Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Veteran Jimenez leads at halfway as Woods well-placed for challenge

July 19, 2013 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
Miguel Angel Jimenez put up another superb display at Muirfield to claim the halfway lead at the British Open.
Miguel Angel Jimenez put up another superb display at Muirfield to claim the halfway lead at the British Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 49-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez leads British Open
  • Popular Spaniard on 139 -- three under par -- at Muirfield
  • Tiger Woods firmly in contention just one adrift
  • Phil Mickelson drops back after four-putt green

(CNN) -- 49 years of age and still going strong, Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez delighted the Muirfield galleries to lead the British Open at the halfway stage Friday.

Jimenez, a real crowd favorite with his flamboyant approach both on and off the course, drew on all his experience to card a level-par 71 for three-under 139.

A strengthening wind and fast running greens and fairways made the famous links course in East Lothian a brutal test, with only a few golfers passing a stern examination.

Read: There's more to life than golf, says Jimenez

Among them, chasing his elusive 15th major, was World No.1 Tiger Woods, who also carded a 71 to be in a select group on two-under, one off the lead.

The return of golf's 'Mechanic'
Historic venue welcomes top golfers
Lee Westwood's U.S. move
Weather too good at the British Open?

Woods rolled in a confidence boosting birdie on the 18th and admitted conditions had been tough.

"It was difficult out there today," he told gathered reporters.

Woods said patience would be the key over the weekend with conditions predicted to stay the same. "Just continue plodding along. Just continue being patient, putting the ball in the right spots," he said. "We're not going to get a lot of opportunities out there."

Woods has good company in the chasing group with 40-year-old Englishman Lee Westwood, who shot a joint best of the day 68, Swede Henrik Stenson and fellow American Dustin Johnson.

Overnight leader Zach Johnson fell away with a 75 but is still in contention in the pack at one-under-par with Scotland's Martin Laird, Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and Argentine veteran Angel Cabrera.

Read: Mickelson warms up with Scottish win

Jimenez, who became the oldest winner on the European Tour earlier this season, said age should not be a barrier to success on the course.

"Only the young people can do it? I love what I'm doing. I play golf for a living. Same thing 25 years. I enjoy myself," he told the official British Open website.

"I keep elastic and flexible. I'm still able to shoot low and still here. Tomorrow if I cannot shoot low, I will not be here, you don't worry," he added with a smile.

American Phil Mickelson looked set to take closer order, but a four-putt nightmare on the 16th showed the speed of the surfaces and set him back in his tracks.

Only the young people can do it? I love what I'm doing. I play golf for a living. Same thing 25 years. I enjoy myself
Miguel Angel Jimenez

He ended with a three-over 74 for one-over 143, bracketed with reigning Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia, former Masters winners Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel, 2011 British Open winner Darren Clarke and England's Ian Poulter.

Read: 'Brain dead' play costs McIlroy at Muirfield

But there will be no back to back major wins for Justin Rose as the English star missed the cut after his Merion heroics at the U.S. Open.

Former World No.1's Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald will also not be around for the weekend despite the cut being made at seven-over-par.

But defending champion Ernie Els of South Africa scraped in at six-over, along with former winners Padraig Harrington and Sandy Lyle.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT