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The Open 2019 round two: live score updates and leaderboard

Alex Finnis
England's Lee Westwood goes on a charge up the back nine at Royal Portrush - PA

8:15PM

And so to tomorrow...

That's all the major interest wrapped up here today, and so we're going to leave you. Plenty of British hope to get excited about, but it's Irishman Shane Lowry who leads, along with the American JB Holmes, at eight-under par. We'll be back early tomorrow morning with all the action as this fascinating Open starts to get really serious.

8:12PM

Rory holes par putt

Rory McIlroy on the 18th Credit: Reuters

It's a valiant effort from Rory McIlroy. He holes his par putt to complete an excellent round of 65 - six-under for the day - but his horror day yesterday has done for him. It's a massive shame for both Rory and the crowd that he won't be playing this weekend, but we've still got two cracking days of golf on our hands. What a wide open field.

8:09PM

McIlroy misses birdie chip

McIlroy walks up the final hole to a standing ovation and huge roars of support. Surely he can't from here, can he? It's a good 40 yards from the pin, with an up slope, and not much green to work with before the hole. It's a great effort, but it never threatens the hole. McIlroy leaves himself a five-footer for par, and will miss the cut unless it moves to two-over, which isn't looking likely.

Gary Woodland will definitely miss the cut. He needed a birdie to stand any chance after slipping to three-over on the 17th, but Paul Casey is at least in for a par.

8:04PM

Goodbye Rory?

He's down the shaft on a seven-iron now, eyes only on the pin... but the wind's got it, and it's taken it left. The ball hits the fringe of the green and rolls away, and it's going to take a minor miracle for him to find birdie now. A long chip awaits, with no obvious spot to land it.

8:00PM

McIlroy at the last...

Here we go then, Rory McIlroy at 18, needing a birdie to confirm his presence on Open Saturday. His drive goes well, right down the middle of the fairway. Step one: complete.

A little further up the hole, Francesco Molinari has just holed for par, meaning he finishes one-over and will be back tomorrow. Great news for the former champ/

7:56PM

Last chance saloon

Paul Casey is millimetres away from parring a tricky birdie putt, but par should do - he remains even-par going into the last, and should be playing tomorrow barring a disaster.

Now it's Rory... He doesn't quiiiite read it right, and his 20-foot putt breaks late to slide past the hole. One more chance for him.

7:51PM

Brilliant shot from McIlroy out of the rough

Is it Open Sunday? It sounds like it out on the course. The crowd roars again as McIlroy plays a lovely wedge out of the rough, just clears the bunker, and runs the ball down onto the green into a very puttable position. The stands will explode if he holes this one...

7:44PM

Rough, rough, rough

That describes the tee shots of Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland on the 17th, who have all erred right of the fairway. Woodland's faded very wide, McIlroy and Casey's hopes will hang very much on their lies.

7:39PM

Rickie Fowler into the mix

He holes his fourth birdie of the day at the 15th to move to three-under,  just five off the lead. He's in the game.

7:36PM

Rory's done it!

Woodland doesn't put enough on his birdie putt, and looks disappointed as he settles for par. Rory's turn now, and it' s actually only about 10 feet to the hole. Can he do it... he can!! That's his fifth birdie on the back nine - just one more will give him his ticket into the weekend.

7:30PM

McIlroy gives himself a chance at 16

He takes a five-iron at the par-three and hits well off the tee. It's a longish birdie opportunity, but what matters is that it's an opportunity. Gary Woodland has also given himself a good chance with his tee shot - the US Open champion is just one shot away from the cut.

7:27PM

The face of a man who will be playing on Open weekend

Graeme McDowell on the 18th Credit: Getty Images

It wouldn't have been quite the same without Graeme McDowell.

7:24PM

McIlroy escapes bunker to make par

McIlroy found a bunker just to the right of the green with his approach at 15, but he very nearly holes the chip for a birdie. Instead he has a short putt for par, which he knocks in. Three holes to play, two shots to make up. It's doable, but he ideally needs to birdie the next two, as the 18th is a trickier proposition.

7:20PM

McDowell makes the cut

He plays it safe with the birdie putt, but it's good enough to get him a par, and that means he makes the cut. The crowd show their approval for their homelander.

Xander Schauffele is in for par to cap off an excellent round of 65, six-under for the day and three-under for the tournament. Well played.

Henrik Stenson also has a par for a 69, and sits right with Schauffele at three-under. He's played well over these first two days, and feels like someone who could make a jump this weekend.

A nice finish for this whole group.

7:14PM

McDowell nails the approach at 18

He hist a great iron shot over a large mound with no sight of the green, and gets it to within roughly 20 feet of the flag. He'll have to attempts at it to make the cut, but he'd love to sink it in one...

7:12PM

The good times keep rolling

McIlroy follows up that birdie putt by absolutely booming his drive down the middle of the 15th fairway. Things seems to just be turning his way here...

7:09PM

Rory makes the birdie!

And the crowd celebrate like he's just won the Open! In truth he's actually just holed a 20-footer or so to move to three-over for the tournament. It was a pretty simply putt, with just the faintest of breaks from left to right. Rory never looked like missing.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell has holed for a par, and will make the cut just so long as he doesn't drop a shot at the last. Nervy times for the local boys.

7:06PM

Xander Schauffele birdies 17

He's six-under now today, and three-under for the tournament. Not out of it by any stretch.

7:03PM

McIlroy with an excellent approach at 14

Rory McIlroy plays an iron shot Credit: Reuters

That's a brilliant iron shot which puts him 20 feet or so from the pin. He'll have a realistic chance at birdie to scrape back that shot he dropped on 13.

Can he do this? He has five holes, including this one, to make up three shots. If he does it, and books himself a place on the weekend's card, well, who knows what could happen.

7:00PM

Molinari goes agonisingly close

The Italian is just a centimetre or two from birdie at the 14th, the toughest hole on the course today. That would have taken him under-par for the tournament, after starting the day three-over.

