British Open 2019 live blog: Rory's late push won't be enough to make the weekend at Royal Portrush
148th Open Championship - Day Two
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the 18th during the second round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 19, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Admit it, as you're waking up on Friday morning and tuning into the second round of the Open Championship, you're probably wondering to yourself Was Thursday's first round just a dream? Did pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy really make an 8 on the opening hole en route to a 79? And Tiger Woods shot a 78? David Duval … a 91?!?
We're here to say it all really did happen, and there's liable to be more craziness over the course of the next 15 hours. So come join us as we follow the action with our live blog
(All times eastern)
That just about does it for Day 2 at the Open, which featured all kinds of action. Cut-line drama, birdies in bunches from the leaders, and even a decent run from Tiger Woods. Unfortunately, he, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will all miss the weekend, but that won't bring down that entertainment factor one bit. This is still a stacked leader board heading into the third round:
Lurking a little further down are the likes of Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm and Matt Kuchar, all of whom are at four under. At three under? Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson, Tyrrell Hatton, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler. Saturday won't lack for drama, that's for sure.
We'll be back bright and early with a live blog with all the important action from the third round.
3:37 p.m.: We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Xander Schauffele, who vaulted up the board with a six-under 65 on Friday. He's at three under heading into the weekend and officially lurking.
3:28 p.m.: Furyk finds the green in two at 18 and Shinkwin hits one close at 16. That'll do it for Rory, who just had an emotional interview with Golf Channel's Steve Sands. You could really see how much this week meant to him. Hopefully the Open returns to Portrush in the near future and he gets another crack.
3:21 p.m.: Jim Furyk is having himself a back nine. He just made his fourth birdie since the 12th hole and is now one under for the week. That makes it even less likely that Rory will make the weekend, as the top 70 and ties make the cut. Right now, 72 players are at one over or better, and only three, Furyk, Callum Shinkwin (one under) and Benjamin Hebert (one over) are still on the course. McIlroy needs them all to implode to make the weekend. With only one hole to play for Furyk, that doesn't look likely.
3:11 p.m.: A good effort from Rory, but it took a bad left hop and rolled about four feet left of the hole. He showed some serious fight, but not even a six-under 65 was enough to come all the way back from that opening 79. McIlroy gets a nice hand from the home crowd following his final putt. Unfortunate that he won't be around for the weekend.
One of his playing partners, Paul Casey, will be thanks to his second-round 70. He's at even par, eight back. U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland will be heading home early along with McIlroy.
3:04 p.m.: And the air has been sucked out of the balloon. Rory tries to take something off his approach and it hooks and misses short, taking the slope left of the green and rolling well down the hill. It will take a miraculous chip for McIlroy.
3 p.m.: Rory goes with iron at No. 18 and stripes one down the middle of the fairway. Up ahead at the green, defending champion Francesco Molinari posts 69 and makes the cut at one over. Back at 17, Rickie Fowler stuffs one in tight and has a great look at birdie to reach four under for the tournament.
2:54 p.m.: Casey goes first, and his birdie effort comes up one revolution short and he settles for par. Rory follows and misses low, also settling for par. Casey can par or even bogey and make the cut. For McIlroy, it's birdie or bust.
Spoke too soon on Woodland. His par putt lips out. Ouch. That'll just about do it for his weekend chances.
2:50 p.m.: Rory catches a break as his ball finds some trampled down grass, and he gets aggressive and lands it on the front edge of the green rather than the back left portion like Paul Casey did to use the slope. It took a big hop forward and rolled to inside 20 feet. Gutsy shot.
Gary Woodland didn't get as lucky with his drive. His ball found the high stuff and he hacked out and his ball nearly hit Casey. He then hit his third to a few feet and will save par. Woodland will have to birdie the last to make the weekend.
2:43 p.m.: Uh oh. McIlroy pipes one but it leaks right and it looks like it found some very high grass. It's a short enough hole where he'll be able to hopefully hack out and save par, but he could have really used a birdie here. We'll see how bad it is in a moment.
