GULLANE, United Kingdom (AFP) – The fates of Y.E. Yang, K.J. Choi of Korea and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand took a surprising twist when they narrowly made the halfway cut at the British Open on Friday.
Yang (70), Choi (74), and Thongchai (71) finished the second round earlier in the day and were a distance away from the cut-off mark before the Muirfield course bared its fangs.
The course, which was playing hard and fast, and the unpredictable windy conditions made life difficult for the elite players where many moved backwards on the leaderboard to give the three Asian Tour players spots in the weekend rounds. The halfway cut was set at 150.
Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, was delighted with his battling performance where he avoided the demanding bunkers.
"It is tough when you are in the bunkers but I didn't find any today. I made a few bogeys from the fairways but it was still a good effort," said Thongchai, who totalled eight-over-par 150.
Yang, Asia's first major champion, who was in the first group to tee off at 6:32am, left his fate to the field when he returned with a 148.
"I could have played better. If I had to pinpoint one shot which I would like to reshoot it will be on the 11th yesterday when I ended up in the sand trap and needed five shots to get out," said Yang.
Choi, who cut his professional teeth on the Asian Tour before going on to win eight PGA Tour titles, made a critical birdie on the 17th hole which sneaked him into the last two days.