6:54PM

Alex Finnis will take you through to the close

Thanks for your company. 

6:52PM

Three steps forward, one back

As his playing partner Paul Casey makes a birdie on 13 to climb to Even, McIlroy can't get up and down from his tee shot into the greenside bunker. He drops a shot when his 25-foot par-saver falls short. He is back to four-over with five to play, needing to make up three strokes to make the cut. 

6:36PM

McIlroy has left himself 20ft for eagle on 12

A sensational second shot gave him the opportunity but while he got the length right for the putt it would not turn in at the end. He takes the birdie, a third in succession, to move up to +3 and five-under today through 12. He once made 61 here. 

6:34PM

Another dropped shot for Frittelli

Like Lowry he is in the roll-off area at the back of the green but without the Irishman's soft-hands he leaves himself a tricky uphiller for par and can't make it. From top of the pile to the slippery slip in two holes.

-8 Holmes (F), Lowry (F)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (F), Frittelli (F). 


6:26PM

Summit fever

Dylan Frittelli squanders his share of the lead off the 17th tee after sending his tee shot out of bounds, and shanking his second. He scrambles as well as he can but takes the hit of a double bogey to fall back to six-under.

McIlroy birdies 11 and with another good chance at 12, hope springs ...

6:02PM

Dylan Frittelli preserves a share of the lead

He sweeps in an 8ft putt on 16 to stay on eight-under. 

Sky are sticking with Rory and he makes birdie at 10 to move to three-under for the day and +5 for the tournament. Eight holes to pick up four strokes should be possible. Excellent birdie chances on 12 and 15. 

5:54PM

Lowry heads to the scorer's hut

Lowry's short game, which has been sensational today, though not "better than Phil Mickelson's" as Paul 'Ryder Cup' McGinley maintains, chips his third stroke from about 50ft past the pin. Perfect line but it skids about 12ft past. 

Mickelson, his playing partner, ends with a 74, eight-over and he's on his way home.

Lowry fiddles his par-saver to the right of the cup and he signs for his second 67, eight-under and a tie of the lead.

-8 Holmes (F), Lowry (F) Frittelli (16)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (F). 


5:41PM

Frittelli moves on up

Lowry overshoots the pin with his pitch and leaves him a chip and a putt from about 35ft uphill to escape without damage. 

He nails the bump and run and it skirts past the hole, leaving him 3ft for par.

Huge roar for Padraig Harrington who closes out a one-under second round with a par-saver putt. He's on +3 for the tournament and will miss the cut as it stands.

Lowry rolls in his par putt but two holes behind Frittelli makes another advance by arrowing in his birdie putt.

-9 Lowry (17)
-8 Holmes (F), Frittelli (15)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (F). 



 

5:29PM

In the crowd

Shane Lowry slices his drive off the 17th tee into the crowd on the right of the fairway and lands in the fescue via a patron's scalp. His all-weather glove is supposed to  be more adhesive in the rain but his driving has been erratic in the rain. A free drop, for line of sight relief, leaves him on top of a hillock with 133 yards to the pin. 

5:19PM

On the move

Dylan Frittelli was in a bind after his tee shot at 14 but has given himself an excellent chance of par after a deft bump and run third stroke. 

At Calamity, Lowry, who has lost his momentum, saves par on the part three 16th, his short game rescuing another wayward drive. 

 

5:06PM

Lowry drops a shot at 14 and is in trouble at 15

After finding the long filth off the tee he gives himself two putts for par and lags up too short, missing the par-saver from 6ft by a squeak.

At 15 he flays his second stroke into the ugly bunker on the left of the green. He complains about the raking but he has a decent lie and plonks it out. Whoever raked it last has been dobbed in and will probably be in shtuck. 

While Lowry waits to take his 3ft putt for par, McIlroy  drains a 20 footer for birdie on seven. 

Lowry saves par by knocking in his tiddler.

-9 Lowry (15)
-8 Holmes (F) 
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F),  Frittelli (13)  
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (16). 



4:54PM

Another big mover 

Was Danny Willett, who signed for a 67, retaining the revival vibe from the US Open at Pebble Beach and starts tomorrow at -1.

Young Oban man Robert MacIntyre, a graduate of McNeese State University, has corrected the bogey at the fourth with birdies at eight and 10 to climb to four-under.

Frittelli racks up his third successive birdie at 12. Four eyes, one vision. 

Dylan Frittelli, who qualified only last week with victory at the John Deere, is on the march Credit: Richard Sellers/PA

-10 Lowry (13)
-8 Holmes (F) 
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F),  Frittelli (12). 
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (15), Noren (13)



4:40PM

Clarke to miss the cut

Zach Johnson has made a terrific start with birdies at three, five and six to move up from +3 to par with 12 to play and he's had the worst of conditions on both days.

Clarke's bogey putt was longer than I thought, about twice as long and Clarke leaves it short. He slides his double bogey put from 4ft wide on the right and ends with a seven. At three-over he'll miss the cut and the last two rounds of his homecoming tournament.    

4:36PM

Man in form 

Dylan Frittelli, the South African who won at John Deere last week, has made back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 to move to -6.

Both McIlroy and Casey make the same errors at the fifth, lipping out their late breaking short birdie putts from roughly the same line. 

Darren Clarke has a putt for bogey on the 18th that would leave him on one-over and safe from the cut. He'll have about 12ft to make. 

4:25PM

Lowry preserves his lead

Phil Mickelson, who is playing with Lowry,  has two birdies and four bogeys through 13. He, like Woods, is headed home with only five holes to repair the damage of +8.

Lowry can't make birdies on 12 and 13, both eminently possible on those holes today, and he keeps the pot simmering without reaching boiling point with a pair of pars.

 

4:14PM

Lowry stays on 10-under

Afternoon, Rob Bagchi back for the next couple of hours. The specks of rain on the camera lenses are fatter than ever. Lowry puts on a dry all-weather glove as he prepares to pitch out of the rough to the 12th. He bumps it out flat with enough backspin to slam on the brakes about 9ft past the hole.