2:38 p.m.: Oh my goodness. Rory rolls in a birdie at No. 16 and produces the roar of the tournament. Don't tell these people that it's Friday and he's 10 back! One more on these last two holes and could somehow make the weekend.
2:31 p.m.: What a pure swing from McIlroy at the 16th, his ball slightly drawing and sticking about 12 to 15 feet from the pin. Feels like a must make coming up. His playing partners, Paul Casey (even) and Gary Woodland (two over) both hit good shots as well, and would love to roll in a few birdies to each feel safe about their weekend chances.
2:24 p.m.: Nice splash out from Rory to a few feet and he saves his par. On to Calamity Corner, where he'd love to steal a birdie and then need only one more on the final two holes.
2:20 p.m.: With all the momentum in his favor, McIlroy absolutely laces a drive at the 15th, leaving himself with just 84 yards to the pin. A flip wedge and another easy birdie, right? Wrong. Rory nukes his second past pin and it bounds into the greenside bunker. Shane Lowry got up and down from here with ease earlier. McIlroy will need to do the same to have any chance of making the weekend. His fellow countryman, Graeme McDowell, will hang around for the final 36 holes, as he finishes off a one-under 70 at the 18th to get to one over.
2:02 p.m.: McIlroy erases the mistakes at No. 13 by rolling in a 15-footer for birdie on the next hole. At three over now, with the projected cut expected to raise to two. Going to be a fun final hour coming up.
1:50 p.m.: Rory's bid takes a major hit with a bogey at the 13th, hitting his tee shot into a greenside bunker and unable to get up-and-down. Needs a handful of birds coming down the stretch.
1:36 p.m.: McIlroy doesn't make eagle but racks up another birdie. That moves him to five under for the day, two strokes outside the cut. He's certainly making things interesting.
1:30 p.m.: Frittelli bogeys the last for a double-bogey/bogey finish. Still five under for the tournament though, and right there among the leaders heading into Saturday.
1:25 p.m.: McIlroy, with two birdies in a row, bombs one down the par-5 12th. Eagle here puts him in the mix to make the cut.
1:10 p.m.: Lee Westwood, the "best player to never win a major" holder for years, has to be pumped to be back in the Open mix at Portrush, right?
“I literally don’t care anymore,” he said, after the round.
Well then. The attitude's working: he's currently just one back of the lead.
12:53 p.m.: A bogey the last for Lowry drops him as the sole leader, now in a tie with J.B. Holmes. In theory, Frittelli is at eight under as well...but he goes WAYYYYY right off the tee at the 17th, forcing the dreaded reload.
12:43 p.m.: Safe play off the 18th tee from Lowry, as he hits a low cut with a long iron and finds the fairway. He'll have a blind shot into the green, but all he's thinking about is getting the 36-hole lead. Dylan Frittelli, who just made birdie to get to eight under, could catch him, although he missed short and right of the green at the par-3 16th, so he'll have some work for par.
12:36 p.m.: Another classy effort from Lowry, as hear nearly chips it in from off the back of the green. He makes the comebacker to stay at nine under.
12:33 p.m.: After a few drops, Lowry got to place his ball and give himself a perfect lie in some wet, trampled down grass. Then he struck a good one but hit it too well, landing it past the pin and watching it take a massive hop over the green. Going to need some more short-game magic to save a par here.
How about Andrew Putnam? Playing in his first career Open, the 30-year-old from Tacoma, Wash., is at five under through 36 holes after posting a four-under 67 on Friday.
12:26 p.m.: Ooo boy. Lowry blocks one miles to the right at 17 and voices his displeasure with some NSFW language afterward. By the looks of it, he heard something to his left that distracted him. He's about to get free relief though, so he'll get a nice lie.
12:18 p.m.: Lowry's tee shot at the 16th missed in a popular spot this —short and right. After pitching one a few feet past the hole he saves another gritty par to remain at nine under. Two more pars and it feels safe to say he'll have the clubhouse lead barring an incredible final few holes from Dylan Frittelli, who just made par at 14 to keep it at seven under.
