He switched into a sweater that he wore for his first Open title in 1987 at Muirfield, thrust his arms in the air atop the Swilcan Bridge, and saved par for a 71.

“This venue here is one of my favorite Opens”.

Then there were five more at 67: 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen; former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel; Diamond Bar’s Kevin Na; and 21-year-old amateur Jordan Niebrugge of Milwaukee suburb Mequon, Wis.

“I’ve played enough golf with him to where I believe in my skill set that I can still trump that insane ability that he has”.

Woods shot a 76 in his opening round to tie for 139th, and is in danger of missing the cut for the second straight major. Johnson is playing his first major since three-putting the final hole and losing the U.S. Open by one stroke. The battle continued as conditions toughened and the group began their inward nine.

Putts taken by Jason Day, who trails Johnson by one shot.

(I’m sorry, did someone just say, “Ben Curtis”?). “Hopefully the conditions will be tough (today) and I can put together a good round and we’ll move up the board progressively”. With the wind expected to pick up as the afternoon continues, his two-round total just might hold up. It came to a momentary halt Friday in the darkness of St. Andrews. I walked the entire thing off. It was like 92 yards I walked to the green because we weren’t sure from that angle how far we had.

Spieth said that playing in the same group with the long-hitting Johnson is both impressive and inspirational.

“I’m going to hit driver on every hole if I can”, Johnson said. Johnson was a 100-1 longshot heading into the week, but the real surprise was the duo of 46-year-olds, Goosen and Lawrie. “There’s an unbelievable amount of world-class players playing this week, so not even thinking about Sunday as of yet. I’m excited for my weekend”.

Willett birdied the 18th hole at St. Andrews Friday, capping a 3-under-par 69 that left him at 9 under par.

“I just had a text message off my mum saying well done, you’ve made the cut”, he smiled. “I feel healthy, and I’m good to go”.

So much attention has been on Spieth and Johnson, the main characters from the drama that played out at Chambers Bay last month.

But R&A chief executive Peter Dawson insists, unlike past year at Royal Liverpool when it took the unprecedented step of deciding in advance of the third round to have a two-tee start on the Saturday in an attempt to avoid bad weather forecast later in the day, that it will not be making significant changes to the order of play. Even when he faltered down the stretch, he still had a chance to win on the 72nd hole. His best finish is a tie for 30th in 2011.

He would stumble on the back nine, bogeying the 15th and the dreaded 17th, but a closing eight-footer for birdie on the 18th ensured he would sign for a three-under-par 69.