Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the second round of the Open Championship from Royal Birkdale. It was American Phil Mickelson who led after the second round in 2016.
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COMMENTATOR: Spieth, Koepka and Kuchar leading the way, 5-under par.
So it is America leading the way after day one of this year's Hope
Championship but can we say the same at close of play today? Welcome to a
very windy Royal Birkdale. As blowy as it is now, nothing compared to
what we've been told to expect later this afternoon. Can't wait. Before
we see how the wind is affecting play, here's Andrew Cotter with a
quick round-up with the best of yesterday. On day one the honour of
the opening tee shot went to the 1998 champion Mark O'Meara, getting
an eight, it was that kind of day. Things improved with the newer crop
of Americans, Jordan Spieth was bogey free and good enough for five
birdies in his opening 65. Brooks Koepka hasn't played a tournament
since his first major win last month. Eagle from the sand on 17. 65
format Kuchar also, who found his birdies in his outward nine of 29 --
for Matt Kuchar also. Ian Poulter was 6-under, a runner-up a few years
ago and with the confidence of old. But problems with the big names, the
final round at Troon is a distant memory. Mickelson, not a single
birdie on his way to 73. McIlroy was fired over after six holes, but four
birdies on the back nine, 71 and hope for better things on day two --
was 5-over after six holes. Impressive scoring by Paul Casey too
and Ian Poulter and it was an Open data remember for Osteen Connelly. A
drama free day for the three at the top, just one bogey between them.
The same can't quite be said for Rory McIlroy, 5-over par after his
first six holes, but what a recovery down the back nine. He's one of the
early starters today and Ken Brown has been checking his final
preparations. Thank you, Rory is on the first tee over the bridge there.
Different conditions and what a good day it was for him in the end, after
being 5-over par early on he eventually went round in 71. The
wind is blowing 180 degrees difference. If you look at the
flags, they were blowing the opposite yesterday. The 1st hole
yesterday was into the wind but today it is virtually down breeze.
The weather forecast, medal of the day, strong wind, cold as well, soap
will be the toughest day of the week but you never know on the links,
things can change so quickly. McIlroy wanders off, fingers crossed
he has a good day today. The early tee times are the ones you
want today. Fowler and Scott hoping to make up ground, they are out with
birthday boy Paul Casey at 8:25am. Then the first of the leading trio,
Matt Kuchar getting underway after them. Richie Ramsay is looking for
another good round, along with New Zealand's Ryan Fox. Can McIlroy
continue his sensational comeback? He goes out with Dustin Johnson and
former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Into the afternoon, just
after 1pm, Sweden's Alex Noren and Scotland's Russell Knox, alongside
Ian Poulter who finds himself right amongst it. The final two overnight
leaders, bogey free Jordan Spieth yesterday, hoping to repeat that,
along with the defending champion Henrik Stenson. Just after 3pm, the
US Open champion Brooks Koepka is hoping for back-to-back Majors.
Tommy Fleetwood is looking for a better day in front of his home
support. Let's see how some of the early starters were faring. Joost
Luiten with a tee shot on the par-3 4th hole, the Dutchman last made it
to the weekend's played at The Open Championship back in 2012 but that
tee shot would leave him for birdie, which would put him on 3-under par.
Overnight leader Matt Kuchar dropped a shot on the second but here he is
with his third shot on the par-4 3rd hole. In it goes to move him back to
5-under par. Back to the par-3, Sergio Garcia, who got lucky with
the lie of that drive but still a tricky shot. Still looking at a drop
shot there. Frustration showing from the Spaniard. Would he live to
regret that? His shoulder may play a part of this week. A dropped shot
for Garcia but his shoulder didn't seem to bother him on what has been
today a driveable par-4 5th hole, his eagle putt from the back of the
green, in it goes, back to 2-over par. Back to the overnight leader
Matt Kuchar, looking for back-to-back birdies on the 4th
hole. Down the hill it goes, and in it goes. Matt Kuchar takes the
outright lead on 6-under par. Early on it is Kuchar out in front with a
1-shot lead. Connelly continuing his fine start, he is level over the
first ten holes. The birdie four Joost Luiten takes him to within
three. Let's go out on the course with Ken Brown, Peter let -- Peter
Alliss. On the tee, from Northern Ireland,
Rory McIlroy. APPLAUSE
A whole new day and McIlroy is hoping for more the golf he produced
on the back nine yesterday than the front.
The wind has totally switched around, straight downwind, the 1st
hole today and McIlroy with a 3-wood. A long way down the fairway,
a long way down there. Yes, the Canadian, Connelly. You think with
this wind he will go lower and lower. That's working well so far
for him. The first birdie of the day here on the 11. Huget tee shot, 372
yards with a 3-wood -- a huge tee shot. Maybe he was laying up. That's
lovely. And it's the short game that's going to be most tested in
these blustery conditions. That is a gem to get McIlroy up and running.
Casey now, a big putt to save par on the sixth. No. Struggles early on
for him, three shots coming in the opening six holes, back from
4-under, to 1-under. Now, Rickie Fowler. Gets one bag, -- bag,
disappointed with his round yesterday. Such a good player in
these conditions. Solid start. Oh, hello. The chicken appears to have
laid a human! Such a difficult hole, the sixth, back into the breeze.
Shortened it a bit, 485. A long, long second for the American.
Sending its sky-high. Oh. That's stuck in the down slope in the
rough. That's trouble. A peddler for a possible birdie four McIlroy -- a
tiddler. In she goes. Finishing with two birdies last night and getting
one to open today's proceedings. Back on the path. Looking back to
the seventh tee. -- back on par. Elevated tee, very difficult in
these crosswinds. Makes it impossible to keep the ball down.
That one is going to hang on to the left-hand side of the green. Left to
right breeze whipping across the second green. Sit, sit! There is a
big divot there. Oh McIlroy has the ball under control this morning.
5-under for the last six holes he's played, if you take the end of his
first round, so looking good again. Not looking so good, Kuchar. This is
so awkward, gripping down on the metal of the shaft. It's all right,
but that for his par. Gorgeous second shot in from McIlroy
here on the second. Great opportunity to open with two
birdies. Oh it was close, you can tell by the crowd reaction. Didn't
hit it. Rickie Fowler, from the distant
horizon for his two on the seventh. What a putt from Fowler. Suddenly, a
few birdies and Fowler making a move in the right direction. Two birdies
in a row. Almost eight smile. You know it's called when Mickelson has
his two gloves on. He suffers from arthritis but usually plays well
with two gloves. That will do nicely. He needed something special
today. 73 yesterday. Kuchar, for four on the sixth. That was up and
down. He was in the munchies on the right-hand side, gripping write-down
on the steel. What a save. Once more, Paul Casey struggling for his
par. Another one. He's all at sea, KC. Slipping further and further
down the board. Four bogeys in his opening seven holes. Mickelson on
the first. Oh, lovely. You used to hate the challenge of links golf but
he loves it now -- he used to hate. The par save from Kuchar keeps him
on 6-under par, he is the outright lead over the two leaders who have
yet to go out but look at Connelly, the 28-year-old Canadian in his
first Open Championship. Just two shots back. COMMENTATOR: Austin,
Lee, grew up in Texas, likes these conditions but struggling here --
Austin Connelly. Dropping a shot. McIlroy, big tee shot on the third.
