British Open live blog: Jordan Spieth posts 69 to take 36-hole lead

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British Open live blog: Jordan Spieth posts 69 to take 36-hole lead

PGA Tour

British Open live blog: Jordan Spieth posts 69 to take 36-hole lead

The world’s oldest major golf championship continued Friday at Royal Birkdale.

We tracked all the second-round highlights all day in Southport, England. Look back at what you may’ve missed:

How to follow the action:

All times Eastern

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UPDATE NO. 54 (4:11 p.m. ET): Here’s your recap for the day!

UPDATE NO. 53 (3:53 p.m. ET): Here’s your updated leaderboard. Jordan Spieth will be your 36-hole leader.

UPDATE NO. 52 (3:16 p.m. ET): The hometown boy survives! Fleetwood putts from off the green to 2 feet, and he cleans up that par putt to get in at 5 over. That’ll allow him into the weekend on the number.

UPDATE NO. 51 (3:10 p.m. ET): Tommy Fleetwood (+5) needs to par 18 to make the cut on the number at the Open. Remember, he’s got that heart-warming story of playing in his hometown. Would be a stellar way to make the cut, as he looked toast after an opening 76. This would be a 1-under 69 on a tough day to get it done.

UPDATE NO. 50 (2:56 p.m. ET): Spieth is in front of the green at 18 and lags to a couple of feet. He taps in for par to shoot 1-under 69 and post at 6-under 134. That’s the clubhouse lead by two, and we imagine he’ll be your 36-hole leader. Best player on course is 3 under total.

UPDATE NO. 49 (2:49 p.m. ET): Spieth pars No. 17 to remain two ahead at 6 under.

UPDATE NO. 48 (2:36 p.m. ET): Here’s an updated look at the leaderboard.

UPDATE NO. 47 (2:28 p.m. ET): Spieth goes way left and short off tee on No. 17, but is able to hit it out fine. He lays up into benign right rough on the par 5.

UPDATE NO. 46 (2:18 p.m. ET): Spieth three-putts from 30 feet at No. 16. It ends with a short miss from maybe 4 feet. That’s a bogey and his lead is down to two (he’s 6 under).

UPDATE NO. 45 (1:58 p.m. ET): Spieth buries it for EAGLE!! He’s now 7 under and has a three-shot lead. Wow! That’s certainly a lucky eagle, as Spieth admitted that second shot was “a neck-thin mis-hit.” But he took advantage of his amazing break.

UPDATE NO. 44 (1:54 p.m. ET): Spieth bogeyed No. 14 after he couldn’t get a long par putt to drop. He then hits a worm burner for his second at 15, but he gets away with it! The ball rolls some 80 yards all the way to the green and 20 feet below the hole. He’ll have that for eagle to move to 7 under!

UPDATE NO. 43 (1:53 p.m. ET): From earlier today, Chris Wood with what we imagine will be the best shot of the first two rounds.

UPDATE NO. 42 (1:27 p.m. ET): Your current leaderboard. Spieth was at one point tied for the lead. He made a late bogey and Spieth has come alive. Regardless, Poulter is in contention through 36 holes.

UPDATE NO. 41 (1:13 p.m. ET): Spieth stuffs his tee shot at the par-3 12th, knocking it 10 feet right and long of the pin and spinning it back to 2 feet. He cleans up for birdie to move to 6 under. He’s now two shots ahead.

UPDATE NO. 40 (12:56 p.m. ET): Spieth rolls in a 25-footer for birdie at No. 11 and he moves to 5 under. He’s the solo leader again!

Previously, this is him chipping in for par at No. 10.

UPDATE NO. 39 (12:46 p.m. ET): Play has resumed!

UPDATE NO. 38 (12:31 p.m. ET): The horn has blown! Play was suspended at 5:30 p.m. local time (12:30 pm. Eastern) due to a non-dangerous weather situation.

