ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND // YE Yang conceded his title hopes hung by a thread after carding a two-over-par 74 in the second round yesterday. After a solid 67 on the opening day at the Old Course, the Asian Tour honorary member tripped up in mid-round by dropping four shots over six holes and had to settle for a three-under-par 141 total. The Korean star, Asia's first male major champion after winning the US PGA Championship last year, rallied with a birdie on the 14th hole but missed makeable birdie chances over the closing two holes.
"Realistically, it is going to be tough to come back from nine strokes in these conditions on this golf course," said Yang, who defeated Tiger Woods after overcoming a two-shot deficit going into the final round to finish three strokes ahead of the world No 1 and win his maiden major 11 months ago . "I'll try my best to move up over the weekend." Yang, 38, who lives in Texas, found some measure of consolation as he qualified for the weekend rounds for the first time in the world's oldest major, although he rued the opportunity to stay in contention.
He refused to blame his slip-up on the weather, which kept changing throughout his round; sunshine was interrupted by rain and winds. "I started off good and then hit a couple of bogeys [on the sixth and seventh holes] and that sort of let me down a bit. "On 11, I was a bit short of the green and misjudged my putt and it rolled back down again and I ended up with a double bogey. It was uphill from there onwards.
"I think it was more my mistakes than the weather. "There could have been some attributes to the weather but the bogeys were due to my mistakes and mental lapses. "I didn't hit it as well as yesterday although it wasn't too bad. "My short game could have been a bit better but overall the ball striking wasn't as good as yesterday." * Agency