The wind is from the right. Another one, right at the stick. McIlroy,
all cylinders firing in the opening holes here. Look at him trying to
get himself going. Calmly dropping one on 13. So, here
we are, Maureen. Needs this to keep the momentum going. Playing well,
needs to follow up with the putts. The jaunty stride is back and
McIlroy is back. Three wonderful irons on the opening three holes
have yielded two birdies and he moved to 1-under. Dicks birdies in
his last eight holes now, taking the end of the first round -- six
birdies in his last eight holes. Classic posture and swing, Charl
Schwartzel. Oh and nearly the ultimate result. Kuchar, then, to
save par on the eighth hole. A mis-judgement. Straight into the
wind today, eight, and Kuchar, it has taken his toll. Short of the
green in two and he will slip back. Testing chip for McIlroy from the
back of four. This is going to be a bumble into the bank. Oh just took a
bit of the sting out of it. Finely judged.
Now, Schwartzel. Steady as she goes so far, par, par, par. Beautiful tee
shot and this is for two. So, there we go. Charl Schwartzel goes
alongside Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, later starters, just one
behind Matt Kuchar. Enormous drive from Bubba. Looked
like a flick with his most lofted club. Yesterday it was five and
four. What a chance. Oh, lovely. Fresh out of there. A little bit
cold. Strong breeze. Kuchar, his putter grip, up his left arm, very
effective and into the back of the cup. One slipping away to have a
four way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Bubba. Lovely iron
shot. Tight into the second hole, taps in for his birdie. 3-under,
only two behind now. That's how we stand with Kuchar dropping back into
the group on 5-under par. Precious few birdies but there was one on the
fourth for Schwartzel, so he is alongside Kuchar, Koepka and Spieth.
Bubba Watson making a nice move as well. Now, Schwartzel's second to
the fifth. Out of a good lie, from the fairway.
Well, don't know what happened to that one. Neither does he. He must
have flown the green. Now, Rory McIlroy. Made a great start. He's
missed a putt as well. Could have been sensational. Skip back to just
playing golf. That's more like it. Oh, study, study. -- steady, steady.
So crisply struck, you can see the ball spinning. 12,000 rpm, with a
well struck wedge like that, off the clubface. Busy out on the Bay, Kent.
A good day for electricity with those windmills. Do you know how
fast the tips of them spend? 200 mph. No wonder it gives the birds a
fright! This does not look good, Ken, for Schwartzel. No. Oh, it's
awful stuff. You can go back as far as you like. He can go to the sixth
tee or he can play it again. Mickelson. Didn't have the happiest
of days yesterday. And not enjoying this 3rd hole very much.
Schwartzel, the joint leader, has taken an unplayable lie on the
fifth. This is his fourth. He has a chance of getting down in two. Not
bad. Now, there is a bit more of a skip
and a dance in Rory's step. Yesterday he was in all sorts of
trouble. This is to go 2-under. Good try.
Matt Kuchar at the 9th hole. The shot. Birdie putt.
Six, for Schwartzel, out of nowhere. The shortest par for on the golf
course. -- par four. He will be so cross. More than a breeze, Ken. It
is and they think it may strengthen later on too. Wouldn't make a monkey
of our course today. In trouble again. Second on the sixth. Smashing
it towards the fairway and hoping for the best. And... No, just lost
the other side. Suddenly a nice round is getting very untidy. The
best part of 500 yards long and Rory has 173 left. The wind from the
left. The wind is just taking it towards the flag. What they
marvellous shot, gathering to the hole. Quality.
From the United States, Kent Bulle. A new name to me and I'll tell you
what, if he keeps doing that, he'll be one of the greats in the game.
Well done, that was for birdie on the first. Massive Sadler this would
be for Schwartzel if he cannot it in. Double bogey on the 5th hole.
This is for a brilliant par on the sixth, having found the rough off
the tee. Can he read it? Moments ago he was tied for the lead
and now he is joint tenth. Not many preliminaries with Rory, just
straight up and hit. Not many practice strokes, I've never seen
him take one. A good view here. Yeah, right in the middle. The
middle of the middle. What a good start. Keep it going for the next 12
holes or so. Lee Westwood. He's got to be
careful. He needs this to go up the level of the grain. It has bounced
an and it couldn't, could it? It is! Right into the heart of the cup.
From 2-over to level, in one good white. Magic. -- good swipe. Worth
another look, Ken. A nice, smooth swing. The fifth. A nice receptive
green. The pitch checked nicely. It looked destined for greatness and
then suddenly, here we go. Well, that went straight in the
middle. Ken has been checking on the width and the size of the holes.
What's he got to say? Let's have a look at the hole. Take
the flag out. Measure the diameter. It is a funny thing, the Diana
putter of a hole. Four and a quarter inches. In 1829, eight member
decided, can we standardise the hole size? He got a bit of drainpipe and
that is why it is that width. But can you believe it, if you go to
your local hardware store, from 1829, the rule was adopted by the
R If you purchase a bit of drainpipe to this day, it is still
four and a quarter inches in diameter. Hard to believe. I'm a big
hit at parties! Did he say he is a good man at parties? You can bet he
is! The seventh, 177 yards. The wind off the left.
A little shy, but OK. On the smaller dance floor.
I hate those three putts. Like Charley Hoffman, a bandy legged
stance, face to the breeze. Nicely done, Charley. First birdie,
3-under. Massive crowd out and a lot of them are following Rory. Nicely
done. Another hole safely negotiated. A couple of four
The par-3 12th hole, rich Iraq and see. -- Richie Ramsay. Hitting right
today. Fine effort. McIlroy, widening his stance here on the
eighth tee. Trying to draw it off the bunkers. It's got to turn a bit
more. Just lovely. Nothing finer than McIlroy in full flow. Second
most difficult hole, the 12th, at the moment. The short par-3, yards.
What can Kuchar do? -- 168 yards. Absolutely beautiful shot,
crackerjack. Cries of" Kuch!". 174 yards, a blistering drive from Rory
on. No one has yet made a birdie on this hole. -- on eight. Can he get
it past the front bunker? Oh, so nearly. He didn't like the way it
rolled around the back of the bunker. Could be in an awkward spot.
Richie Ramsay has reached the 12th. A good, solid shot here into the
heart of the green leaving him with a birdie putt. So difficult, you
have to allow for the wind and sometimes it doesn't affect the
ball, sometimes it does. Kent Bulle. Well done. He got in
because he won the Argentine Open. He is 3-under. Charley Hoffman. I
swear his parting stance is getting wider! Another one is going begging
-- his putting stance. Still a good of work to do. He will slip back.
This could be nasty, Ken. Just depends where it's gone in the
bunker. It's bound to be towards the back, settling down, not much green
to work with. Don't be greedy here, the green is running away from you.
Make sure you're at least putting on the next one. The wind helps. Yes,
what a shot, what a shot. Go on. The wind stopped it running out. He
thought he had it for a moment. Yes, there is pleasure in his play today,
you can see he's really engaged in the battle. He was yesterday, mind
you, but it wasn't happening on the front nine. Kuchar's putting has
been great. This is an 12. Oh, gosh, I didn't think it was great off the
blade but then I thought it was going to drop. Agony.
Tiddler for McIlroy after a fabulous bunker shot on eight. Well done.
Putting on a show this morning, is Rory.
