There is a two-way tie for the lead after 36 holes at the 2019 British Open from the Royal Portrush Golf Course in Northern Ireland. Shane Lowry of Ireland and J.B. Holmes of Campbellsville, KY are tied for the lead at -8.
Both golfers have two things in common. They have never won a major before, despite being household names on the PGA Tour. Lowry has won the 2015 World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, OH when he beat two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson of Bagdad, FL by two strokes. Holmes, has five career PGA Tour wins, including being victorious at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (at the time known as the FBR Open) twice.
The other similarity between Lowry and Holmes comes down to their facial hair. Both golfers have large beards that will make it a little challenging for the spectators at Portrush to distinguish them from each other when they tee off for the third round at approximately 10:50 am ET.
On Friday in the second round, Lowry was four under par, while Holmes was three under par. Holmes was on the course first and collected three birdies on the first six holes to reach -8. He then bogeyed the ninth, birdied the 12th and 13th holes before bogeying the 14th hole.
Lowry entered the round at -4 and got off to a very hot start. He birdied the first three holes to get to -7 and then had birdies on the fifth and eight holes. He made the turn heading into the back nine by collecting a very impressive 31. Then on the final nine holes, things started to unravel for Lowry a bit as he bogeyed the 14th and 18th holes after collecting a birdie on the 10th.
Lowry and Holmes lead Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Westwood by a stroke. Fleetwood and Westwood, like Lowry and Holmes, have not yet won a major. Those golfers at -6 and two back are 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose of England, Cameron Smith of Australia and Justin Harding of South Africa. Those golfers at -5 and three back are multi-American major champions Jordan Spieth of Dallas, TX (three titles), Brooks Koepka of West Palm Beach, FL (four titles), Andrew Putnam of Tacoma, WA and Dylan Frittelli of South Africa.
There were some other notable golfers who missed the cut. Those include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Bryson DeChambeau. It is the first time that Mickelson and Woods participated in the same major and missed the cut.