UPDATE NO. 37 (12:30 p.m. ET): Spieth chips in for par at No. 10 as the rain is really pouring down now. He remains a co-leader at 4 under!

UPDATE NO. 36 (12:25 p.m. ET): We had a five-way tie for the lead as Spieth bogeyed No. 9, Koepka bogeyed No. 8 and Richard Bland bogeyed No. 6. They’re all now 4 under, tied with Matt Kuchar (in the clubhouse). Ian Poulter was also 4 under after a birdie at No. 12, but he moved back to 3 under after a bogey at 16.

UPDATE NO. 35 (11:50 a.m. ET): Incredible from Chris Wood! As he stood over his second shot at 18, Wood was +5 and one back of the cut. Honestly, he just needed a par to make the weekend, because the cut’s going to drop to +5 at least (and already has in the 20 minutes or so since all of this). Regardless, Wood holing out for eagle here to move to 3 over and secure his Saturday spot is still mesmerizing. Awesome!

UPDATE NO. 34 (11:40 a.m. ET): Richard Bland is now tied for the lead after a birdie at No. 4! Who? Richard Bland. He’s a 44-year-old with just a Challenge Tour win to his name. Bland has been a regular on the European Tour for basically every year since 2002, but his best finish there is a runner-up (twice). One of those was last month at the BMW International Open. This is Bland’s second career appearance at the Open. The other? In 1998 … at Royal Birkdale! Wow! He missed the cut then, but that seems incredibly unlikely this time with 14 holes to play in Round 2.

UPDATE NO. 33 (11:07 a.m. ET): Brooks Koepka made an absolutely unbelievable par save at No. 3. His approach went well left and hit a cart path. It dove into some thick rough. From a horrible lie that easily could’ve turned the club over, Koepka somehow gets the ball to come out perfectly and traverse 30 yards all the way to 2 feet from the hole. He taps in for par there and then pars the fourth. Spieth pars Nos. 4 and 5. Both are still 5 under and co-leaders.

UPDATE NO. 32 (11:02 a.m. ET): Just plain stupid. To the defending champion? Really?

UPDATE NO. 31 (10:36 a.m. ET): Spieth misses a 5-footer for par at No. 3. That’s his first bogey of the championship and he falls back into co-lead with Koepka at 5 under. By the way, the anticipated rain has started to come down fiercely in the last few minutes. The conditions starting to get REALLY Difficult.

UPDATE NO. 30 (10:29 a.m. ET): Ian Poulter buries a 30-footer for par at No. 9. That puts him out in even-par 34. He’s still 3 under and three back.

UPDATE NO. 29 (10:26 a.m. ET): Phil Mickelson finishes bogey-bogey for a 77. At 10 over, he will surely miss the cut. At least he had four birdies today! In fact, just five pars in this round! Anyway, a tough week, but it’s amazing that Mickelson can be in his age 47 season and not have a missed cut until July. That’s right, this is his first missed cut of 2017.

UPDATE NO. 28 (10:17 a.m. ET): Spieth found trouble at No. 2 by driving into a fairway bunker. He had to blast out short of the green, but he pitched up to 6 feet and made the putt. Great par and he’s still -6 and one ahead.

UPDATE NO. 27 (10:01 a.m. ET): Spieth knocks a wedge close to 6 feet at No. 1 and rolls in the birdie putt. That moves him to 6 under and he now has a one-shot lead.

UPDATE NO. 26 (9:52 a.m. ET): Jordan Spieth is off! Morning conditions were tough, with winds often 20+ mph, only four sub-par rounds in the clubhouse. But the afternoon may be BRUTAL! Wind has seemed to pick up in last hour, at times consistently at 30 mph and gusts at 40+ mph. The wind is projected to still be this severe in the afternoon, and heavy rain is predicted by 4 p.m. local time (11 a.m. Eastern). So Spieth may be co-leader at 5 under, but this will be a battle to manage. More on the afternoon weather, here:

UPDATE NO. 25 (9:38 a.m. ET): McIlroy gets a flyer on 18 but does find the green. From 40 feet beyond the hole, he lags it nicely. That’s a closing par for a 2-under 68. Only Zach Johnson has a better round (66). What a round for McIlroy, who is 1 under overall and just three back. He was actually 3 under through six but hung on nicely from there. He hit just 2/9 GIRs on the back nine but was 1 over in that stretch. If you think McIlroy doesn’t know how to fight, he proved you wrong today.

