Kentucky's J.B. Holmes shows no signs of slowing down at Open Championship
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J.B. Holmes is showing no signs of slowing down at the British Open.
Holmes, the first round leader after an opening 66, added a 3-under 68 to take the clubhouse lead at Royal Portrush.
On a day when conditions were favorable for early starters, Holmes was at 8 under, tied with Shane Lowry, who was still on the front nine. Also making a move was Lee Westwood, who was a shot back playing the final hole.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, still had an outside chance to make the cut. He was 3 under for the day playing the back nine. Rory McIlroy, the local favorite who opened with a 79, had yet to tee off for his second round.
After a first day of rain and blustery conditions, the sky was overcast but the wind was generally light.
England's Tommy Fleetwood has the early clubhouse lead in the second round of the British Open.
Fleetwood made a birdie putt from 15 feet on the final hole to get into the clubhouse at 7-under 135 after rounds of 68-67. He was tied for the overall lead with J.B. Holmes, who was still playing the back nine.
The two were on top of a crowded leaderboard, with 21 players within four shots of the lead even before the afternoon wave of players teed off.
Jordan Spieth and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka were among them. Both were at 5-under-par, two shots off the lead as they played their finishing holes.
It looks like players will have to be near even par if they want to play the weekend, with the early projected cut at 1-over-par.
Tiger Woods will need to make something happen on the back nine to do that. He stood at 6 over after making the turn with a front-nine 35.
Jordan Spieth announced his presence on the British Open leaderboard with a front nine run where he played four holes in a combined 5 under.
Spieth briefly moved into a tie for the lead after going birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie beginning at the fifth hole. He would bogey the ninth to finish the front nine in 4-under 32, making him 5 under for the tournament.
The 2017 Open champion was three shots behind J.B. Holmes, who had another strong start to his day. The first day leader was 3 under for the day through six holes and 8 under for the tournament, two shots ahead of Tyrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
Tiger Woods birdied his first hole from the rough, and was 1 under through four holes as he tried to make the cut after an opening 78.
Tiger Woods is out on the course, facing an uphill climb to make the cut in the British Open.
The three-time Open champion hit a hybrid off the first tee into the left rough, beginning a round that will determine whether he plays on the weekend.
Woods struggled in his first round Thursday, making only one birdie while shooting a 7-over 78 that left him ahead of only seven other players in the field. When he teed off he was 13 strokes behind leader J.B. Holmes.
Holmes also had an early tee time and was 1-under through three holes.
Second round play began under cloudy skies with predictions of rain showers in the afternoon. The pattern is similar to that in the first round, where players played in a combination of rain, bits of sunshine and wind.
Brooks Koepka is trying to extend an amazing run in the majors that is not limited to winning three out of the last six.
Koepka is never too far from the lead. He was 4 under and tied for the lead late on the back nine of the first round in the British Open before a bogey on the 17th force him to settle for a 68. He was in a tie for third as he prepared for a Friday morning round at Royal Portrush.
That means Koepka has been no worse than third after 13 of his last 16 rounds in the majors.
Tiger Woods arrived at Royal Portrush on Sunday morning. Now he tries to avoid leaving Friday afternoon from the British Open.
Woods, Rory McIlroy and others who got off to a rugged start faced a daunting task trying to make the cut on a links course with ever-changing conditions and a steady challenge.
Woods didn't make a birdie until the 15th hole in his opening round of 78, his worst start in a British Open and third-highest score in a major championship. McIlroy played reasonably well except the start (quadruple bogey) and finish (triple bogey) in his round of 79.
J.B. Holmes set the pace with a 5-under 66 and played Friday morning under a mostly blue sky and mild wind. That could change without notice.
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