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.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – British Open organizers warned spectators about mobile phone use on Thursday after three-times champion Tiger Woods was distracted during his opening round 69 at Hoylake.
Huge galleries followed the American’s every move but some could not resist taking cheeky snaps of the 38-year-old in action despite the R&A’s mobile phone policy being plastered on notice boards all over the course.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Fridays have become fright days for Rory McIlroy this year, with a series of inexplicable second-round meltdowns, but he hopes to break the curse this week at the British Open.
McIlroy produced a scintillating first-round 66 at a baking Royal Liverpool course on Thursday to top the leaderboard – a position he has become accustomed to.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, together with compatriot Matteo Manassero, staged an audacious Italian Job towards the top of the British Open leaderboard on Thursday.
The Molinaris, Ryder Cup team mates at Celtic Manor in 2010, scored identical four-under 68s in weather conditions more comparable to Naples than England’s Merseyside coast before Manassero upstaged them both with a 67, just a stroke behind leader Rory McIlroy.