Perhaps Brandt Snedeker will be the 10th consecutive first-time winner of a major championship.
Snedeker shot 6-under 64 on Day 2 of The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes to take a commanding lead over the field. The winner in San Diego earlier this season is 10 under par through two rounds
“I’m sure everybody in this room is in about as much shock as I am right now,” Snedeker said in his post-round news conference, according to the Associated Press.
Of his six birdies on Friday at Lytham, three came on holes Snedeker birdied on Thursday – Nos. 1, 7 and 11. Three others at the sixth, ninth and 12th helped set the pace.
“My mantra all week has been to get the ball on the greens as fast as possible,” he said. “Once I’m on there, I have a pretty good hand on the speed of the greens. I’m just going to try and keep doing that over the weekend.”
A streaky player, Snedeker found trouble several times on the day, typically going left with his tee shots. He found the fescue on several holes down the stretch, getting up-and-down each time for par, including at the last hole.
That final par helped the Vanderbilt product tie a pair of Open Championship records on Friday. He matched Nick Faldo’s 1992 36-hole tally for lowest in the 141 years the Open Championship has been contested. Snedeker also equaled the competitive course record at Lytham, matching the Adam Scott’s first round from Thursday and Tom Lehman’s third-round effort en route to victory in 1996.
Snedeker has not made a bogey through two rounds. A player has never gone bogey-free for 72 holes of a major, but several players have made just three. Tiger Woods was the last to do that, winning the 2006 PGA Championship at Medinah – this year’s Ryder Cup venue.