HOYLAKE, England — World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler had to make a tough up-and-down from the bunker for birdie. Defending champion Cameron Smith pulled off a perfect 6-iron from the fairway for a tap-in eagle.
Both came through with great shots at the 18th to make the cut at the British Open on Friday, contrary to a slew of other major champions who are going home for the weekend.
Dustin Johnson never had a chance after shooting in the 80s. Justin Thomas couldn’t overcome what he called “bonehead” mistakes. Collin Morikawa made a late run that was not enough.
The cut at Royal Liverpool was as low as 2 over during the day, and ended with 76 players at 3 over or better.
Smith came into the final hole at 4-over par, needing at least a birdie. After finding the fairway with a good drive off the tee, he hit a superb 6-iron from 232 yards out to just over a foot from the hole for his eagle.
“It was a good shot,” Smith said. “I hit plenty of good shots today that didn’t get kind of that reward, so it was nice to finish off like that. Given the circumstance, as well, probably an even better shot.”
Smith was on the cut line after making a birdie at the par-4 12th, but dropped back after a double at the par-4 14th and a bogey at the par-4 16th. He finished with a 1-over par 72.
“Was just kind of another one of those days,” said Smith, the Open winner at St. Andrews last year. “But it was good to end like that for sure.”
Scheffler made four bogeys on the back nine and arrived at the 18th needing a birdie to keep alive his streak of not missing any cuts this season. He has finished 12th or better in his last 19 tournaments, though his last win was in March at the Players Championship.
Scheffler raised both arms after hitting it close from the bunker to secure his 4. He had gotten unlucky when his second shot hit near the lip of the bunker and bounced back into it.
Thomas, a two-time major champion, struggled over the first two days at Hoylake and finished at 11 over for the tournament. He shot 11-over 82 on Thursday in a round that included a 9 on the last hole.
“Making two doubles and a quad, that’s 8-year-old, 9-year-old kind of stuff, not someone who’s trying to win a British Open,” Thomas said.
Johnson, a Masters champion, shot 10-over-par 81 after opening with a 3-over 74. He made six bogeys and two double bogeys on Friday.
Morikawa, the 2021 Open champion, birdied two of the last four holes but finished at 4-over par for the tournament. Shane Lowry, the 2019 British Open champion, made four bogeys and a double to finish at 7 over.
Tony Finau and Justin Rose ended at 6 over, Ernie Els was at 7 over, Phil Mickelson at 9 over and John Daly at 12 over.
Among those who made it on the line were former major champions Brooks Koepka, Danny Willett, Patrick Reed, Padraig Harrington and Adam Scott. Christo Lamprecht, Patrick Cantlay, Robert MacIntyre and Rickie Fowler also made it at 3 over.
There was tension over the cut through the final group, with Sami Valimaki entering the 18th at 3-over par. He made it easy on himself, though, hitting an outstanding third shot that landed 2 feet from the cup for a tap-in birdie.
Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni