cut line.

Jul 16, 2018; Carnoustie, Angus, SCT; Dustin Johnson plays from the 5th fairway during a practice round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 16, 2018; Carnoustie, Angus, SCT; Dustin Johnson plays from the 5th fairway during a practice round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

Justin Thomas, a.k.a. The Last One Who Was Supposed to be the Next One, essentially missed the cut in one three-hole stretch on Friday. Holes 6, 7 and 8 = double, double, double. Had he managed even a bogey on just one of those holes, he would've made the cut on the number.

Jul 17, 2018; Carnoustie, Angus, SCT: Justin Thomas during a practice round for The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 17, 2018; Carnoustie, Angus, SCT: Justin Thomas during a practice round for The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

In the end, I'm hoping the name Matt Kuchar (-4) ends up on the Claret Jug. It would get him off the "best players to never win a major" list, and it would feel right after he lost in what felt like a match play duel with Jordan Spieth last year.

Jul 23, 2017, Southport, ENG: Jordan Spieth holds the Claret Jug and shows it to Matt Kuchar after winning the 146th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. (Photo Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 23, 2017, Southport, ENG: Jordan Spieth holds the Claret Jug and shows it to Matt Kuchar after winning the 146th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. (Photo Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

-- By Rob "Hardy" Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub

You can hear Hardy's thoughts weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ET on the Zolak & Bertrand program. As well as the Sports Hub Golf Club every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET during the season. Follow him on Twitter @Hardy985.