UPDATE NO. 24 (9:23 a.m. ET): McIlroy plays the par-5 17th brilliantly. That hole is actually over par today with basically nobody going for the green in two. McIlroy did, though, actually hitting it OVER the green in two. He chipped back to 5 feet and made birdie. That was McIlroy’s first GIR on the entire back nine. He’s 1/8 GIR on the back nine and is 1 over for that stretch, absolutely incredible fight. He’s 1 under overall and 2 under for the day.

UPDATE NO. 23 (8:59 a.m. ET): Rory hasn’t hit a single GIR on the back nine (yes, 0/7 GIR) but he’s not giving in. A great par save from beyond the green at No. 16 to keep himself even for the tournament. It’s amazing he’s only 2 over on the back nine.

UPDATE NO. 22 (8:55 a.m. ET): Oh Lefty … after a wild front 9, he’s continuing to put up non-pars. Four straight bogeys to start back nine and then a birdie. As silly a scorecard it might look, can’t be much fun. At 9 over, Mickelson would basically need to birdie out to make the cut.

UPDATE NO. 21 (8:44 a.m. ET): That’s a BAD bogey for McIlroy at No. 15. He hit his tee shot way right, his ball was partially embedded and he slashed out into a bunker. That was the killer, he had to lay up from there, missed the green short and then used two putts for 6. McIlroy is back to even par.

UPDATE NO. 20 (8:36 a.m. ET): Kuchar finds a bunker off the tee at No. 18 and that leads to a lay up and a bogey. That’s two in his last three and he drops to 4 under thanks to that 1-over 71. Not the best finish, but with the way the weather looks, he could be the leader by day’s end.

UPDATE NO. 19 (8:21 a.m. ET): McIlroy has not hit a green on the back nine, so it’s pretty remarkable he’s made just one bogey. He escapes again at No. 14, chipping to a foot and tapping in. That par means he remains -1. Four pars and a bogey for McIlroy from Nos. 10-14. Again, ZERO GIRs in that stretch. Now he’s got two par 5s upcoming.

UPDATE NO. 18 (8:18 a.m. ET): Garcia talking post-round … says he took some Ibuprofen and Advil soon after injury (as well as physio treatment) and got some more work done on No. 8. He says shoulder still feels sore but was told it wasn’t dislocated or any other serious injury.

UPDATE NO. 17 (8:16 a.m. ET): Sergio Garcia bogeys 18, but that’s a solid 69 and he’s +2. Garcia played 1-under golf in his final 15 holes – after hurting himself slashing at gorse.

UPDATE NO. 16 (8:09 a.m. ET): Zach Johnson posts 4-under 66, likely to be the day’s best round. He’s jumped 89 spots to a tie for 32nd at 1 over. Quite a fight from him. McIlroy has just bogeyed 13 after missing the green again, he’d been playing with fire for a while. Back to 1 under.

UPDATE NO. 15 (8:01 a.m. ET): Rory McIlroy just keeps on fighting. What a battle. After finding greenside bunker off tee at par-3 12th, he blasts out to 3 feet and cleans up for par. Three straight missed greens, three straight pars. Still 2 under.

UPDATE NO. 14 (7:52 a.m. ET): Kuchar bogeys 16 after approach finds bunker and he can’t make 10-foot par putt. That’s back to 5 under and a share of the lead.

