British Open: Roaring Rory McIlroy on the move at Birkdale

Lawrence Cooper
July 23, 2017

Afterwards Kuchar made for the TV lounge, where he anticipated "some fun" watching afternoon starters Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, compatriots with whom he shared the overnight lead, grapple with the gathering wind.

The two-time major victor, who won at the Travelers Championship last month, was particularly pleased with his composure and driving off the tee. "And if I don't win tomorrow, it has nothing to do with that. I can hit more of the shots that I'm kind of visualizing".

The chasing pack includes Open debutant, Connelly, a close friend of Spieth's, who fired a 66 - which included a hole out for eagle on the par-4 2nd. "Come on, Poults!' I mean, that's nice".

A birdie on the ninth revived hopes of a title challenge, but the 2014 champion barely escaped a fairway bunker on the 10th on his way to a double-bogey six. "Unfortunately, it's the first cut I've missed this year, and I missed it with flair", he said. And I went with those [Friday] and it worked.

A hooked tee shot and a duffed chip from thick rough led to a bogey on the par-3 seventh hole. He admitted he was pleased with his putting speed on the greens, which are playing differently to what he is used to on the PGA Tour.

Round of the day: On this day all 65s were created equal but Spieth's was the most memorable.

He was two days removed from joking with reporters that the bookmakers' 20-1 odds on him were insulting and he called himself out as a good bet to back.

Grace wasn't aware of what he'd done until his caddie told him after he holed the final putt.

Koepka matched Spieth's 65 and was pleased with how his game fared around the links course, despite having taken a planned four-week break following his US Open victory at Erin Hills last month.

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"Everyone is giving us an ovation, and it's time to appreciate that, enjoy the walk, but also say thank you for the support that these crowds give". "I feel sharp, obviously it could have been a little better with the short one missed on 16".

Spieth might have rode his luck during the tempest that beset Friday's second round but you've still got to be good enough to take full advantage. The 41-year-old said his clothes, along with some valuable items, were taken (although the claret jug was already returned earlier in the week).

"I'm proud of the way I've been able to get things back on the straight and get back to really focusing hard on what I need to do to get the level of golf back that I think I can play".

The 39-year-old made five birdies on his front nine and made steady progress, albeit without any further birdies, down the inward nine to card a blemish free round.

The Englishman came through a qualifier at Woburn to win a place at The Open and sat three shots off the pace going into the third round.

"So I feel good now". A player who was racked with self-doubt when 5 over after six holes on Thursday was now 4 under for the tournament and only three shots off the lead on Saturday. In majors, 31 players have shot 63, including 10 in the Open, but 62 had become untouchable.

Jordan Spieth of the United States has opened up a two-shot lead at The Open Championship after the second rounds were completed at Royal Birkdale today.

"They definitely help you along the way because it's not easy out there right now".

"Anytime you're in the last group on a weekend in the major, and this is, I think probably a dozen times I've had at least a share of the lead in a major championship, you get nervous", he confessed.

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