WATCH: Spieth Leads By Two At Halfway Mark

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth takes shelter beneath his umbrella during a wet and windy second round at Royal Birkdale. (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND | Jordan Spieth had a second great day on the links to finish on 6-under par and two ahead of Matt Kuchar at the halfway stage of the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.

One more American, Brooks Koepka, is a shot further back, only he is not on his own. England’s Ian Poulter is on the same 3-under par mark and is revelling the idea of edging past “anyone who’s ahead of me” to lift the Claret Jug on Sunday.


Open Championship 2nd Round
Score
Jordan Spieth -6
Matt Kuchar -4
Ian Poulter -3
Brooks Koepka
-3
Richie Ramsay -2
Austin Connelly -1
Rory McIlroy
-1
Gary Woodland
-1
Richard Bland -1
10 Tied
E

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You could argue that Spieth was lucky in that that the worst of the wind and angry squalls died down for his last few holes. However, there was nothing too lucky about his eagle at the 15th. It had more to do with switching from a 3-iron to a 3-wood for his shot from the rough. The shot was a little out of the heel but it weaved a triumphant passage over mounds and bunkers to 20 feet and he capitalised on his good fortune by draining the putt (video below).

Kuchar picked on the par-3 12th as the hole which told most about the conditions he had known a little earlier. He had aimed a 5-iron a good 30 yards left of the pin into the crowd and it had stayed over the crowd for long enough to make him nervous. Only at the last minute had it drifted back to finish safely aboard the green. He had not had to tear up his game plan because such was the weather that he had never had one.

Poulter, on the other hand, had studied the weather forecast on Thursday night and planned his every move for the 70 he tacked to his opening 67. He’s loving the support he’s getting and, from the mass of hardy spectators who stayed with him through rain, wind and mud, he picked out a 6-year-old lad who had yelled “Come on Poults” at every hole. The crowd’s commitment had been “amazing” and so, too, had his own. (Watch video below as he nearly holes a birdie from the bunker.)

Henrik Stenson, whose clothes and sundry other items had been stolen from the house which he had rented for the week during the first round, had a second-round 73 to be 2 over going into the weekend. He talked of how happy he was that his family had not been in the house at the time but added, cheerfully, that he wished that he had been.

Meanwhile, he was setting off for dinner in clothes selected from the Hugo Boss spring and summer range for 2018.

One more thing. Heavy rains briefly interrupted play during Friday’s round, bringing out the squeegees for the puddling greens.

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