12:04 p.m.: Looked like the wheels were about to come off for Lowry, who found a treacherous green side bunker with his second shot at the par-4 15th. But he played a world-class sand shot to a few feet and saved par. Up next: CALAMITY CORNER. We'll see if Lowry can finish off this strong round in style.
11:53 a.m.: We said no one is going to catch Lowry because of the weather, but we may have spoke too soon. After Lowry's bogey at the 14th, John Deere Classic winner Dylan Frittelli pulls within two shots with his third consecutive birdie at the 12th to get to seven under. What a run of form for the South African.
11:51 a.m.: Shane Lowry slips up for the first time all day at the 14th hole, three-putting for a bogey, his only blemish on an otherwise perfect round. He falls back to five under on the day, nine under for the tournament.
11:39 a.m.: Speaking of making the weekend. . . Darren Clarke. . . oh, boy. Cruising along at even par, the Royal Portrush member got into some trouble on No. 18. But he still had a four-footer for double-bogey and. . . missed. Wow. That might cost him making the cut. These poor Northern Irish fans can't catch a break.
11:34 a.m.: Rory's got an easy five-footer to get to two under as he tries to rally to make the weekend. He's going to brush that in and—wait a minute, he missed! Neve mind, Rory McIlroy is not making the weekend. But that's OK, these locals have already moved on. . .
11:15 a.m.: Shane Lowry makes his third par in a row to remain at 10 under. He's still two in front and it doesn't look like anyone in the afternoon wave will catch him—especially with the rain picking up.
11:01 a.m.: If you were counting on Tiger bouncing back at next week's WGC event in Memphis, think again. After missing the cut, Woods said he's taking a couple weeks off to get ready for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This after taking five weeks off ahead of this event. Hmm.
10:52 a.m.: Three very popular birdies to report. First, Darren Clarke on No. 15; then Rory McIlroy on No. 3; then Graeme McDowell on No. 6! The magic of TV at work! Northern Ireland, rejoice!
10:48 a.m.: Welcome to the party, Andrew Putnam! The British Open rookie eagles the 12th hole to jump into the top 10 at Royal Portrush.
10:36 a.m.: Let's take a quick look at the leader board:
For full scores, click here.
10:25 a.m.: Lowry makes the turn in five under, moving him to nine under for the tournament. He's on the green at 10 but has a long way home.
About that...Lowry drills a putt over a ridge from 30 feet. The crowds that followed Rory on Thursday have congregated around Lowry, and Portrush is rocking.
10:14 a.m.: Give Rahm credit: he could have exploded after doubling the second, the easiest hole on the course. He's played the last 15 holes in three under, giving himself a chance at birdie at the last for a five-under score going into Saturday.
10:04 a.m.: Rory McIlroy is on the tee...and yes, he finds the fairway. Everyone can breathe easy.
9:57 a.m.: Portrush is beginning to get angry, my friends. Like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.
9:47 a.m.: Justin Rose pars the 18th for a four-under round, six under for the Open. The Englishman had a backdoor runner-up last year at Carnoustie. Let's see how he handles the opportunity in one of the last groups on Saturday.
9:40 a.m.: Tiger makes a nice pitch from the high grass, about 15 feet for par. At four over, desperately needs this putt to drop.
But it doesn't. Even with a birdie at the 18th, likely won't be enough for Tiger to play on Saturday.
9:30 a.m.: Westwood comes up short, but finishes with a four-under 67 to get to the weekend at seven under, one off the lead of Holmes and Lowry.
9:25 a.m.: Lee Westwood hits his blind approach and twirls the hell out of it at the 18th, his ball coming to rest about 20 feet below the hole. Guy is FEELING it. Does he have one more long birdie putt in him? if so, he'd match the second-lowest round of the week. The lowest belongs to Justin Harding, who finished off his six-under 65 earlier and is at six under for the championship. That's how you literally rise from the ashes/wet sand:
9:20 a.m.: J.B. Holmes finishes off a strong round of three-under 68 with four consecutive pars, getting him in the house at eight under. He's tied with Lowry, who still has 12 holes to play.
