British Open | Talor Gooch backtracks on Ryder Cup comments

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

___

1 p.m.

Talor Gooch moved up the leaderboard during the second round of the British Open and then backtracked on comments he made last month comparing the Saudi-funded breakaway series to the Ryder Cup.

Gooch is one of the dozens of players who have joined LIV Golf, causing a rift in the sport. He said after the second event in Oregon that he imagined the atmosphere at the tournament was as good as the Ryder Cup, even though he has never played at one.

“A bunch of players came up, and they’re like really? Really? I was like, hold on a second, guys. Give me a little break. I just won. I was in the moment. I might have gotten a little aggressive with the comments,” Gooch said. “Rightfully so, I’ve taken a little bit of heat for it.”

Gooch shot a 3-under 69 in the second round at the Old Course to move to 7 under overall.

The 30-year-old Gooch won his first PGA Tour title in the final tournament of 2021 against a field that had no one from the top 10 in the world on the weekend.

___

12:50 p.m.

Cameron Young has finally been caught.

Dustin Johnson rolled in a long birdie putt at No. 16 and joined Young, his fellow American, at 8 under for the tournament.

Johnson is 4 under for his round and still has the drivable No. 18 to play.

Young, the first-round leader, has yet to start his second round.

The strong play of Johnson, a former No. 1, and Talor Gooch, who shot 3-under 69 to move to 7 under overall, raises the prospect of a player from the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series winning the British Open.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers this week delivered a withering verdict on the breakaway tour, describing it as a money grab that threatens the golf’s merit-based culture cultivated over centuries.

___

11:45 a.m.

Mark Calcavecchia followed a time-honored tradition and stood on the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole to wave farewell at his last British Open.

The 1989 champion at Royal Troon felt the emotions.

“Got a little choked up,” Calcavecchia said after his second round of 10-over 82, which will ensure he will not make the weekend at St. Andrews.

The American’s exemption as a past champion ran out in 2020, the year the British Open was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. He couldn’t play last year at Royal St. George’s because of injury and was invited by the R&A to close his Open career at the home of golf, at the age of 62.

His kids were there to watch him Friday as Calcavecchia went out in the first group.

“Forget about my golf,” Calcavecchia said. “It wouldn’t have mattered if I shot a pair of 75s or a pair of 85s, which I nearly did. It was about playing one more, my last one here at the home of golf, which is really cool to be able to end it here.”

___

11:20 a.m.

Not for the first time, Tyrrell Hatton is on the charge at St. Andrews.

The English player holed a long-range putt at No. 10 for a fourth birdie of his second round and moved to 6 under, two shots off the lead held by Cameron Young — an afternoon starter.

Hatton is a two-time winner of the Dunhill Links Championship, a European tour event in Scotland that is partly staged at St. Andrews.

The umbrellas are down and sweaters have come off as the weather improves at the home of golf. So should the scoring, with the fairways made softer by morning rain.

Talor Gooch birdied the par-5 14th hole and was one off the lead on 7 under. Dustin Johnson, the former No. 1 who also plays on the LIV Golf series, birdied Nos. 9 and 11 to join Hatton on 6 under.

___

10:20 a.m.

Tiger Woods is out on the course for his second round at the British Open. He played it safe on the first hole this time.

Woods found the middle of the fairway, the middle of the green and two-putted for par.

That’s a whole lot better than in the first round, where he hit a wedge into the Swilcan Burn from out of a fresh divot and ran up a double-bogey.

The two biggest movers early in the second round at St. Andrews were players who have signed up for LIV Golf, the Saudi-funded breakaway series.

Talor Gooch birdied two of his first three holes and was tied for second place at 6 under, two shots off the lead.

Paul Casey, the latest player to join LIV, was 3 under for his round after eight holes and at 4 under overall.

___

7:30 a.m.

Tiger Woods arrived at St. Andrews in shorts and a hoodie. He might also need an umbrella.

The second round of the British Open began under a light rain. That is likely to take some of the fire out of an Old Course that was so fast that it make the rounds go atrociously slow on Thursday.

Of greater concern to Woods is making up ground. His 78 in the first round was good to beat only seven other players. Three of them were past champions in their 50s. Woods figures he needs a 66 or better to make it to the weekend.

Cameron Young leads Rory McIlroy by two. They don’t tee off until the afternoon.

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.