Back on four, McIlroy has a 12ft putt for birdie which shaves the rim of the cup and stays up. He'll remain on seven-over.

Lowry can't take the birdie chance but walks to the par-three Feather Bed having saved par.  

-10 Lowry (12)
-8 Holmes (F) 
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Putnam (13), Frittelli (10).



 

4:02PM

Big roars for Darren Clarke

He holes a birdie in front of his home crowd to move back to level-par, and it's a putt which takes him under the cut line. The crowd are delighted - we need Clarke playing this weekend, whether he has a chance of winning or not.

3:53PM

Birdie for McIlroy!

Well this is a much, much better start for Rory. He holes a 15-footer or so at the par-three third for a birdie two, and so begins his slow journey back towards even par. It's going to be a long one - he's now seven-over.

3:50PM

Lowry pars at 11

He'll remain 10-under with seven still to play. The rain has subsided a little too - just how much of a gap can he forge between himself and the chasing pack here this afternoon? All his closest competitors are already in the clubhouse.

3:39PM

Rose happy to have escaped the bad weather

Justin Rose is having a chat to Sky Sports and is very happy that the worst of the weather arrived just as he was finishing his round earlier today. He was four-under for the round, and those starting later may struggle to match this type of score with the rainy conditions looking fairly set at current.

3:34PM

Kiradech Aphibarnrat moves to four-under

There's never been an Asian winner of the Open, but Aphibarnrat, from Thailand, is in the hunt. He's just holes a birdie putt at the fifth to move to four-under, and could play himself right into contention with a good round today.

3:31PM

Here's how the leaderboard looks

Credit: Sky Sports

 There's confirmation of Shane Lowry's two-shot lead from JB Holmes. Plenty of English representation there, with Tommy Flettwood and Lee Westwood both in the clubhouse at seven-under, and Justin Rose just behind them.

Brooks Koepka is the name you just cannot ignore, though. He's five off the lead, but that's nothing for a guy who's developed an incredibly handy knack for winning major tournaments.

3:26PM

What a putt from Shane Lowry!

He holes a long, winding one on the 10th green to start his back nine with another birdie. He's six-under for the round now, and 10-under for the tournament, with a little bit of breathing room atop the leaderboard. You can see in his face that he's absolutely loving being out on this course. You wouldn't bet against him picking up a few more shots on his way back to the clubhouse.

3:22PM

McIlroy holes for par

Rory McIlroy at the first tee Credit: Sportsfile

A mere four shots better than he managed on the first yesterday. An encouraging start.

3:21PM

Kuchar and Rahm done for the day

Kuchar has a long chance for birdie at the last and it's a nice looking putt, but just loses its legs as it nears the hole. That'll be a par four to finish, leaving Kuch four-under for the tournament, and in with a sniff.

Rahm, who led for a while yesterday, also has a long chance to end with a birdie, but his putt slides past the hole. Par for him too, and he finishes level with his playing partner at four-under.

3:14PM

Rory McIlroy is off...

...and he's going to have to record one of the rounds of his life if he even wants to make the cut today. You'll be pleased to know his tee shot is worlds better than it was off the first yesterday. He's found the fairway and is all smiles as he strides after his ball alongside playing partners Gary Woodland and Paul Casey.

That'll be a mighty relief after yesterday's nightmare start.

3:10PM

Homeward bound

Tiger Woods removes his cap, takes a bow and acknowledges the crowd who have had his back for the past couple of days as he ends with a bogey for 70 and six-over. Over to Alex Finnis for a spell. 

3:00PM

Lowry surges ahead

Given the wind is now straight in his face as they come up 18, Dustin Johnson's birdie on 18,  to sign for a 67 and three-under for the tournament, is a great effort, particularly given bogeys at 11 and 14.

Shane Lowry's second to the eighth is wonderful, arrowing towards the pin and stopping dead only 3ft shy to leave a gimme for birdie and the lead.

-9 Lowry (8)
-8 Holmes (F) 
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Noren (7).



 

2:49PM

Woods is going home

He made a fight of it with four birdies but having missed birdie chances on the past four holes he bogeys 17 and goes to five-over. Curtains. 

2:44PM

When sorrows come, they come not single spies

Tony Finau is in the worst spot on the entire course off the tee at 18. It's plugged deep in the cabbage down the right and he spends a Holmes-like age weighing up his options, even asking the marshall whether he stepped on his ball. He has to lay up and because of his remarkable wrist-strength and club speed, e manages to flog it out on to the fairway. 

Shane Lowry's ball at the seventh is wedged 3ft up the face of the wall of death. Somehow he manages to play  a horizontal stroke of such velvety touch that he he creams it on to the green and nails his par putt. What an up and down.  

Rose's monster birdie putt on 18, almost 50ft, slides by on the right. 

-8 Holmes (F) Lowry (7)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (F)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Finau (17).   


2:33PM

Westwood makes par at 18

And heads into tomorrow at -7. The rain and win is getting up. The poor souls who went out yesterday morning and consequently also this afternoon have had the worst of it. Them's the breaks, I suppose. But it was so placid from first light until about 20 minutes ago, there were plenty of opportunities to score that the others have been denied. 

2:26PM

JB Holmes takes clubhouse lead

With a solid par on 18. lee Westwood, who has his girlfriend Helen Storey on the bag, nails his tee shot to the last while Justin Rose has given himelf 8ft for birdie on 17 with a fine chance if joining Westwood and Fleetwood in an all-English tie for third. Rosewood? 

Shane Lowry's birdie putt on six stays high on the left. And here comes the rain.

Rose gives his putt a ride along the ridge-line and it bends away to the right of the cup at the death. Par for him. 

-8 Holmes (F) Lowry (6)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Westwood (17)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (17)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Finau (17).   


2:15PM

Surely not?

Lee Westwood, who began with 11 pars has made his fourth birdie in the last six holes. It wasa late breaking brute, judged and stroked to perfection. He's now on -7 and made a birdie at the 18th yesterday.

Credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

 

2:08PM

Beards lead

Shane Lowry plays a glorious flop shot at the 382-yard par four fifth and he taps in his birdie, his fourth in five holes, to take a share of the lead with JB Holmes. 

Justin Rose has a 40-foot putt for birdie at the par three 16th and leaves the pin in and the ball about six inches short. 

-8 Holmes (17) Lowry (5)
-7 Fleetwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Westwood (16),  Rose (16), Finau (15)  
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F).


2:00PM

Westwood on the charge

He rattles in a 45ft up dale and downhill birdie to rise to -6. The greens are slow enough to gibe him some leeway but even so ... how old was Darren Clarke when he won the Open, 42? Westwood is 46. 

-8 Holmes (16)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Lowry (4)  
-6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Westwood (16),  Rose (15), Finau (15)  
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F).


1:51PM

Lowry on four

Lowry's birdie run has halted but no'but just. His recovery shot after the rather wild tee shot was superb and left him 14ft downhill and he just shaved the cup on the right.

Jon Rahm birdies 12  to move to -4 which allows him, with his third birdie of the round, to start the march after rectifying the damage of his seven at the second this morning.  

Par for the leader JB Holmes at 15 and 16 preserve his one-stroke lead but the way Lowry is playing it may not be enough to start Moving Day at the head of the field. 

 

1:43PM

Woods' woes 

Many of the players have put their sweaters on now and there's an audible rustling of the leaves. Justin Rose saves par at 14 with  a tricky downhiller that he judges to perfection and encourages to turn into the cup.

Woods, who prefers to wear his warm clothes under his polo shirt, misses birdie chances at 12 and 13, the former the most vulnerable par five here, making it more likely that his pilot will be working this evening. 

-8 Holmes (15)
-7 Fleetwood (F), Lowry (3)
 -6 Smith (F), Harding (F), Rose (14)
 -5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Westwood (15), Finau (14) Bjerregaard (14)


1:37PM

Shane shank

Lowry sinks his birdie putt at Islay, the third to advance to -7 and a tie with Fleetwood but then hooks his tee shot into the rough down the left at the fourth. 

1:29PM

The 13th giveth ...

And the 14th taketh away. JB Holmes has dropped a stroke on the par-four 14th to fall back to -8. Further behind Woods racked up consecutive birdies at 11 and 12 to claw his way back to +4. The projected cut is currently +1, so he has time to save the weekends of the hordes of 'Tiger correspondents' who have been dispatched by sports desks to stalk his every move. 

Justin Rose makes a solid par at Calamity to remain on -6, but Tony Finau, who had been tied with him, makes his first bogey since the first on 13 to drop to -5.

Shane Lowry has started like a train and drained another birdie putt on two to leap to a share of third. His tee shot at the par-three third is another purler, too. He'll have about 10ft for birdie.

Sergio begins with a birdie and advances to -4 after the first.

-8 Holmes (14)
-7 Fleetwood (F)
-6 Smith (F), Harding (17), Rose (13), Lowry (2)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Westwood (14), Finau (13) Bjerregaard (13)


1:13PM

Minus five alive

Back-to-back birdies for Lee Westwood on 12 and 13 take him to -5, level with Shane Lowry who has just birdied the first. They are coming thick and fast now. 

Better make hay ...

Portrush weather forecast Credit: Met Office

 

1:09PM

Eagle for Rose at 12

It has been playing as the easiest hole so far in the tournament and when the wind is absent the green is wide open for an eagle shot. Rose, whose putter has been glowing hot so far today, nails his 16-footer and he joins the pack on -6. 

1:06PM

The loudest roar of this stint

Resounds around the 10th green when Tiger Woods drains a 13-foot birdie putt. Jon Rahm, or 'Big Jon Rahm' as he is routinely called, as if anyone above 5ft 11in can only be assessed and addressed as if we were Weegies in the mid-70s, also rolls in a birdie putt at the ninth to climb to -3. 

Shane Lowry (-4), playing with Branden Grace (-1) and Phil Mickelson (+5), starts with a splendid tee shot at the first. 

Out in front, leading beardie JB Holmes, darling of the Keith Flett set, extends the gap at the top to two strokes with a birdie at 13th. he's on -9.

South Africa's Justin Harding rattles in his 12ft birdie putt on 16 to move to three strokes off the lead. 

I understand the leaderboard at the top isn't uploading as quickly as we'd like so here's an old school summary:

-9 Holmes (13)
-7 Fleetwood (F)
-6 Smith (17), Harding (16)
-5 Koepka (F), Spieth (F), Finau (11) Bjerregaard (11)


12:50PM

Holmes back on his own

Jordan Spieth has been scrambling for the last three holes after shonky tee shots but saves par on 15. 

Cam Smith has missed four cuts in his past 10 tournaments on the PGA tour but won't here after successive pars on 14 and 15 leave him six-under with three to play. He loves the course. "Just the simplicity of it," he said. "It's pretty as well, but also how hard it is.The course is set up so that if you don't hit it well enough, you're going to get punished and if you hit a good shot, you're going to get rewarded. At the end of the day what you want to see. It doesn't matter how hard or easy it is, you just want to see good shots get rewarded."

Australia's Cam Smith has made six birdies to move up to third place after 15 holes Credit: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

JB Holmes moves ahead of Fleetwood to eight-under after leaving his 40-foot eagle putt on 12 only inches high on the left. He taps it in to take the overall lead. 

12:38PM

Fleetwood takes the clubhouse lead

Tyrrell Hatton went out in 34 and has come back in 37, saving pars at 17 and 18 to start moving day tomorrow on -3. Not a bad position if the wind, as forecast, picks up. 

Jordan Spieth makes par at 15 to stay level with Harding and Koepka in a tie for fourth after the latter rolls in his par putt from 5ft on 17. 

Finau, with the interlocking finger grip, makes a birdie on 10. draining a 15-footer to join the crew on -5.

