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Viktor Hovland all smiles after 15th-hole eagle: ‘Unbelievable’

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Viktor Hovland is known for his perpetual smile. And no one on Friday had a bigger smile than the 24-year-old from Norway broke into after he holed out for eagle on the 15th hole. 

The eagle got Hovland to 9-under. He then birdied 18 to get to 10-under, three shots behind leader Cam Smith, after the second round of the British Open at St. Andrews. 

“I hit it in the left rough off the tee, and I had 125 meters to the pin and all that I was trying to do was just finish it 30 feet left of the pin and just take a putt going up and take my par and move on,’’ Hovland said. “As soon as I hit it, the ball just kind of drifted off a little further right than I thought. I was a little concerned it was going to go too far right … but it straightened out and somehow landed on that side slope softly and just trickled in. That was unbelievable.’’ 

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland

Collin Morikawa missed the cut, becoming the first player to fail to make the cut as a defending Open champion since Darren Clarke, who won the Open in 2011 and missed the cut in 2012. … Phil Mickelson’s struggles continued this week. After shooting an opening-round even-par 72, which had him on the cutline, the 52-year-old Mickelson shot a 5-over 77 on Friday to miss the cut. He’ll next play at the LIV Golf event at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., in two weeks. 

Adam Scott was 4-over through his first six holes on Thursday, but played his way into contention and stood at 7-under entering the weekend. That made him 11-under in his last 30 holes after he shot 65 on Friday. 

The Aussie said his comeback on Thursday “was as good as the 65’’ he shot Friday. 

“After six holes things weren’t feeling particularly good,’’ he said. “I’m really pleased with that. I did a lot of good stuff out there today. So hopefully more of that on the weekend. Rounds two and three I had to get into double digits under par to even have a chance. I’m on my way.” 

Englishman Robert Dinwiddie, who got into the field having gotten through qualifying and who’s ranked 1,779th in the world, made the cut on the number despite shooting a 5-over 77 that followed a 5-under 67 in the opening round. 

Robert Dinwiddie
Robert Dinwiddie

When he finished his round, the cutline was even-par, but he had to wait it out to see if that would be good enough to keep him here for the weekend. 

“Obviously, a disappointing score, but I fought hard,’’ he said. “It would mean a lot to play the weekend. It would make all the qualifying and things worth it. So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s enough.’’ 

It was. 

Mark Calcavecchia, the 1989 Open champion who’s now 62 years old, played his final Open round Friday, finishing last among 156 players in the field at 21-over, with his wife on the bag for him. 

“I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I felt it, I felt the emotions,’’ Calcavecchia said. “I got a little mildly choked up. All the way around, the last two days, the fans were great. They were cheering for me and pulling for me, and they’ll aware that this was my last Open. So that was pretty cool. It means a lot. 

“Forget about my golf, 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.”

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