Bubba Watson's second was rather fortuitous. It bounced back down
onto the shorter stuff. That is a great little chip, and in. My
goodness, not many birdies on the sixth today and that was an unlikely
one from Bubba Watson. He marches up the leaderboard now, four under par,
fourth place. McIlroy's second to the ninth, 192 yards, such a
difficult hole today, back into the breeze. You can see the pin all the
way over on the right. He is hitting it beautifully. Another one down the
flag, controlling it so well. Just a little bit shy. Kuchar, 193 today,
the 14th. Huge stands around this green. Come on. Listen to him,
listen to the man. It is getting closer. Dutifully controlled shot in
these conditions. If McIlroy can steer this little one home he will
have covered his last 18 holes in seven under par. And he does it and
he is a much happier man leaving this green today than he was
yesterday when he was 5-over. Are rather difficult day at Royal
Birkdale to say the least. Matt Kuchar in the sanctuary of the
clubhouse with five holes to go. Ian Poulter and Justin Thomas among the
latest to start. Rory Mcllroy's name creeping onto the first page of the
leaderboard. Bubba Watson has missed the green on the seventh. I can't
think that's what he intended. McIlroy on the tenth, dogleg, just
looking to put anion down between the bunkers. He seems to be pleased
with things. Hitting it well. Settle down. Misjudgement from McIlroy,
that bunker shouldn't have come into play with an iron. The bunkers do
have a habit of gathering on links golf courses, McIlroy has just found
that out. Ken has been looking at just that things.
Let's look at Birkdale bunkers, these little pots are fantastic, not
the deepest, on The Open, some are shallow and give you a chance with
lovely grassy banks. Let's look at this rake in the bunker.
Interesting, please place the rake in the centre of the bunker. The
rake is on a little stand so perhaps the ball will run past it. Haven't
seen that before, not sure if for this week. Let's look at this one.
They are quite greedy little bunkers so the ball can trickle in and go
there and go up the bank and they all get gathered into the sand
bunker. You can see how awkwardly they can lie, there are quite small,
from there you would get an 8-iron onto it but if it gets snarled up in
this position on the bank you can have a devil's own job to get it
out. These are wonderful that the bunkers, not as deep as we have seen
sometimes, but they are still greedy and very nasty. COMMENTATOR: McIlroy
in one of those bunkers on the tenth, but to the 14th Figo, and
Kuchar, after that beautiful tee shot, a chance to lead on his own
again. -- to the 14th we go. Yes... No.
So, in it goes and any pars today are very gratefully received, all
pars on the back nine for Kuchar, remains 5-under. This is for par. It
was an aggressive stroke. That's the ball of Rory McIlroy on the tenth.
Is left himself some 130 yards up the hill. He's got to get this up
pretty go all the way back to the flag.
Well, as Ken was saying, they are very greedy bunkers but he's given
himself an angle for a four. 15, the first of the two par-5s. Matt
Kuchar, ideal position. That's a great shot, right online,
creeping up onto the edge of the green. So, McIlroy into the bunker
on the right off the tee, could only get it to hear. Downwind, got to nip
it through to get any control. The wind is beginning to gust.
APPLAUSE Just being carried on a little more,
that for his par. This is where it ended up for Bubba Watson.
Very lucky to get a good lie, can he get any control? Of course he can,
lovely from Watson. Right, now, not a single bogey on his card today.
Down the slope. Yes, they roar before it drops. He
knew it, they knew it, he's doing everything well today even when
things go slightly awry, as they did, finding the bunker from the
tee. Stays at two under par. Watson for an adventurous par on eight.
Pulled it. Back-to-back bogeys, there we are.
Schwartzel for his par. His partners are struggling, but
McIlroy going along nicely. Schwartzel back to 1-under. Kuchar,
eagle putt on the 15th. A little bit timid, timid, downwind on the 15th,
a lot of birdies and a good few eagles as well today. Just a little
bit ragged over the last couple of holes, McIlroy, in the bunker on the
tenth and loose with the iron on the 11th. Hoping for the grab now but on
it goes. Testing his putter at the moment. Now, Kuchar, can he get
birdie at 15? Two lovely shots onto the front of the green. Of course he
can. Sweet as a nut. He always keeps trundling along. McIlroy, every putt
is a big putt but he's played so well, misjudged his second shot into
the 11th and came up 10-15 yards short of the green, not a very good
chip. This is frustrating when you have played so well and you start,
if indeed that's going to be the case, dropping shots.
You've got it. CHEERING
That was a wonderful putt, learned a lot from Dustin Johnson. Should have
done. Well done. Calm down, just got to hit the green. You've got two
holes to go and you are playing beautifully.
Matt Kuchar is out in front after that birdie on the 15th, Koepka and
Spieth hoping perhaps for the winter die down as they go out this
afternoon. Rory Mcllroy two under par. Good round from Austin
Connelly, very impressive from the youngster. The Canadian who grew up
in Texas. Anything around par today would see him moving up the
leaderboard. One of the deepest bunkers on the course on the 12th.
It looks to be lying OK for McIlroy. You've just got to dab it up over
the top and let it land pretty close to the top and eased down to the
hole. He should be able to do this OK. Gently but firmly enough to get
it up. That may be too hard. No, it isn't. That is a gem of a shot. The
players are brilliant now, years ago there were four or five people who
you would say were good bunker players. Wonderful to watch, great
skill. Bubba Watson has had also are problems on the night, way left of
the green with his second. Long, long putt. For his par.
Kuchar on the 16th. Straight downwind, a little bit off the left.
So many instructions. That's going down. If you are just a little bit
out the wind accentuates the mistake and blows it further of course. Now,
to finish off his good work from the sand. Beautiful three. He's making a
few mistakes at the moment but when he does he is making amends. Still
3-under for his round. Fitzpatrick, opening hole. And that could be, if
it bounces up very nice... Yes, indeed. Beauty. Kuchar, having
played out of the bunker on the 16th, this is for a par. This is to
stay ahead of the field. No. That drifted away to the right very, very
quickly. The shot has gone. Good drive, misdirected second, dropped
shot. Onto the first tee comes Ian Poulter. 67 yesterday, still
listening to the very Best of Aber, and psyching himself up for what
will be an interesting day on the links. Could be a little Chopin..
This will be a tricky little shot. Anything left will catch the bunker.
Do you go straight at it? Do you hope for the best? Excellent shot.
Imagination and nerve. Good play. Ramsay. Come on. Just grabbing and
stopping. Just one extra hop. Everything was going very well for
McIlroy on the first nine holes, and suddenly at the 10th, on every green
he has had a difficult putt. He's done it all so far. Can he do it
again? He can't. He was never happy with that one and it was not well
struck. Shot dropped. Kuchar, birdie putt at the 17th, playing right back
into the wind. 17th and 18th back into the wind, lots of fives and
sixes and a couple of sevens, very different from yesterday. 5-under
for Kuchar. The people queueing to get into the chorus. Massive
galleries we have had this week. Nice to see. It looks like the
American customs department, doesn't it? Just going a bit quicker. Richie
Ramsay for a birdie and he gets it. Well done.
APPLAUSE Two under, first birdie today, one
dropped shot. McIlroy. A handful of holes left to play. Here he is at
the 15th. Downwind, find the fairway, don't go over there...
Nobody's moving. It can't be that wide, surely. It looks as if he is.