And Tommy Fleetwood joins JB Holmes on seven-under at the 18th with a terrific 18-footer for birdie, swept straight into the heart of the cup. 

12:25PM

Local hero in the red

Hometown hero Darren Clarke birdies the third to move out of the grey and into the red with a birdie at the third. He's on -1. 

Fleetwood has a 25-footer for birdie at the 17th and lags up to hold par. Justin Harding, the last of the famous international belly-putters, racks up back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 to join Spieth and Koepka on five-under.

Fair to say Harding, five-under for the day, is having more fun in the vertical position than he enjoyed horizontally yesterday.

 

12:19PM

Spieth in bother

On 14 where he thrashes his tee shot miles to the right into thick rough. He plays a fantastic recovery shot, short of the pin, but cannot save par, pushing his 12-footer to the right and drops to a share of fourth with Brooks Koepka on five-under.

The Fleetwood shirt Credit: Niall Carson/PA

Hatton pars 17 after his horror double-bogey at 16 and another Englishman, Justin Rose, makes a sensational birdie putt on nine , whisking it through the clingy fringe 20ft to drop into the cup with the pin in. He joins Van Rooyen Harding, Finau, Reed and Lowry and Bjerregaard on four-under. 

12:13PM

Good afternoon

The placid weather is leaving Royal Portrush looking vulnerable this morning. Tommy Fleetwood is wearing one of those shirts that Jason Day had on yesterday, black with cream golfing scenes on them that makes him look as if he's been pebble-dashed by a flock of seagulls. Not Mike Score, of course ... unless he's been on an unusual diet.

Fleetwood, mired in the cabbage on the right, pitches out with enough force to give himself a 12-foot par-saver chance. Hatton, who approached his recovery attempt more circumspectly, took a double hit at Calamity with a five.

Fleetwood line sup the putt and gives it too early a ride on the right to left break and the ball stays high on the right. It costs him a stroke and he slides down to six-under.

Hatton has a monster 25-footer for birdie at 17 but doesn't give it enough force and leaves himself a tricky 10ft for par.

On seven Woods, having birdied six, bogeys seven to go back to +5. He looks in dreadful pain when he bends to retrieve his ball out of the cup, as if electrifying bursts of sciatic pain in his legs are torturing him. 

Australia's Cam Smith racks up his sixth birdie of the day to move to a tie for second on six-under through 13. 

And JB Holmes is still ahead on his own at -7 walking to the 11th tee having rolled in a tiddler for par at Himalayas. . 

12:00PM

Fleetwood needs to scramble at 16

The 16th threatens to snare Fleetwood too, he misses the green on the wrong side and finds the thick rough on the right. 

Worryingly timid par putt from Holmes over at nine and he drops a shot. Seven-under for the tournament and tied with Fleetwood. 

Young Dane Lucas Bjerregaard is on a roll and reached four-under with his third birdie of the day at the eighth. 

The same total for the man with the bare ankles Erik Van Rooyen, who taps in at the last for second round 68. A good Friday morning's work if ever there was one.  

That's all from me, I will leave you in the hands of Rob Bagchi for the afternoon session when conditions are forecast to stiffen. 

11:56AM

Tommy is flying

That one is a real bonus: Fleetwood holes a winding 25-footer for birdie at the 15th, judging the break from right to left perfectly. To seven-under now and just one behind Holmes.

Hatton did escape with a four at 16 with a gutsy putt...if there is such thing as a good bogey that was it. 

The flags at Portrush are hanging limp now, there is not much breeze. Now is the time to strike. 

11:53AM

What Hatton faced

Credit: Sky Sports

Horrible...and he barely moves his first pass at it! Either stubbed the club into the ground or it slipped right underneath the ball with removing it. Second try is better and it runs onto the green but it's a lengthy bogey putt on the way. All of 20 feet.  

11:51AM

Calamity strikes!

The brutal par-three 16th is called Calamity and you can see why at 236 yards with a huge ravine of junk and jungle waiting on the right. Hatton has leaked his tee shot that way and it bounds into the thick stuff. In the lap of the gods that one, needs to catch a good lie. 

11:49AM

Birdies to be had at the sixth

Tiger Woods has missed two birdie holes in two and seven, but has just rolled in his second long birdie putt at the sixth to reach two-under for the day. 

Nobody is holding more putts than Jordan Spieth and he makes another at the 12th to move back to six-under. 

Holmes flights one down on his approach to nine and it is right on line, unfortunate that it skipped through to the back edge. 

Playing with Woods, Patrick Reed has made another birdie to reach three-under. Koepka's birdie try and 14 just misses and he stays at five. 

11:46AM

We told you J.B Holmes is slow

11:44AM

Not bad

11:44AM

Hatton misses a chance...Koepka sets up another one

Hatton's birdie putt misses and he exchanges some quizzical looks with his caddie. Just stayed in the high side and did not take the break. That was a really good chance, not much more than six feet. 

Another fine shot from Koepka at 14, keeps it out of the fall-off area on the right and it stays on the top level. Pin high and inside 20 feet for birdie. 

Brilliant two shots from Justin Rose at the seventh sets up a presentable eagle chance, but it slips by on the right. A birdie though, and he moves to three-under.

11:39AM

Darren under way

We have not seen much of Dustin Johnson this morning but he is ticking along nicely at two-under par. 

Lovely moment back on the first tee as Darren Clarke begins his round with an arrowed drive right down the middle of the fairway which proves popular with the galleries. 

11:38AM

Hatton flag-hunting again

Two-putt par for Holmes at the eighth. He has barely seen any trouble today, it's like a Sunday stroll at his local municipal. That will change at some stage. 

Another iron that never leaves the pin from Hatton at 15, and another birdie chance coming up from inside 10 feet. His approach play has been world-class this morning, they are like frozen rope.

11:35AM

Play the Jaws theme music...he's lurking again

Back at the 13th..it's back to back birdies for Koepka and his name now looms large at five-under in a tie for third place. 

