HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Jason Day won the Match Play Championship, and then played only one tournament (the Masters) over the next three months because of a thumb injury. So imagine the scare at the British Open when he took a practice swing and felt a stinging sensation from his left hand.
It wasn’t the thumb. It was his wrist.
“I took a practice swing and something popped in my left side, and it was kind of like a tingling sensation through my hand, and it went straight up to my elbow,” Day said Friday after a birdie on the 18th hole for a 73 that assured he would at least make the cut.
It happened on Thursday, and Day said it bugged him the rest of the day. He received treatment and played the second round with his wrist heavily taped.
At least this injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
“I’ve had wrist injuries before,” Day said. “And it just didn’t feel like it was a harm to me. So I just wanted to get through the round and see the guys, see how it went. And today it was only one shot where it felt bad.”
Day said he had a similar problem last year at the British Open, only the pain was in his right side.
“It’s very firm here. The ground is very firm,” the Australian said. “And then you hit in the long stuff and you’re kind of gouging it out. … So every time I come here I know that I have to get my forearm loosened up. Once they tighten up, something pops in my wrist and goes up my elbow. So that’s kind of one thing that I need. Or hit more fairways. That’s probably a good idea. Hit more fairways.”
BUBBA TV: Bubba Watson knew he was going to miss the cut at 4-over 146, but he had to wait until Friday afternoon to make sure. He was headed home to watch coverage of the British Open on the BBC and hang out with some friends.
Wait. Bubba watches golf on TV?
“I do like this when I don’t have anything else to watch,” Watson said. “At home, I won’t sit and watch golf — unless it’s the Masters. Everybody loves the Masters.”
Watson, of course, is never home for the Masters.
“I watch the replay a lot,” the two-time Masters champion said. “I’ve got two favorite years I watch all the time. But over here we’ll watch it because it’s neat. This is how golf is intended to be played. So yeah, it’s fun to watch the bounces and everything.”
Watson said the only golf — outside the Masters — he’ll watch in America is the LPGA Tour because “they’re always positive.”
“It would be rare to hear a negative comment,” Watson said. “I hate the negative comments. I mean, guys are trying their hardest. We always hear, ‘Oh, that’s terrible,’ and this and that. ‘I did this when I was 17 years old. Shot 63 before.’ That’s why I don’t watch coverage anymore. There’s too much negative stuff going on in the world — not just golf, the whole world. Just can’t even watch the stuff.”
HAAS RULING: Bill Haas thought he might be in danger of missing the cut. Instead he shot a 2-under 70 and was near the leaders when he finished. He was helped by a huge break and a ruling that required some clarification.
Haas hit his tee shot on the 17th into high rough, and with about a minute left in the five minutes they were allowed to search, the ball was found.
That was the first good break. The next one was just as important.
“It had been stepped on, but in the hay,” Haas said. “The person who found it said it was kicked, but he didn’t step on it. But we determined the lie had been altered.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez thought Haas was getting relief for an embedded lie, which he didn’t think was allowed at The Open. He asked Haas to get a second opinion — the first ruling came from USGA executive director Mike Davis.
Haas was given relief under Rule 18-1 because someone else moved the ball, and he was allowed to replace it under Rule 20-3b because the lie had been altered. Jimenez did not appear happy, mainly because he sought relief from an embedded lie a few years at The Open was denied.
“You go to the referee and explain the referee,” Jimenez said. “I don’t argue with referee, He is going to explain you the rules.”
Haas said Jimenez probably was confused because the words he was using with Davis made it sound like an embedded lie. Either way, it was a big break.
“I wouldn’t have been able to hit if the guy who found it hadn’t touched it,” Haas said. “Since I got a drop, I had a swing to get it up by the green and got it up-and-down. I was in the left rough on 18 and got a jumper all the way up by the green and made birdie. Honestly, if we don’t find the ball, I might make 6 or 7 there and we’re talking about maybe missing the cut instead of being near the lead.”
NOW FOR THE DAY JOB: John Singleton took a break from his job as a factory worker to play in the British Open this week.
After missing the cut by only two shots at Royal Liverpool on Friday, he doesn’t know if he’ll be going back to the day job.
Singleton birdied three of his final four holes to shoot a 2-under 70 in his second round. He was one of three players to have only 24 putts, the low for the day.
“I don’t know if I’m going to go back to work on Monday or not,” said the 30-year-old Singleton, who makes paints and varnishes in a local resin factory. “I just finished off an emotional roller coaster. So I think I have to come down from that and I’ll see what happens.”
PHIL’S SYMPATHY: Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, who have been battling on the golf course since they were teenagers, shared a few meaningful words when they finished their rounds. Mickelson shot 70 and was back to even-par at the British Open. Els never recovered from that opening 79 and missed the cut.
Mickelson said he could see how shook up Els was on Thursday when he hit a spectator in the face with his opening shot.
“We’ve been friends for decades now, and we were saying, ‘Let’s get this thing going.’ We hit a lot of good shots. And our games … we’re not getting out of it what we want, but they’re not far off.”
Mickelson said even before Els three-putted from 8 inches on the opening hole Thursday, he told Lefty what happened.
“He was shook up,” Mickelson said. “And I tried to say, ‘Look, you can’t worry about that. I do it all the time. But it didn’t help, I guess.”
DIVOTS: The cut was at 2-over 146 and there were plenty of casualties. Ian Poulter missed a cut in a major for the first time this year. Bubba Watson has missed the cut in both majors since winning the Masters. He was staying with Webb Simpson, who also won’t be playing the weekend. … Sergio Garcia played the opening three holes in even par on Friday — bogey, eagle, bogey. He holed out from the second fairway. … Tiger Woods will be the last to tee off on Saturday, which he would have welcomed at the start of the week. But he’ll be starting on No. 10 because of the two-tee start to dodge the weather.
AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas contributed to this report.
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