Richard Ramsay has found the centre of the fairway at the last. How well
he has played but that one leaking off to the right. Kuchar resets
ready for his third here at the last. He drove into the bunker. Just
pop it out. He has played so well. He's got to get up-and-down to drop
only one shot here. Slimline Bubba Watson on 12. This putt will come in
on the shoulder, on the left-hand side. Perfectly judged by Bubba
Watson. He's had a few ups and downs but it's a pretty tidy card
nonetheless, even par. To the 18th and Richie Ramsay. Down in two for
an even par 70. Is he going to do it or is he going to do one better?
What a beauty. That is a round and a half. One birdie at the 17th and one
bogey. Kuchar needs to get up-and-down at the last to drop just
one shot. That is a stout effort but he made
untidy progress down the right-hand side of this hole via a bunker and
it's going to be a disappointing finish for the American. Five, five,
five. He's just going to tidy this one away. 71 today, that drops him
back to 4-under par, good, solid golf in difficult conditions. Matt
Kuchar, leader in the clubhouse, 65, 71, 4-under par, the two leaders
Spieth and Koepka yet to start their round.
Matt Kuchar walks of the 18th green, signed for 71, I'm joined by golf
correspondent Iain Carter who has followed Kuchar around the links. It
was steady but a little bit disappointing. He will be
disappointed because he gambled off the tee at 18 and put it into the
bunker and could only splash out and that ultimately led to him dropping
a shot at the last but otherwise a very accomplished performance. The
conditions are so is testing out there this morning. If you'd given
him a 71 at the start of the day he probably would have taken it. You
felt all of the conditions around the whole of the course, how is it
differing from hole to hole command how much do you feel yourself being
buffeted and losing balance. The number of times the players are
backing off. The differential in terms of the clubs you will take
going downwind compared to what you will be hitting into the wind is
probably a three or four club differential, it's really tough out
there. Tough just walking around. Matt Kuchar has played around it,
1-over par for today, 4-under for the tournament, in the clubhouse in
the lead at the moment and he has met Rishi Persad down there.
One quarter today, in the context of the conditions how good is it? It is
really challenging out there, 20, 30 mph winds, seemed every hole had
some form of crosswind, neither straight down zero straight in, hard
of the left or hard right. I remember sitting up on the 12 hole,
par-3, 160 two yards and hitting a five irony aiming at the people 30
yards left of the green and watching the thing slowly come around and hit
the middle of the green. It is challenging to force yourself to
play so far no in the wind is so strong. Did you at any point feel in
complete control of the ball out there? No, just talking about two
footers. And them that you had to play for the win, even on the putts,
there were a number of putts with right-to-left break where the wind
was strong enough to make them break left to right. There is so much
adapting there has to be done in these conditions.
COMMENTATOR: He drove into the rough and popped it out to here, this is
his fourth to the par-5 15th, the wind whistling in from the left. It
is spinning. Spinning up in the air a little, getting caught by the
breeze. Kent Bulle on the tenth. Solid play so far. One birdie, one
bogey. Lovely shot. Lascaux Bourne but don't get excited, Scots, it is
Glasgow, Kentucky. -- Glasgow born. His approach putting has been
immaculate today. Managing to get up-and-down and only drop one shot.
That is fairly tidy. This is to save his par. Kent Bulle. Well done. As
the greens start to dry out these don't get any easier. Don't rush it,
Rory. Take your time, head still. This is for a bogey. Well done. I
say well done, it's the easiest hole on the course, wasn't what he
anticipated. It could have been worse. Let's look at the leaderboard
in the second round of The Open Championship, Koepka and Spieth are
the leaders, both round in 65 yesterday. Yet to start. Matt Kuchar
is the clubhouse lead at 4-under. Let's hear from Richie Ramsay.
Well played, round of 70 today, how good a round was that? As good as
I've played this year. It's very tough out there. Putting is a
challenge, the ball is not moving but it sort of oscillates a little
bit and club selection is very tough. The wind is gusting at times
and that's probably the toughest thing, standing there trying to pick
a club and commit to it when the wind sort of dies down and gusts
back up, that's the hardest thing about being on the golf course
today. COMMENTATOR: Cabrera-Bello on this
most difficult 13th hole, it has caught a lot of the players out.
Term. Yes. He has turned into a very good putter indeed, holing out very
well this week and last. It is a long walk back to the 16th tee.
McIlroy is ready to go with the driver. He lost to the right of the
15th, which led to a dropped shot. That is down the hay diddle diddle
my huge drive over the crosswalk. Fitzpatrick at the 5th off the
fairway, so should get some spin on this back pin. Lovely shot, crisply
struck. Poulter has managed to get his
stance. That is meat and drink to him.
APPLAUSE Just a little flip of the wrists
left here. Huge tee shot for McIlroy, the flag is on 30 yards. I
have to say I think the flag positions today have been terrific.
They haven't been hidden, they are given the players a sporting chance
in these difficult conditions. That was a huge error from McIlroy,
he airmail to the green. His touch has deserted him momentarily over
these last few holes, after the brilliance of the outward 31.
Poulter has taken a long look at this one. That tells you that
conditions are not easy to get balanced over the putt. This is to
save his par at the 3rd. Hebert that in confidently. -- he put that in
confidently. Another tester for Kent Bulle. He pushed it. That is two
bogeys in the last three holes. Back to 16. Up and over the slope for
McIlroy. That's tidy enough but disappointing having had a second
shot in of no more than 70 yards or so. The second most birdies holed at
the 5th, and a chance for Fitzpatrick to enter that number.
I think as the day has gone on these greens have sped up, the grass grows
a little but it has dried out. So, disappointing par and he moves on to
the treacherous sixth. Front bunker at the 14th, chipped it out to here,
so he has this for a bogey. Absolutely nowhere, his tee shot was
almost perfect, he's going to take a double bogey. Rory steps into this
short par putt. In she goes. Steadying the ship somewhat after
dropping a couple of shots in the last three.
Well, Koepka and Spieth still in the century of the clubhouse enjoying
sitting up there at 5-under par. Matt Kuchar put in a fine round to
be tucked in behind them. Poulter is out on the course making his way.
Scotsman Richie Ramsay with a fine 70 and Matt Fitzpatrick, the young
Englishman, is currently at two under. You can see the flags there,
the wind freshening. The forecast says it could gust up to 40 miles
per out. It looks like it is getting their too, my goodness. It's going
to be quite an afternoon's play with this breeze. -- 40 mph. Look at
those numbers, Maureen. 27 mph. It was about 17 at this stage when the
players played their round this morning. Poulter walks into the ball
for the third time on the fifth. The Caddy has said 105, that's his
landing number. The wind is howling behind, big bounce. Well done.
McIlroy's second into 17. This green has three distinct tiers, the trick
is to find the one the flag is on and he has done that. Needs to throw
the anchors on. Fitzpatrick for par. It just dribbles away. So,
offsetting his opening birdie, and he goes back to 1-under. That mount
in front of McIlroy is a good four and a half, five feet and then the
green is running away from him a little bit. He looks like he might
do a bumpy one rather than a high one. There she goes, up and over.
Lovely shot. Great imagination, great skill.
Outside chance of a birdie four Cabrera-Bello, 15. Oh! He's got it.
He's missed a few short ones and suddenly a tram liner goes in at 15.
That is a reward for perseverance, the first birdie of the day for the
Spaniard. A little bit of left-to-right.
Straight in. McIlroy, a birdie again, his first since the sixth. He
gets going in the right direction once more. One hole to go.