On the same score is Spieth who is on the par-five 12th, a birdie chance. His drive skirts with the right side but it avoids the first bunker and the rough. Sat in the semi on a little crown Not too bad at all. 

11:31AM

Hatton bogeys 

Great try from Hatton and he is down on his haunches, but the par attempt has slipped by. Back to five-under but his caddie needs to remind him what a strong position he is still in. Must not get down on himself. 

Woods smoked his driver off the fifth and got one down there just 30 yards or so short of the hole. Tricky pitch however, with a cavernous bowl between him and the flag. Has to play out left and he makes a fair job of it, pin high and a 15 foot birdie putt on the way. That was harder than it seemed. 

11:26AM

Koepka moving forwards again

What a 15 minutes or so for Tommy Fleetwood, rolls in his birdie at the 13th and he moves to six-under alongside compatriot Tyrrell Hatton. The English pair are Holmes' closest challengers just now. 

I was too quick to write off Koepka's prospects at the 12th where the putter has hidden some sins..he rolls in a healthy birdie putt to get to four-under. 

Work to do for Hatton at the 14th, though. Missed the green right and his pitch comes up 10 to 15 feet shy. 

Koepka doing a Fleetwood...birdies the 12th and fires one in tight at the 13th. 

11:21AM

Fleetwood joins Spieth

Fleetwood backs that up with a supreme iron shot into the 13th - that's the strength of the Southport man's game - and it uses the slope right of the pin to roll into birdie range. A left-to-righter for a two on the way. 

Tiger did make is par four at the fourth, and better stuff with the long game from Rose at the sixth who sets up a birdie chance.

Koepka not making the most of another par five at the 12th, his pitched third from rough runs well by. The same can be said of Holmes who only makes par at the seventh. Still leading though, so no sweat. 

11:15AM

Spieth at it again...what a scrambler

Bounceback! Good stuff from Rahm - who has had his temperament questioned - rolls in a birdie at the third. Kuchar makes his too. 

Both players six behind Holmes. Spieth does make his par over at the 10th which is another escape, while Fleetwood makes the most of the par-five 12th and joins Spieth at five-under.

11:10AM

Update...

Hatton's putt at the 13th misses so he stays at six-under.

11:09AM

Rahm responds

Woods hits a perfect drive down the fourth, a one-under start is decent stuff but there again he played the early holes quite well yesterday. 

Spieth carves a drive way right on the 10th...that's his nemesis. If you put him in the fairway he would never shoot more than 66. 

Cracking iron shot for Hatton at the par-three 13th, right over the top of the flag and another good birdie chance on the way. 

Solid approach from Woods at the fourth, pin high right of the pin. 

Oh my goodness wonderful recovery from Spieth...hacks off a severe upslope in the dunes and finds the middle of the green. 

Strong response from Rahm to the shenanigans at the second...fires his tee shot into birdie range at the par-three next. Nice tee shot from his playing partner Matt Kuchar, and the ever-consistent American has a short one to move to two-under.

11:04AM

Meanwhile, J.B's serene passage continues 

Holmes birdies the sixth and he leads by two at eight-under! Hatton is second on his own after a two-putt birdie at the 12th. 

Rahm did two putt for a SEVEN at the second..he tumbles back to one-under and is now seven shots off the lead. 

Rahm bogeyed two of his last four last night, so it's been a rough stretch of golf for the man who was the first in the field to reach five-under. Damn. 

11:01AM

Rahm having a Weston at the second

Spieth is a demon with that putter...brilliant try for par hits the hole but lips out at the ninth. Still a superb nine holes of golf to put him squarely in contention. 

Rahm needs to keep his head screwed on here...goes with putter from short of two and it doesn't make the journey. In fact, it ends up further away than where he started and runs all the way into the semi-rough. 

Chips the next one...and the same thing happened! Rahm's mind will be racing now. He overcompensates with his fifth and it runs way past the hole and right off the front of the green. Needs to get down in two for a double bogey on a hole he was looking to birdie. 

10:56AM

This is where Hatton made par from on the 11th...

10:54AM

The end of Spieth's charge?

Scrambling and lag putting are key at the Open, which perhaps explains Spieth's fine record on this side of the Atlantic. Over at the second, Woods did make his par. 

Rose is really not swinging well. Misses the fourth green way left and hacks out again. Another long par putt as he tries to get out of jail on consecutive holes. 

J.B Holmes safely finds the green at the sixth, the par three. Rahm is thinking birdie at the second and has a crack at the green with three-wood...ahhh, that must have looked glorious in the air but it does not have enough momentum to clear the false front of the green. Falls into a bowl short but still a good birdie look with a chip and a putt. 

Spieth in some trouble at the ninth, and has a horrible 60 yard bunker shot for his third. Gets it on the green, but it will be 30 feet or so for par. As long as a putter is in Spieth's hands though, you can never say never though.

10:48AM

The hottest player on the course right now

Credit: Getty Images

10:47AM

Hatton keeps it going as Holmes birdies

We have not heard much from Brooks Koepka and that was an average wedge shot into the 10th. 

What an escape for par from Hatton, holes out from off the back of the 11th green from all of 35 feet. Hatton sometimes struggles to stay on an even keel, so avoiding any setbacks are crucial to his chance. 

Poor from Woods from the bowl at two, barely creeps over the bank but he will have a makeable birdie butt. 

J.B Holmes has walked one in over at the fifth, and he leads as the first player to reach seven-under. 

Woods making a pig's ear of a birdie hole...blasts the putt five feet past and has work to do for par. 

10:41AM

Spieth's putting is frightening 

Tiger doesn't hate his second at the second from more than 250 yards, but it runs away into the swale left of the green but pin high. A test of his short game creativity coming up. 

I should not have written off Rose's chances at the third, he rolls in the par putt from 20 feet.

And speaking of holing putts...Spieth is at it again at the eighth with another tram-liner from 25 feet or so right in the heart for another birdie. That's three birdies and an eagle in his last four holes. 

If Spieth can keep his ball on the property with driver he could be hard to beat. 

