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Zach attack tames cold and wet Carnoustie

Zach (67) surged through the field in cold, wet conditions at Carnoustie to share top spot on six-under with fellow American Kevin Kisner (70).

Zach Johnson. Picture: Facebook.

CARNOUSTIE - Zach Johnson often gets confused with his namesake, world number one Dustin, but there was absolutely no mistaking which of the two was happiest after the British Open second round on Friday.

While Zach (67) surged through the field in cold, wet conditions at Carnoustie to share top spot on six-under with fellow American Kevin Kisner (70), Dustin (72) was packing his bags after missing the cut on 148, six over.

“I’ve been called Dustin many times,” the joint leader told reporters. “I doubt he’s been called Zach that many times.

“Maybe some people do assume, when they see the name up there, that it’s Dustin. The comparison of Johnson and Johnson is probably not fair to me or him.”

Among the title hopefuls tucked in behind the leaders were home favourites Tommy Fleetwood (65) and Rory McIlroy (69).

Fourteen-times major winner Tiger Woods registered a second level-par 71 but Justin Thomas (77), the world number two, failed to make the weekend on 146.

The umbrellas were up and the waterproofs out as rain greeted the players at the start.

The par-71 seaside links represented a very different challenge to the first round, with the players taking much longer clubs off the tee as the earlier bone-dry fairways suddenly became a thing of the past.

World number 52 Zach Johnson, who won the event at St Andrews three years ago and has posted two other top-10 finishes in golf’s oldest major, recovered from a bogey at the opening hole by birdying the third, fourth, sixth, 14th and 18th.

He produced a grin as wide as the North Sea that skirts the Carnoustie layout and raised his putter to salute the crowd when he rammed in a 35-foot putt at the closing hole.

“The reverence I have for this championship, I’m not suggesting that someone doesn’t have a higher reverence, but I’d argue with them,” said Johnson.

“I greatly appreciate how the game was formed over here, how this championship came into fruition back in 1860. Everything about it I love.”

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