Bubba, let's see how steady he stays over this one. Yes. So, four
birdies. Double bogey on ten just be railed him. But good play from
Watson. -- just derailed him. Fitzpatrick, very upright. This is
the par-3. McIlroy. Not a bad lie. Straight at the clock. Oh, what's he
done. Sit. He's OK. Got away with it.
Fitzpatrick, having given the first Schult a bit of a race, this is to
save par -- given the first putts a bit of a race. Look how far past it
has gone. It's the short putts that get difficult in particular. I'm
settling in these gusts. So, the story of the day for McIlroy.
Contrasting fortunes yesterday on the front nine and back and so too
today because the front nine was far better, starting with this
beautifully measured approach at the 1st hole. That would bring an
opening birdie and McIlroy was a different player. So composed.
Finding the heart of the fairway and the greens on most holes. The 3rd
hole. Having just missed a short birdie putts on the second, leaving
a similar distance on the third and he rolled it in. The 6th hole, 490
yards, into the wind, slightly from the left, the toughest on the course
but McIlroy, a beautiful drive again and the second shot to match, if not
better, his third birdie in an outward nine of 29. But when he made
a mistake he was able to recover. Par on the tenth and similar on the
11th, a bit wayward off the tee and he had to hole this for par to keep
the momentum. Short swing on the 13th and 15th. The 17th, into the
wind, huge drive, iron over to the back and a delicate touch. As it was
yesterday, a birdie on the 17th and McIlroy, still in the red figures.
Great ovation for McIlroy as he comes up to the final green.
Miserable day yesterday. The sad and nine holes were pretty good. Today,
apart from a couple of little pick-up 's, has been first class. --
a couple of mistakes. He is astonished the wind took it
that way. The last one took it the other way. The wind is gusting 35
mph, steady 25, 30. Long birdie putts for Rory McIlroy.
I'm sure he likes it, is it getting there? I knew he'd hadn't quite hit
it. But it is a days work well done for Rory McIlroy. Soren Kjeldsen, he
has a chance to make part -- to go sub par. And he takes it, so steady,
very accurate. He will draft his way around this golf course. McIlroy,
final shot of the day. A round of 68. Devilish conditions. He's right
back in the Championship. 5-over after six of his opening round and
still with a chance. When he teed off on Thursday, he was 20-1 and
then he drifted to 150-1 after a few holes of his opening round. Now he
is just 6-1, to win the Championship. Dustin Johnson. He
will be here. To play another day. But it is a long way back for him.
No doubt that Rory McIlroy was the star of the show. Brooks Koepka and
Jordan Spieth are going out very shortly to do battle in these
conditions. Kuchar with 71, Ian Poulter is just beginning his round
and further down we see McIlroy, after that 68, and that will move up
the leaderboard as the day goes on and these conditions continue.
Watching the finale, Ken Brown. 2-under par for McIlroy today,
1-under for the tournament. Incredible turnaround since the
opening six holes yesterday. Reflected in his betting odds for
the tournament which have tumbled. Ken Brown, you've stepped outside
the commentary box. Much more like the old McIlroy today. His front
nine was breathtaking, out in 31, hardly missing. The back nine was
more scrappy but he chipped and putted beautifully. Overall he will
be pleased, a superb round of golf, showing his qualities, striking the
ball and his short game was particularly good on the closing
holes. The leaders are just about to go out, two of the three leaders,
Koepka and Spieth. They will take yesterday's play again. But perhaps
a bit less experience on the links in this weather for the Americans?
They will have less experience than some players, certainly Rory, the
wind has freshened. Kuchar's for under par will probably be the top
of the leaderboard and both players would probably take level than that.
A very demanding afternoon with some grey clouds, so it might rain. The
morning starters will have an advantage. So far only four players
have broken par today. Both on great form, with wins in their last
tournament. Spieth, two Majors in his career, could he make it a third
at Royal Birkdale? On the tee from the USA, Jordan
Is interesting to see how he copes with today's conditions. I believe
the weather has softened a little bit. The wind doesn't seem as
strong. It varies so much around the course. 5-under, lovely round
yesterday, 65. And off he goes. Scampering down the fair way, just
off into the light rough. He's OK. Ritchie is with Rory McIlroy. I did
what I wanted to do, get in and finish under par for the first two
days and see what the guys do this afternoon. Speaking of this
afternoon you only the fourth player to come in under par. Is that
surprising or expected in these conditions? Expected, it is very
tough, difficult to get the ball close to these pins. It's the
toughest wind we are going to play with, Southeast and how strong it
is. Anything even par is a good score. Bubba, coming towards the end
of his round and what a mixed round it's been. That's going to make it.
You're never bored when Bubba's about. Thomas Pieters. On the
opening green. Just a light touch. Yes. If he gets going... He could do
something. Level par is good but the opening birdie, he is 2-under.
Spieth's second shot to the first. Huge drive. That's a marvellous
again. One person who's missing the action today is a good friend of
mine today, Michael Hoare Saul. He went on holiday to Portugal last
week. Captain of this club, he slipped in the shower and broke a
bone in his leg and he's in a pretty bad way in hospital. We wish him
well. A lot of his friends at the club miss him and the bar. Phil
Mickelson on the final hole, and it will be his final one. This is for
par. Sad to see. Last time we saw him at The Open Championship, great
round against Henrik Stenson last year. 10-over par, it is farewell to
fill. -- Phil Mickelson. Spieth, for birdie on the first. Looking for the
perfect start. He got it too. Pieters. For a birdie on the second.
Got it. This fellow is very dynamic when he gets going. He can really
turn it on. Great prospect. Spieth on the second.
Oh, he's missed that. Did he miss it? Start in the top I think. Don't
know where it is. He said get lucky, I'm not sure it did. Watson's bunker
shot on the last hole. Always an adventure when you watch Bubba play.
All over the course but he can put together a good round. Spieth to
save par. Is the magic wand working as well as yesterday? Looks like it.
25 putts in his 65. 6-under having birdied the first. Brooks Koepka.
Second to the 1st hole. Slightly firm bounds. The green runs away
from you. -- slightly firm bounce. Bubba for his par. Two double
bogeys, three bogeys and five birdies. Jordan Spieth leading by
one by virtue of his birdie on the first. Brooks Koepka is playing the
first. 68, McIlroy. Wonderful stuff on the front nine, 31 shots. Zach
Johnson, 66, the best round of the day. Bubba Watson, 72. A mixture of
everything, how would you describe the round? A great round at the end
of the day. Started pretty good. We knew about the wind and then the
middle holes were going to be tough. The golf course isn't designed for
this kind of wind. I just hung on. I got a couple of good putts and pars
and then I made birdies on the stretch. All in all it was a good
day. As long as Icahn Stadium round even par -- as long as Icahn Stadium
round even par. I haven't had a high finish year so
it is a good start. I don't know what the group in the lead going to
do now. When you are around Rory McIlroy you are doing all right. He
is 1-under, I think I'm doing OK. Spieth, medium short iron.
Thomas Pieters country. Brooks Koepka should have learned a bit
from his playing partner, Matsuyama. Slow from here. Give it a good bash.
Ian Poulter, three to get here on the ninth hole. Uphill and down
dale, across the green and into the hole. CHEERING
What they save that was. We talk about momentum, you need a lift now
and again and he is 3-under. Look at the reaction of defiance on the
hill. Almost as pleased as he is. -- the reaction of the fans. Great fans
here. Henrik Stenson, par putt. No. He was a bit unlucky. Couldn't get a
decent stance in the bunker. Couldn't get at it. Gary Woodland at
the elbow on the 5th hole. Started with four nice pars. Nice bounce.