10:36AM

Par start for Rahm

Patrick Cantlay is bound to win a major, he has all the tools necessary, but I doubt his first will be an Open. Nevertheless, he's faring quite well at Portrush and taps in for a par at the first to stay one-under. 

Rahm has almost the same putt Woods holed but he does not play enough break. Par four is fine, move on to the par-five and make a birdie there will be the plan. 

Rose catches a pitch heavy at the third and looks likely to drop a shot and fall back to two-under. 

Van Rooyen takes three from the back edge of the par-five 12th and settles for par. That will irritate him, but still well-placed at four-under. 

10:30AM

Hotting up now..

Quiet but solid start for Lee Westwood who sees another birdie chance slide by at the third. 

Green in regulation at the first for Jon Rahm but not in birdie territory, and Hatton cleans up for par at 10 with a good two putt to a hole surrounded by plenty of slopes. 

Back at the par-five second, Woods hits a lively little draw tight to the left side with a three-wood and it takes a seat just sort of the bunker. Perfect position to have a go at the green. 

Koepka has found the ninth green but only has an outside birdie chance. 

10:24AM

Something for Tiger fans to cheer

Jon Rahm off next at the first tee, and he places an iron into ideal position in the fairway. Rahm has a short backswing but he still generates so much power with his shoulder turn. 

Rapturous applause up at the green because Tiger Woods has holed a snaking left-to-righter back down the hill from all of 25 feet. Birdie at the first and back to six over. Needs four or five more today to get inside the cut. 

And oh my word it's all happening...Jordan Spieth on the charge and holes out from off the seventh green for eagle! He joins Hatton at five-under. Can he keep it going?

10:21AM

Koepka hanging in there but not playing his best stuff

Nice shot from 159 yards by Woods, over the top of the flag and will have 25 feet or so back down the green for birdie. 

Tony Finau is enjoying a fine championship at two-under, on a positional course not really suited to his power game. 

Up at the ninth Fleetwood has work to do, hacked out of the rough and has a full wedge shot for his third...it's a good one though and stops around 10 feet short of the hole. 

Louis Oosthuizen's putting is showing signs of weakness...another one slips by from close range and that's a bogey at the eight. On the same hole Koepka looks behind the eight-ball, but holes a really clutch par putt to stay at three-under. 

10:13AM

Poor start from Woods again

Woods with a fairway metal rather than an iron, and it's left again and in the rough. Not horrendous but not good. 

All of his missed have been left...that's what happens when the arms outrace the body on the downswing. With that stiff back, he cannot rotate his body fast enough and core rotation is the key to any golf swing particularly with the club head speed pros produce. 

Playing partner Matt Wallace needs a fast start this morning at two-over and he finds the fairway with a driving iron. 

Par for Hatton at nine with no dramas, he reaches the turn at five-under. 

10:09AM

The scene on the first tee with Tiger ready to go

Tiger Woods

10:07AM

Tiger on the first tee

The one positive for Woods is it is a pleasant morning without too much of a chill wind. 

Holmes did indeed two putt for a birdie, so he leads on his own again at six-under. Fleetwood moving in the right direction again with a fine birdie three at the eight and he gets to four-under. 

Missed fairway for Rose at the second, pulls a driver left into the tick stuff. He has not been as unerringly straight this season, but his putting has improved. Typical. You can never get everything working at once in golf. 

10:02AM

There are birdies to be made this morning

Koepka ran through the green in two at the par-five seventh into a bowl and faced a fiddly pitch. Surprised he is going with a sand wedge and not bumping this into the bank...and in the words of Andy Townsend if anything he has played that too well. Nips it lovely so gets plenty of spin, which sees the ball stop five or six feet short. That for birdie. 

Spieth walks in the birdie at the sixth - two in a row now for the 2017 champion - and he gets to three under. 

Koepka's misses that putt, his momentum has stalled. Lovely lag putt from Rose at the first and he starts with a par four. 

9:57AM

Holmes convincing in the early stages

This is Spieth's year in microcosm, he has these little bursts of promise followed by a big number that derails him. 

He is riding one of those upticks just now though, and hits a glorious shot into the sixth - that pin has been peppered this morning. 

Rose hangs his approach to the first out to the right, and J.B Holmes squeezes his second shot on to the front right of the second green. Two putts for birdie will see him regain the lead on his own. 

Westwood missed that birdie putt at the first - story of his major career really - so stays at three-under. 

9:53AM

A good morning for the English

Fleetwood hacks out of the rough and reaches the fringe of the seventh green. Should be able to save his par from there. 

Justin Rose on the first tee...a little down the left wing with his fairway wood but it hugs the semi-rough and runs back to the fairway. Good angle to get at the back pin. 

Up at the eighth, Hatton hits another iron shot perfectly pin high and that's another birdie chance on the way. 

Speaking of birdies, Jordan Spieth has made his first of the day to reach two-under. 

9:46AM

That's the 18th at Royal Portrush

9:45AM

Westwood has a birdie chance on the way..

Van Rooyen finds the heart of the ninth green, his ball-striking looks super consistent this morning. Barely put a foot wrong. 

Oosthuizen is cruising along at three-under...and Westwood has fired a cracking approach into the first will have an eight-foot putt for a birdie three and the dream start. The sun is out at Portrush and it looks playable this morning with the temperatures warming up. The late-early players have certainly had the best of the draw. 

9:41AM

Lee Westwood begins his charge

J.B Holmes has found the middle of the first green in regulation which will settle any early nerves. I've taken the Michael out of his slow play this morning, but this is actually a strong performance on a course nobody thought would suit his strengths. 

Lee Westwood also finds the first fairway. It couldn't happen could it? Westwood was long considered the best player in the world without a major and we thought his best chances had passed. 

Fleetwood making a dog's dinner of the seventh, flares his second shot out to the right and finds the thick rough in the dunes. I think that's the tough aspect of Portrush: any missed fairway meets a side-hill lie because the holes are carved out of the dunes. 