UPDATE NO. 13 (7:48 a.m. ET): Sergio Garcia birdies 17 after a great up and down. A 30-yard bunker shot to 10 feet and then drained it. He birdied 15, too, and Garcia has now been 2 under since injuring himself slashing at gorse on No. 4. That’s unexpected. Masters champ is -2 today and +1 overall. Barring a complete meltdown on No. 18, he’ll make the cut comfortably.

UPDATE NO. 12 (7:42 a.m. ET): Rory’s putter is saving him. No, we’re serious. He makes another lengthy par putt at the 11th, jarring a 12-footer to stay 2 under and bogey-free. If he can hold on for a few more holes, this might be a really special round as par 5s await at 15 and 17.

UPDATE NO. 11 (7:34 a.m. ET): Kuchar two-putts from some 40 feet, rolling in a 3-footer for birdie at 15 and that moves him to 6 under. He’s now the solo leader. If he can get in at 6 under, that might be a lead of a few by day’s end considering the conditions are only expected to get worse for afternoon crew.

UPDATE NO. 10 (7:26 a.m. ET): Rory is still feeling it. A par at the ninth means a 3-under 31, and he makes a HUGE par save at the 10th. Drove into fairway bunker and chunked his approach well short of the green. Hit 50-ish yard third to 12 feet and buries the par putt – eliciting a fist pump. He remains 2 under and three back. That par putt could be monumental mojo-wise.

UPDATE NO. 9 (7:22 a.m. ET): A disappointment for Lefty. He went birdie-free Thursday in a 73, and then immediately birdied No. 1 today. It seemed like he might make a run, but then he tripled No. 3. A birdie at No. 4 helped a little, but then back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8. Mickelson is now +6 overall. Projected cut is +3, but with conditions being tough, that could move to +5 by day’s end. So Mickelson needs to play his final 10 holes under par to make the weekend.

UPDATE NO. 8 (7:20 a.m. ET): Matt Kuchar is holding steady. On a day where just 11 of 87 players on course are under par, his even par score through 14 is quite solid. Kuchar bogeyed No. 2 and then birdied Nos. 3 and 4 to move to 6 under and into the solo lead. A bogey at No. 8 means he’s back to 5 under, but he’s still sharing the lead and has two par 5s to come.

UPDATE NO. 7 (7 a.m. ET): Look who’s suddenly one back… Bubba Watson! He chips in for birdie at No. 6 to move to 4 under. He’s 2 under for the day. No top 40s in his last four starts and never better than T-23 at the Open, but sure he’s now closing in on 1st. That’s golf!

UPDATE NO. 6 (6:45 a.m. ET): McIlroy executes a lengthy two-putt to perfection at No. 7 and then hits a tasty bunker shot from a downslope, short-sided to 2 feet and cleans up. Back-to-back pars means he’s still rolling at 2 under. Three back.

UPDATE NO. 5 (6:38 a.m. ET): So maybe Sergio Garcia should not be fighting gorse. As detailed below, he should be fine. But this was a scary moment for Sergio fans when this happened.

UPDATE NO. 4 (6:25 a.m. ET): Lee Westwood, folks! He holes out for eagle at the fifth to move back to even par. Reminder: conditions are not easy today. Wind is up, 20+ mph. Not howling like in ’08 but enough to cause some discomfort. If 5 under holds up as the lead through 36 holes, it wouldn’t be a big surprise.

UPDATE NO. 3 (6:19 a.m. ET): BOOM. McIlroy buries it, and he’s now just three shots back. A reminder of who may have jumpstarted this run.

UPDATE NO. 2 (6:11 a.m. ET): Wow, was Rory McIlroy really +5 through six yesterday. Rors birdies Nos. 1 and 3 and then stuffs his approach at the sixth. If he can roll in that 5-footer, he moves to 2 under overall. That would make him 7 under in his last 14 holes. What. A. Turnaround.

UPDATE NO. 1 (4:54 a.m. ET): Matt Kuchar bogeyed the second hole, but has responded with back-to-back birdies to take the solo lead at 6 under.

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