The Open: Willett sneaks through but Fitzpatrick misses cut at Royal Troon

Danny Willett held his nerve on the 18th at Royal Troon to make the cut at The Open
Danny Willett held his nerve on the 18th at Royal Troon to make the cut at The Open
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Danny Willett rolled in a superb 15 foot putt to make the cut at The Open by a whisker after another difficult day at Royal Troon.

But fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick is heading home after a horror show of a second round on the west coast of Scotland.

Willett flirted with the cut throughout the afternoon but rallied late and needed just a par on the 18th to make sure of his place in the third round.

He was presented with a testing 15 footer in order to do so but was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as he watched it drop.

“It was another day battling with everything,” the Hackenthorpe ace said. “I missed a couple of cuts by one recently so it was nice to not do it again.

“It was a tough day and anyone on our side of the draw in the afternoon that was under par played some great golf.

“They were very tough conditions and I think anyone would tell you that.

“Whenever your umbrella is horizontal trying to keep the rain off you, it’s always going to be a tricky one.”

After the toil of Thursday, Willett started his second round with a bogey as afternoon conditions proved equally as tough.

Another bogey followed on four but he clawed the shot back on seven. A double bogey five on eight saw him tumble further down the leaderboard and make missing the cut a real prospect.

The Masters champion carded bogeys on ten and 14 but movement on the leaderboard saw the cut pushed to +4, bringing him back into the game.

And a timely birdie on 16 meant a pair of pars would be enough to keep him alive and he duly obliged.

A finish on +4 left him 14 shots behind Phil Mickelson, who retained his lead with a two under par round of 69 to go to -10 for the tournament.

The big mover of the day was Sweden’s Henrik Stenson who carded a brilliant 65 to move to -9, one shot behind five time Major winner Mickelson.

Now through to the third round, 28-year-old Willett admits he will need plenty of things to go in his favour if he is to make a real impression on the tournament.

Willett said: “Usually at an Open when you make the cut on a good week, you can push up there.

“Unfortunately, 14 shots behind, you’re going to need a good draw on the weekend.

“To go out early on Saturday, hopefully with not much wind and try to post your score and move yourself up there.

“I don’t know the forecast. But it’s nice to be playing tomorrow.”

Unable to enjoy that feeling is Fitzpatrick whose nine over par round of 80 ended his hopes on Friday evening.

The 21-year-old was progressing steadily as he opened with five straight pars only for back to back bogeys to hamper his chances.

The back nine proved perilous with bogeys on 11, 12 and 13 all but ending his hopes of making the cut.

Double bogeys on 15 and the last ensured a difficult conclusion for the youngster.