Can Snedeker, Scott stand the heat?

And who were the biggest surprises to make -- and miss -- the cut?

Updated: July 21, 2012, 12:49 AM ET
ESPN.com

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Talk about a barnburner. Brandt Snedeker runs away from the field early, only to be nearly caught by Adam Scott late in the day during Round 2 of the Open Championship.

Let's not forget about Tiger Woods, who had the highlight of the day after draining his first bunker shot of the week from greenside at No. 18. So what should we expect for the final 36 holes this weekend in a surprisingly sunny England? Our experts in England break down all the happenings from the Open Championship.


1. How will two non-major winners handle the pressure of being the front runners?


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: I thought Snedeker would have gotten a bit shaky after being bogey-free through 27 holes, but he just kept smiling away. I think the pressure might get to him at some point on Saturday and the cracks might appear on the back nine. Adam Scott won't start feeling it until Sunday, but I think he'll handle it well and win his first major.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: I trust both Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott to handle themselves like the veterans they are. Both have good swings and calm demeanors. I don't imagine either one of them blowing up over the weekend. Someone will have to beat them.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: It won't be easy. The late tee time (3:20 p.m. local time) is a killer to wait for. And both Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott have rarely contended in majors. It's a pressure-packed situation, without the difficulties of a course filled with bunkers.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: The golf pressure is going to be tremendous, but Snedeker has learned from his 2008 Masters experience. Adam Scott has been waiting for this moment for a lonnnng time. He's got a caddie (Steve Williams) with 13 majors' worth of experience. They'll be okay. ... probably.


2. What kind of impact does Tiger's hole-out birdie on No. 18 have on him heading into the weekend?


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: The hole out was from the first bunker Tiger had been in all week. Making that was huge for him, especially since he is such a big stats guy. That momentum will be carried over into Round 3. I expect, if the weather stays as it's been, we might see Tiger get a little more aggressive off the tee.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: It definitely gave him a lot of momentum heading into Saturday. But at the same time, he knows that those miraculous shots come very rarely, at least for most people. Next time he comes to the 18th, he wants to stay clear of that bunker.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: It gives him some confidence, some momentum, but mostly it gets him one stroke closer to the leader. Four is a lot closer than five, and being in the second-to-last group is also helpful.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Did you see his reaction? Huge fist pump. Huge game face. Huge smile. Huge confidence builder. But it still comes down to his remade swing and how it will handle the weekend wind.


3. Biggest surprise to make the cut? Miss the cut?


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Biggest surprise to make the cut for me has got to be Tom Watson. The man is 137 years old. Ok, not really, but at 62 to still be able to play this well in a major also being played by men a third of his age?! Amazing.

Biggest disappointment has got to be Phil Mickelson. He did not look like the guy who was playing in Scotland last week on Friday and Saturday. What he looks like is a guy who's tired and needs to be in a Corona commercial. Just sit on the beach and don't do anything for a while.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: John Daly is a big surprise to make the cut. Although he's the 1995 Open champion, he's way past his prime. Phil Mickelson has to be the biggest surprise to miss the weekend after his tie for second at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Phil Mickelson missing the cut is a surprise, despite his recent poor form. He shot a couple of low rounds last week at the Scottish Open to suggest he's turned it around, but missed the cut by 8 strokes -- just his third missed cut in a major since 2000.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Make: Coin flip between Tom Watson and John Daly. Never mind. Has to be Daly. Watson, 62, drops 20 years in Open Championships. Miss: Phil Mickelson, 11 over. Are you kidding me? Shocker.


4. Who's most likely to challenge the two-man race of Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott?


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: I won't say Tiger ... I'll say Jason Dufner. He shot a bogey-free 66 in Round 2 and he doesn't have any bogeys thru two rounds also ... well ... he's got two doubles but minor details, people. Look, he has the right stuff now that he's learned to win. He can take it to the next level, so don't be surprised if I say "I told ya" when he's in contention late Sunday night.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Matt Kuchar. The reigning Players champ is a cool customer with the game to smoothly get around Lytham on the weekend. Don't be shocked to see him on Sunday afternoon holding up the Claret Jug.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Graeme McDowell. The 2010 U.S. Open champion contended again at the U.S. Open last month, missing by a shot. He said then he "fancied'' a run at the Claret Jug and he's given himself a chance, just 6 shots back.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: The weather. It's supposed to get blustery and gusty. If it does, that will affect everyone: Snedeker, Scott, Tiger, etc.