9:33AM

Hatton hits the front..Derek will be proud

Koepka did indeed clean up for his par four at the fifth. Cracking shot from Louis Oosthuizen at the sixth which looks quite an accessible pin position today.

On the same hole, Koepka holds his finish and is posing as if he likes the look of it...and so he should, runs out a little but he will have a moderate birdie chance from inside 20 feet. 

Back to the man with the bare ankles, EVR, a birdie try from the fringe at eight runs past but it's a stress-free par. 

I should update you that Hatton did hole his birdie putt back on the sixth, so we have two players at five-under.

9:23AM

JB ready to go..

Not great from Koepka at the fifth, far too bold with his pitch and the second bounds through the green. Now has a task to get up and down for a par. A dropped shot at this hole would be like conceding 1.5 shots to the field. 

J.B Holmes is on the first tee, if you go and post a letter he might have hit his shot by the time you return. Maybe...

9:20AM

EVR on the charge

Koepka blasts a driver down close to the green at the fifth, just runs into the semi but that's just fine. A pitch and a putt to get back the shot he has just dropped. 

Another birdie for Van Rooyen who moves to four-under, although he does seem to have packed the wrong trousers for the week. 

Credit: AFP

You'd be out on your backside quicker than you could say 'no caps indoors' at most golf clubs for wearing those. You can do what you like when your name's on the bag though. 

9:12AM

Hatton on a roll

Very good iron player is Hatton, one of those Johnny Miller-esque types who can knock flagsticks out of the ground when he gets going. And he backs up that bold comparison with a beautiful tee shot at the par-three sixth. Will have a putt from close range to tie the lead. 

Tommy Fleetwood's shirt is quite something - a combination of cow hide and Jackson Pollock. 

Credit: Getty Images

9:06AM

Tiger Woods is on site

Tiger Woods is on the driving range. It sounds a fatuous thing to say, but I do think his form can be correlated with the temperatures. His Tour Championship and Masters win came in steamy Georgia, but when the mercury falls below 70 he seems to struggle physically. It looks bleak now, but I would not write off a revival of sorts in the Fedex Cup events in August and September. 

Koepka's putt for par slips by and he falls back to three-under. Nice shot into the sixth from Jordan Spieth, he will have 12-foot birdie putt to move to two-under. 

First birdie of the day for Tyrrell Hatton gets his first birdie of the day at the fifth to move into contention at four-under. Can he control his temper as the pressure mounts though? 

Spieth's birdie misses. 

9:02AM

Possible dropped shot for Koepka..

There is a little shoulder of the green in Koepka's path here - will he take the low road and bump it into to it or fly it over? Doesn't quite do either, and it kicks left off the shoulder and finishes eight to 10 feet short of the hole. A tester on the way. 

The fifth is a drivable par four, and Tommy Fleetwood has had a health lash at the green. Gets it up there pin high in a run-off area to the left of the putting surface. That will do. Up and down for another birdie. 

8:58AM

Koepka catches a break

Koepka has got away with one at the fourth, you need breaks like that to win tournaments, with his ball perched on an upslope above a pot bunker. 

When you hit a golf shot from that lie, the ball launches high into the sky but does not travel the distance. Think about what happens when you kick a football while leaning back and you'll have the idea. 

Stalls in the wind but reaches the mouth of the green. Another short game test for Koepka. 

Brooks Koepka on Royal Portrush

8:55AM

Birdie chance gone for Fleetwood

A little more than 10 feet for Fleetwood...ahhh, nice roll but slips by on the right side for his birdie at four. Still three-under for the championship as he walks to the fifth tee - there are worse places to be. Just ask Rory or Tiger. 

Playing partner Justin Thomas has frittered one away to move back to plus two. Thomas is pure class, but has been hampered by a wrist injury this season and it's all been very stop-start. He will be back. 

Throws his putter at his bag in disgust. You have to be careful not to hit yourself in the ankle doing that, it hurts like hell. 

8:50AM

Koepka out of position but scrambling

A missed green for Brooks at the par-three third, but he plays a lovely pitch across the green to within a few feet. Should be able to clean up from there. And he does. Par. 

That demonstrates the importance of 'missing on the right side' - one of the pros' favourite soundbites. The pin is on the right but Koepka missed left so he had plenty of room. 

Delightful iron into four from Fleetwood - birdie chance coming up. 

Erik Van Rooyen - who shot to prominence at Carnoustie last year - is rolling along and has just birdied the fifth to reach three-under. The South African was 100/1 in some places before this tournament. 

8:45AM

Koepka looking ominous 

Two names leap of the Open leaderboard this Friday morning: Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. 

Koepka cruised around Royal Portrush yesterday afternoon while others were floundering, his only blemish a bogey at the 17th. 

It was the easiest of three-under 68s and he is rightly installed as the new tournament favourite closely followed by Rahm, who did reach the dizzy heights of five-under before tumbling back with two late bogeys. 

As I write, Koepka has just birdied the second to move to four-under. 

The sole leader is J.B Holmes, the big-hitting American with an agricultural swing and glacial playing speed. Honestly, if you played golf with him you'd need to shave halfway round he is that slow. 

Shane Lowry won the Irish Open as an amateur so it was not that much of a surprise to see him start with an excellent four-under par round in inclement conditions. 

This will likely be the last we see of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at this championship. Woods is nowhere near match fit so his 78 is explicable, unlike McIlroy's 79 which came out of nowhere. 

It all began with that horrendous eight at the par-four first. Hitting an iron out of bounds is a real shocker: if you gave him that club on a driving range I reckon he might hit one shot like that in every 100. Maybe 200. 

Plenty of English interest out there this morning, with Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton currently three-under par and Justin Rose a shot further back. Lee Westwood, Danny Willett and Eddie Pepperell are also well positioned. 

Portrush presents a stern test and it is not a course that rewards attacking golf. Fairways and greens are the order of the day, with the odd birdie to be nicked at the par-fives: two, seven and 12. 

Get ready for another day of golfing snakes and ladders on this treacherous layout.