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July 19 2013

11:27 AM

Schwartzel (68) bends, doesn't break

One day after breaking a club in frustration, Charl Schwartzel shot a 68 that may be the low round of The Open Championship's second round. Schwartzel threw his club to the ground while making double-bogey at the 15th hole Thursday. The shaft snapped in two when it hit the firm ground. He said he “didn’t take into account the ground was so hard.” Muirfield's firm conditions aren't just making things difficult for players.

The 15th was the end of a four-hole stretch that the 2011 Masters champion played in 5 over. He holed a bunker shot at the final hole for a first-round 75. He made four birdies, two double-bogeys and four bogeys Thursday. He had four bogeys and a double-bogey in a six hole stretch from Nos. 10-15.

Schwartzel had just one bogey Friday to go along with four birdies. His 68 matched Lee Westwood for low score of the day as of 4 p.m. local time. Schwartzel, who played his first Open Championship in 2003 (MC) at age 19, has never finished better than 14th in eight Open Championship starts. He’s made the cut just three times. At 143, Schwartzel was just five shots behind leader Zach Johnson, and three shots behind the low scorers among those who had completed 36 holes.

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