British Open 2017: Jordan Spieth updated leaderboard after Round 2

Ruben Hill
July 23, 2017

If McIlroy didn't have patience (and a confident, strong-minded caddie), he would be headed home by now.

Afterwards he was reminded that five of the last six Open champions were aged 39 or older.

Spieth was the only competitor to shoot in the 60s on both days of competition.

"He said: 'You're Rory McIlroy, what are you doing?'" I know I've been around a while, but I also feel like I'm in about the prime of my golfing career.

If McIlroy had to be reminded, so did everyone else. Will Spieth be able to convert this hot start into his third major championship?

Now, suddenly, he does.

Now that he is in the lead on his own, Spieth said he expects to have some nerves as he tries to win his first Open and his third leg of the Grand Slam.

Charley Hoffman for eagle on his FIRST HOLE.

He gave a shot back at the par-3 14 as the wind kicked up into overdrive once more.

"Henrik Stenson, the man whose inspired ball-striking beat Mickelson past year at Troon, also endured a trying day on the links â€" but that had just as much to do with a burglary of his rented home while he played his first round. "I feel like it's all coming together". And I went with those today and it worked. "I missed two greens", the 23-year-old admitted, who gave himself a nine out of 10 for his opening round.

What was in McIlroy's head before that is a matter of some conjecture.

The starkest reminder of the state of his game was not so much missing three cuts in his last four tournaments.

Jason Day ended past year at No. 1 in the world, and then found himself emotionally wrapped up in tending to his mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer. Spieth rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt across the 11th green, and then after watching Henrik Stenson's tee shot on the par-3 12th land softly, Spieth realized he could take on the flag.

Spieth and Brooks Koepka (65) were to play in the afternoon.

"I didn't get angry out there at all".

Patience always should be the 15th club in your bag. "He tries to keep me as positive as he possibly can". I got away with one there. He knows what to say out there and what not to say. "And he definitely said the right thing [Thursday] when I needed it".

The British Open began Thursday with an All-American flavour.

Of the 52 Americans in the field at Royal Birkdale, Bulle is the least known.

McIlroy wouldn't have seen this coming at the end of a year ago when he won the FedEx Cup.

The loudest cheer on the 18th, however, wasn't for him.

He cut a dejected figure after slumping to five over par after six holes on Thursday, but the spring has clearly returned to his step. O'Meara turned 60 this year. "And I missed it with flair".

The last nine majors have all been won by a different name, going back to Jordan Spieth's back-to-back victories at the Masters and US Open in 2015.

Justin Thomas got a lot of attention in the first round when he wore a cardigan sweater and loosely fitted tie designed by sponsor Polo Golf. Even someone like Matt Kuchar, who scored five-under 29 on the front nine, had to tread carefully and returned with one-over 71 on Friday.

The hairline rib fracture he suffered in January during the South African Open is no longer an issue, but it forced him to sit out almost two months, and then he played only once in two months between the Masters and the U.S. Open in part because it was acting up.

Harrington, the Open champion from 2008 at Birkdale, had one bogey and one double bogey.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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