Oh, well! We've seen a feud two bowl on the 5th hole. -- a few twos. As
the rain comes down. Can he find another single putts?
No. -- single putt. Dropped broke on the third and two tied at the top
now, Spieth and Koepka. Thomas Pieters, backing off this
putt and I don't blame him. We might see the stance is widening as the
round goes on. Trying to drill it in the back, that doesn't work here at
Royal Birkdale. Eight shot squandered. Very short. Sudden thing
is -- suddenly everything has changed, it is very unpleasant -- a
shot squandered. You have to gird yourself as a player. Same for ever
one at home. Nevertheless, rather painful. This is as good a test...
Over the bunker. Oh, my goodness gracious me! Don't tell me! I
thought that was going to go in. Landed it on the only sixpence he
could land it on. One of the best shots we've seen today. Brooks
Koepka. So strong, he can play it out. A terrific shot. That might be
the shot of the day. Amazing. Needed a touch of good fortune to get the
control. Magical recovery. Richard Bland, coming up short here
on the second. Oh, that's a great run. Being Leishman, off to a
terrific start, par, birdie. He moves to 4-under. -- the Englishman.
Ian Poulter, who will be trying to fire it into the heart of the green,
regardless of the flag position. Tilting from right to left. It
should come back off the cushion. Well, hopefully this will complete a
magical up and down from Brooks Koepka. Great par. Wonderful par
there. Blustery conditions, giving us an opportunity to see some
terrific saves by these players. Now, back to the 12th hole.
Left-to-right, uphill a little bit for Ian Poulter. Get it in there and
get in she does. The Poulter is back. His first birdie of the day,
she is one of the league, currently held by two Americans, Spieth and
Koepka. Ian Poulter creeping up the board, alongside the finished Matt
Kuchar. Richard Bland from Southampton has made a good start as
well but it is still the Americans out in front. Everyone trying to get
their hands on the Claret Jug. Guess who has already done that?
Have a look at this. You really can't believe it. I'll put it on
here. Open it up. Look at that, The Open Trophy. You must wear these
gloves to take it out of the box. I feel like I'm some sort of petty
criminal, I don't want to leave my fingerprints. Here it is, I must be
careful it comes out in one piece. Look at that. Look at that, look at
that, The Open trophy. It's fantastic. , bit closer, you can see
the names of the winners written down there. Who's going to win it?
Somebody. There we are. Returned by Henrik Stenson. He had his house
burgled yesterday when he was on the course, stealing his clothes for the
week while he was playing. But the Claret Jug is back. Chris Wood, when
he was last here in 2008 he was right up near the leaders, as an
amateur. 5-over par, flirting with the cut. He may need a birdie. He
may have a birdie or better! Oh, what a way to finish! There we are,
who is Justin Rose? ! There we are. Congratulations from Mark Bunn era.
Certainly making the cut now -- from Mark O'Meara. Jordan Spieth,
splashing out of the bunker to hear. This is for par. Difficult hole
safely negotiated. Few sheltering under umbrellas but those who can
are applauding Mark O'Meara, a final walk up the 18th in The Open
Championship, this is his final Open and fitting it should be here, after
winning in 1998. Stenson, one foot in. Both feet in now. Awkward on the
seventh. No, not to be. A shame for Marco
Romero but one of the most impressive rounds of the day, a
round of 70. The 60-year-old takes his leave of The Open Championship.
First shot yesterday, out of bounds, but 70, today, more representative
of what Mark Bunn era can do and has done in golf. The 1998 champion --
of what Mark O'Meara can do. Untouchable at times. Winning the
Masters and The Open. Very fitting that he says farewell to The Open
Championship here, where he had one of his greatest days.
Kang for birdie on the second. Those just starting their rounds must be
wondering... Well, if they keep doing that, the pain of the rain may
not be too bad, but it looks pretty horrid. Stenson. Yes, beauty. But it
was a dropped shot. Hardy, hardy souls. The umbrellas
today, they knew the outlook. Raining quite heavily overnight and
settling nicely tomorrow, gentle winds. Richard Bland. Can he go to
5-under? He certainly can. So, Richard Bland leading the home
challenge. He joins Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka at the top of
things. Richard Bland has only once played in The Open Championship
before and that was at Birkdale in 1998 when he missed the cut but now
he is 5-under par and sharing the lead with Jordan Spieth and Brooks
Koepka. Thomas, quadruple bogey putt for him and even that doesn't drop.
Up to the quintuple. That is a nine on the 6th hole for Justin Thomas.
It's All Gone Pete Tong. -- gone wrong. Spieth, his third to the
eighth hole. Oh, yes. Oh, no. If it stayed where it was earlier it would
have been brilliant. Chance for par. If you look and the card of Brooks
Koepka, par, par, par, you would think it had been steady, but not
so. He has been scraping and scrambling. Needs to get up and down
for par here. Spieth, for par at the 8th. Trouble off the tee. All is for
given. Give these players are patient,
there is some good scoring coming because it is flat calm, these
greens are soft. Koepka to save par at the 6th. No, so he slips out of
the tie for the lead, it is now just Spieth and Bland at the top. Koepka
has been living on the edge and he finally drops a shot. 1-over for his
round, back to 4-under par. Bland. Richard Bland, Oh. Didn't hit the
tree, did he? It came out, I thought it had shattered the tree. I'm lucky
there. -- he was unlucky there. Matsuyama. Nicely done. No great
theatrics, but on he goes. One bogey and one birdie. Poulter to join the
leaders. Flawless card so far, all pars and one birdie on the 15th.
He's pushed it, has he? Ooh! Just trying to cling on. Nice
reception from the crowd. 1-under, just four behind. Eilidh is with Ian
Poulter's father. It must be nice, despite this weather, to watch him
playing well? It is always nice to watch him. Obviously the father-son
relationship, we can get vibes off each other. We know that he's been
through a tough time lately, nearly losing his card, problems off the
course but he looks so focused and last week he had a good week at the
Scottish. Where has this changed mentality come from? I had to have a
word with him! Not really, he's worked hard on his game. Everything
is being sorted out behind the scenes, which is brilliant. He has
his injury out the way and he's really playing solidly. I'm so happy
with him, it's good. Long may that continue. What are you like when you
are watching him play, do you feel more nervous than him? I've watched
him for so many years, it's tough, you know. I feel emotionally drained
when he does. It's a tough one to call. When he's on a high, I am.
It's father and son. It's amazing. Amazing. Better let you go and
follow him because he may need some more support over the last few
holes. Ian Poulter is up there on 4-under par. He's heading the 16th.
Joint leader, chopped out of the bush, his third to the par-4 sixth,
and he has done pretty well. Nice forward bounce, easy up-and-down
from there. Going with one of his less lofted wages off the back foot.
See what he can produce, big bank to come up, dig into it at least once.
He will have that to save his par. High towering shot. This pin was
almost impossible to get this morning, easier to get at the flag
with a soft putting surface and some breeze. Bland is still 5-under.
We have seen this putt two or three times today. There is a little bit
of movement. If you don't get the pace just right, it can fall away
like that. Spieth always looks busy. It is really hammering down at the
moment. This is monsoon like. Stenson cracks one and runs for
cover. The shell is don't last long. Only half a day! Where is Noah when
you need him? Spieth, in the bunker on the left, played out sideways to
hear, it is on its way. It has come back. Lucky boy. That ain't easy
from there. It could be a six coming up. Look at it. It is snowing now!
