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
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT