HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy left the door invitingly ajar for a charging pack led by Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia before slamming it shut with a dazzling finish on Saturday to lead the Open by six strokes with one round left.
The Northern Irishman began the day four shots clear of Dustin Johnson, was reeled in by inspired American Fowler after 12 holes, but magnificent eagles at the 16th and 18th saw him disappear over the horizon with a 16-under-par total of 200 at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool course.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – While there is still hope Sergio Garcia will battle all the way in the final round at the British Open, the Spaniard knows he faces a near impossible task to overhaul Rory McIlroy on Sunday.
“If he shoots three under, I have to shoot 10,” the 34-year-old, who looks destined for yet more major frustration, said on Saturday after a round of 69 left him on nine under par – seven shots behind the Northern Irishman.
HOYLAKE, England, July 19 (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy’s grip on the Open loosened on Saturday as he suffered a jittery start to his second round and American Rickie Fowler launched a barrage of birdies.
The Northern Irishman began the day four shots clear but after bogeying the opening hole and struggling to fire on all cylinders on a soggy Royal Liverpool course, his lead was cut to one by a charging Fowler.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – This time there was no freaky Friday for Rory McIlroy as a majestic second round gave him a four-shot stranglehold on the British Open at a sweltering Royal Liverpool course.
Several second round blow-outs this season, the most recent at the Scottish Open, meant all eyes were on the 25-year-old Northern Irishman to see if he could capitalise on his one-stroke overnight lead rather than shoot himself in the foot.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Sergio Garcia invariably finds himself in the weekend mix at the British Open, so much so that he has almost become an adopted son for the galleries that follow him around.
“Come on Sergio” is the usual cry and there were plenty of them again on Friday as the Spanish Ryder Cup stalwart followed up a first-round 68 with an up-and-down round of 70 in Iberian-like heat at the Royal Liverpool course.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Tiger Woods endured an ignominious afternoon at the British Open on Friday but the fierce pride of a wounded champion made sure he will at least be still in there fighting at the weekend.
Shortly before leader and British favorite Rory McIlroy made a mockery of the par-four 17th with a monster drive on the way to a nailed-on birdie, Woods had hacked his way to an ugly seven at the very same hole.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – World number three Justin Rose moved into contention at the British Open with two successive chip-ins igniting his challenge on Friday during a two-under second round 70.
The Englishman was plodding along in unspectacular fashion at a blustery Royal Liverpool course when the 2013 U.S. Open champion produced two sublime moments of brilliance.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Australia’s Bryden Macpherson signed off from the British Open with a round of 80 on Friday but was really quite pleased with himself after a 10-stroke overnight improvement.
The 20-year-old was rock bottom after spraying balls here there and everywhere during a horrible first round 90 at the Royal Liverpool course the previous day – the worst round seen at the Open since 1999.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – South African George Coetzee made light of stiffening breezes to sail up the British Open leaderboard on Friday, claiming the clubhouse lead on five-under par with a barrage of birdies in a three-under 69 in his second round.
After the calm conditions of Thursday when Rory McIlroy made the early running with a six-under 66, the Royal Liverpool course was far less benevolent as the players returned to action with a warm wind blowing off the Dee Estuary.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Ernie Els left a spectator bloodied with a wild opening tee shot, defending champion Phil Mickelson went out of bounds, and Bubba Watson’s promising start was blown away at the British Open on Thursday.
One of the most eye-catching groups of the tournament’s first round had a wretched day, carding a cumulative 13 over par to leave their chances of challenging for the Claret Jug hanging in the balance.