Lovely. Better take cover quickly. Look at those raindrops. Raindrops
keep falling on my head. Spieth has played three strokes, this is his
fourth at the 10th and he's trying an up and under. He has played a
delightful one. What an par. Clipped it away, nice soft bounce,
co-leader. Smarter than the average bear. Look at the way he slid under
it, let the bounce do the work. Stenson. I don't think play will
last much longer, he's playing through wet bits, dry bits, wet
bits. Difficult to judge, how much the moisture will take out of it. It
has run pretty well. Amazingly well. Did I hear a siren? If it was it was
a squeaky one. As the ring comes down at Royal
Birkdale Matt Kuchar safely in the clubhouse at 4-under par but it is a
four way tie for the lead, speed, Koepka and Bland out on the course,
Ian Poulter dropped a shot down to 3-under par, along with Hideki
Matsuyama, but a good round from Richie Ramsay on 2-under par. It was
just a ten minute delay for the rain, so play got back under way
pretty swiftly. The greens are soft, he can fly this
all the way back to the flag, Stenson. Second to 11. He loves it.
He loves it. It had a bit of spin on it. Man, wasn't that good to watch?
They can even clap watching while holding their umbrellas. Bland, who
had a bit of trouble off the tee. This is to save his par at the 8th.
Will he get the pace right? Good for pace and just misjudging the line.
Doesn't break quite as much up the hill. Now, can Jordan Spieth
adjusted to the changing pace of the greens. And rocket this in for
birdie and get to 5-under and the lead? There is your answer. Didn't
take him long to adjust. Indifferent approach shot, capped off with their
wonderful putt. 5-under, he is. Third shot for Matsuyama, in the
bunker off the tee, advanced it to here, at least we can see it.
Settle. Pretty good from there. Spieth, the leader on his own at
5-under. Having a good year this year, two wins under his belt. He
sends that soaring high into the sky, and another lovely iron shot,
stone cold dead for Spieth. He is within a whisker of moving to
6-under. Matsuyama, down the hill, on ten, he went bunker, rough,
green. Nearly one putt par but two putt bogey, so he will drop back,
now at two under. This is very nearly like Seve's chip from between
the bunker is. Slightly different pin position but very similar. Soft
green. Who loves you, baby? Slow putt up the hill for Stenson
here on 12. He is finding his range. Another one drops in the front lip
for Stenson. He's on a bit of a mini charge, birdied the last two holes,
and the defending champion doesn't want to let go of that trophy. Long
par putt for Bland, who came tracking up the right-hand rough.
Another roll. Yes! Suddenly the putts are beginning to fall from
everywhere. Out in 34, level par, keeps him at 3-under, three back.
Tiddler on the 12th for Jordan Spieth to get to 6-under. That is a
two shot lead with the simplest of putts. He's had 16 putts in the
first 12 holes today, scrambled well, played a good shot, made the
most of it. Poulter at the last. The mightiest of auroras, round in 70,
very impressive stuff. One birdie, one bogey, and at 3-under, currently
three behind. 67, 70. I bet he has dead enjoyed that, Terry. I'm sure
he did, it was a real test of character out there for Ian Poulter
but he scrambled so well to stay in the hunt. This was his third shot at
the par-4 eighth and he put that in for an par, but I think he thought
he was getting something a little better. To the par-4 ninth, this
long putt to save par. Would he dropped a shot? Of course he
wouldn't. Level par at the turn, nine straight pars so far. Onto the
par-3 12th, his tee shot landing right on the green, so this for
birdie. It swung to the right and in it went, celebrations for Poulter,
he moved to four under. Birdshot now onto the par-4 13th. It would go
close. It would go very close. It wouldn't quite drop. Another par for
Poulter. He did drop a shot on the par-4 16th to move back to 3-under
but on the final hole, his third shot, went close, great scrambling
from Poulter, knocked it in to save par to finish the day on 3-under
par. As things stand, Jordan Spieth with a two shot lead in front
through 12 holes on 6-under, Kuchar warm and dry in the clubhouse on
4-under par with the man who was overnight leader alongside him,
Brooks Koepka. There is Poulter after that 70 3-under par. Let's
hear from the Englishman. How do you enjoy the challenge of posting that
70 today? Yeah am I enjoyed it a lot. Open Championship, golf is
always interesting, and through the years we always get a few that play
really tough, this being a very tough day on the golf course, 35 mph
gusting wind, wind switch on 13 which went in off the right to down
off the right and all of a sudden it cooled down 20 degrees. It was a
crazy hour to finish the round. They kind of stopped play, or allowed us
to finish the hole we was on because there was some casual water on the
greens and they wanted it to soak through, and it normally does on
links golf courses. It was a crazy day, I just had to hang tough and
try and commit to shots and there is only one blemish on the card.
Spieth in the sand. He has something to do to save his par. Koepka for
the first birdie of the day, possibly. He took a long while to
get started on the birdie run yesterday, and then when he did he
didn't lose the habit. Left to right. Oh no. Golden opportunity
missed there. Spieth for par. When he gets on a roll he seems to
hole every single one of those but that will be a dropped shot. He will
be back to 5-under shortly. Brooks Koepka looks to be lying pretty
well, plenty of green to play with. That's OK. Travels on a little bit.
Justin Thomas has not enjoyed today. That nine on the 6th hole. Here on
the 14th he nearly has a hole-in-one. Every cloud. Hideki
Matsuyama having his troubles on the back nine. This is to save par on
the 13th. I just sense the conditions have got
a little more difficult in the past half an hour or so, calmed down for
a while but the wind has lifted and the rain is near enough ever
present. This is for an par for Koepka to remain at four under. Not
to be. There have been a few casualties in this hole.
Jordan Spieth ready for his second on the 15th, just a bit of wind from
the left helping a fraction. There is a low chaser. It might work well.
What is shot from Jordan Spieth. There we go, thing of beauty,
scuttling down the fairway and that is for an eagle. That was a links
shot. Now, Matsuyama, the wind has picked up a bit, hard from the left
Stunner from Matsuyama. Beautiful control in these conditions. Well, a
slightly unconventional second has brought Jordan Spieth to hear. This
is for eagle. Line and pace, line and pace. What a wonderful three
from Jordan Spieth. 7-under par, three shot lead.
Matsuyama desperately seeking birdies.
Found one, back to 1-under, three bogeys in the last four made him
unhappy but that's better. So, this soggy and blustery day, the leaders
are beginning to stretch out, Jordan Spieth three clear of Matt Kuchar,
Koepka and Bland on 3-under par but the last time Jordan Spieth had this
kind of lead in a major was the Masters last year, and you may
remember what happened. Danny Willett taking advantage. A long way
to go, Spieth three in front. Good position here for a Spieth to
attack this pin, plenty of landing area, just a little breeze behind.
Landing very softly down breeze. Now, Richard Bland, this is his
third shot on the 13th. He has taken an unplayable. Chase it on, chase it
on. Hard work on the 13th for Bland. He takes a long look but once he has
decided he's no-nonsense. Practice strokes behind the ball, a few quick
looks and the ball is on its way. He has a chance to plant himself in
a good position here. The fourth shot of Richard Bland. He
took a bit of a gamble with his third, just over the cross bunker.
Drawing it into the 13th pin on the left side. My goodness, this is
going to be a big number now. Spieth, four footer. His umbrella
has gone. No. Well... He looks at the hole, he
doesn't feel comfortable, the whistling wind across this green not
helping him. Looks at the hole, bangs it in. The mistake from the
good position on the fairway, still leads by a couple. Big drive for
Gary Woodland at the last. Trying to draw it into that right pin. That
was a lovely shot. The percentage play, the centre of the green pin
high. Now, Richard Bland, his trial continues on the 13th, fifth shot.
Not much greener to play with. Beautiful, though. Poggi? It is
going to be a double -- bogey?. Gary Woodland, this is for a 68. It
hasn't turned quite as much at the end as he thought. 69. Only the
fifth person today to break par. The first one for quite a long while.
This afternoon has been tricky. 70, 69, 1-under, five behind. A good
chance for Richard Bland to bounce back after that double bogey on the
13th. Oh! Yes! That's the way to do it. Impressive to come back on the
14th after a horrible time on the hole before. Now, Jordan Spieth has
said this is playing about as if it were 190 yards. It is into the wind.
156 to the flag. Narrow target. He has missed it. Not too badly. He's
not sure where it has finished because it sort of disappeared. He
thinks he has hit it over the back. Matsuyama then on the 16th. Rolling
it well, yes! 2-under, and Hideki Matsuyama moves up alongside Richie
Ramsay and Richard Bland. That will do nicely. Well, from down in that
little hollow, Spieth hit a little short. The greens are getting
slower. This is for his par. And in she goes, could have been worse,
loose tee shot, it is an par, he will take the three shot lead down
the last. Bland taking a cut at his fourth
shot. That is a good one. Sit down. He may yet save his par. A lot of
holes have been slightly adventurous for him in the last half an hour.
Trying to bring it in from left. Go, go, go. It is actually not a bad
miss there. Now, Bland with a good shot to the 15th, but it was his
fourth. It would be a good save, wouldn't it?
It would have been but remains conditional and its a shotgun from
Richard Bland, double bogey on the 13th, birdie on the 14th, Biraghi
here, so ups and downs. Still 1-under. -- bogey. The old
windscreen wiper going. I thought 4-under par could be the leading
school today. It's not going to be. -- score. Spieth down to 6-under...
Perhaps... So close. He will tap that in and lead into the weekend of
The Open Championship, finishing here in front of a feud damp and
hardy souls, but at the weekend it will be brighter, it will be busier,
and it may well be Jordan Spieth coming down the stretch to a first
Open Championship. He's put himself in a wonderful position, 69 to 65,
master of the elements and leading The Open.
When Jordan Spieth gets his nose in front he is a difficult man to
shift. The overnight leader showed he meant business right from the
start. This is his second shot into the par-4 first. That was close
enough for an opening birdie. As conditions worsened, he did drop
shots at both the third and ninth and it looked like he would drop
another at the 10th, but how about this for an par save. It seemed to
spur him into life. He had another birdie opportunity at 11 from quite
some distance. But in it would drop. Level par for the day. Onto the
par-3 12th, he birdied this hole yesterday. Would his tee shot give
him an opportunity to do it again today? A bit of backspin command yes
it would. Back-to-back birdies for a Spieth, moved to 6-under par, two
clear of the rest. The second shot here on the 15th. It was low and he
fired it right towards the green, on it galloped. Look where this one
would end up. Close enough for an eagle for a Spieth. He did go on to
drop a shot at the 16th so he signed for a 69 and here he is speaking to
Rishi Persad. Can you tell us what you think the
value of your score today was? It was good, maybe even better than
yesterday. It was really tough out there today. We had brief periods of
hour-long intermissions when we could take some respite from the
rain when it died down but overall it would look scrappy and it did.
There was no way for it to look pretty today. I think I stole a few.
Even though the conditions were bad, I didn't quite play the way I played
yesterday, but I stole a couple with a chip-in and an eagle. That's what
you need to stay on top in this tournament.
American Jordan Spieth out in front on his own on day two of The Open
Championship, 6-under par, a two shot lead over fellow American Matt
Kuchar. A great couple of days for England's Ian Poulter, he's in the
top ten entering the weekend of the opened the first time in 15 years,
alongside US Open champion Brooks Koepka on 3-under par, and also a
good couple of days for Scotland's Richie Ramsay, 2-under par for the
Championship. To under par was the score for Rory Mcllroy around the
links today and doesn't that look like a good round now? 1-under for
the Championship, just back from the leader Spieth. Some selected others
to take a look at. We have the round of the day from former open champion
Zach Johnson, for under par took him to 1-over. Masters champion Sergio
Garcia one shot further back on two over alongside defending champion
Henrik Stenson. Tommy Fleetwood makes the weekend of an Open
Championship for the first time in his fourth time of asking. Missed
cuts, 2008 champion around Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington won't
be over the weekend, and neither will Phil Mickelson was part of
great shoot out at Troon last year. It did get a little wild out there
today. But 1-under today for Jordan Spieth is a very impressive round of
golf. Ken, what impressed you most about what Jordan did out there
today? He called it scrappy but he would have taken it when he saw the
forecast this morning. It was an unusual day starting with a howling
wind, die down to nothing and warmed up and then the wind picked up. It
was a scramble, club selection not easy but the key to his success was
his putting, he reads the greens well, he was errant off the tees but
generally it was a high quality and professional round. Anything really
around par was good today and a few players went out there and hit some
of the worst weather but they must feel like anything around par was
good today. Rory was exceptional, I must say. He went out this morning
and went out in 31 and showed his real quality ball striking. One of
the examples was at number six, a fantastic drive, very tricky par-4
and look at the shot, big rainbow shape, faded into this right-hand
pin and that was a crackerjack and he produced lots of those on the
front nine but on the back nine it was different, he lost his long game
but then he said quality with his chipping and putting. Lots of
awkward spots. Superb round and it got him right back into the
tournament. He called it one of his best rounds at The Open Championship
which says a lot for McIlroy. Somebody like Ian Poulter, great
round of golf, right in amongst it again after a good weekend last
weekend at the Scottish Open. He had the same problems, the rain poured
down in the middle of the round, the wind picked up, club selection was
tricky and he used his great skills of scrambling around, the quality of
his play on links courses has always been good and he has the quality on
the green. Ian Poulter played a quality round. It was so easy today
to hit one or two errant shots and get a double bogey. It is all set up
to be a very exciting weekend, and everybody will be glad to know that
the weather is supposed to be better tomorrow. We will have highlights
again tomorrow night on BBC Two at 8pm of all of Saturday's play, live
coverage on Radio 5 live, out on the course from midday. On the BBC sport
website there is live text and in play videos. As the wind blew and
the rain lashed down at Royal Birkdale it was Jordan Spieth who
held his nerve but he will have to be on guard as there are plenty
waiting in the wings to pounce on the young Texan.
When I think of the world we inhabit, everyone will think,
Yeah. And it wasn't, it was done by hand
Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the second round of the Open Championship from Royal Birkdale.
It was American Phil Mickelson who led after the second round in 2016 - a two-under-par 69 lifting the American to ten under at Royal Troon. But in a portent of what was to come, a six-under 65 from eventual champion Henrik Stenson left the Swede only one shot behind. Stenson went on to claim the Claret Jug two days later, posting an Open Championship record score of 20-under-par.