9:13 a.m.: ANOTHER birdie from Lee Westwood at the 17th! Is this charge real? He's one back!
9:07 a.m.: Nobody has gotten off to a hotter start this week than Shane Lowry has on Friday. The Irishman just made his fourth birdie in five holes to get to eight under.
9 a.m.: Another birdie from .... Lee Westwood! What a back nine for the Englishman. That's three birdies in his last five holes, the third of which was a 78 foot BOMB from off the green at the par-3 16th, otherwise known as Calamity Corner. He's now birdied the 16th both days. Might have to rename it "Westwood's Corner" if he goes on to win this thing. He's now at six under for the tournament, two back.
8:45 a.m.: Some serious lurking going on right now from some very intriguing names, starting with Patrick Reed, who just made his fifth birdie of the day to get to four under for the tournament. Also at four under is Jon Rahm, who made a potentially disastrous double at the par-5 second but has bounced back by going three under over his next 10 holes. Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia are also hanging around at four under.
And then there is the Big Easy, Ernie Els, sitting at two under for the week with two holes remaining in his second round. Would love to see Ern in this mix this weekend.
8:35 a.m.: Three birdies in a row for Shane Lowry to start. 59 watch anyone?!
8:33 a.m.: After a poor drive and two hack outs, Tiger Woods still managed to get a decent look at birdie at the par-5 12th, but missed to stay at four over. One of the early-season storylines, and even a story line dating back to last season, was Woods' baffling play on par 5s. If he goes on to miss the cut, he'll have played the six par 5s in two over this week.
8:28 a.m.: How about the start from Shane Lowry? Back-to-back birdies to get to six under. With some incoming weather, the guys going off now or going to need all the birdies they can get early.
The sneakiest round of the morning so far belongs to Lee Westwood, who is two under through 14 holes and five under for the tournament. What a story it would be if the 46-year-old is in contention for an elusive first career major on the weekend, after a career of so many close calls.
8:22 a.m.: Cameron Smith just misses birdie at the 18th, settling for par and a five-under 66. The young Aussie, who was 250-1 pre-tournament, is at six under heading into the weekend, two back of current leader J.B. Holmes.
8:17 a.m.: J.B. Holmes cools off at the 14th, lipping out a short par putt to drop back to eight under. Meanwhile, Justin Rose drops an eagle putt at the 12th to pull within two at six under, and playing partner Tony Finau holes a birdie soon after to also reach six under. Great playing from these two today, as they are a combined seven under.
Back at the 11th, Tiger Woods holes another birdie to get to four over. What a gritty, bounce back performance ... so far.
8:10 a.m.: Jordan Spieth makes his par at the 18th and posts a four-under 67 to reach five under through 36 holes. Looked like it'd be a special round late on the front nine, but he was a bit erratic on the back. Still a great score Spieth, whose last win came in this event at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
8:05 a.m.: Remember Justin Harding? The guy who took a HARD spill in a bunker on the fifth hole yesterday? He just got to six under for the tournament. Check out this scorecard:
Just a ridiculous round on this golf course. Two more pars and he'll have the low round of the week. Don't forget, this is the same guy who was in contention in the weekend at Augusta, eventually finishing T-12.
8:02 a.m.: It would take an absolute miracle to make the cut, which is projected at one over right now, but it looks like Tiger Woods is going to give it his best effort. He just rolled in his third birdie of the day at the 10th to get back to five over for the tournament. With the par-5 12th coming up, perhaps he can get another birdie there and build some momentum and hope the cut line gets to two over. Whatever happens, good to see him fighting after everyone declared his career over yesterday.
7:58 a.m.: Another birdie for J.B. Holmes at the 13th to get to nine under, two clear of Fleetwood. He simply can't miss right now.
7:53 a.m.: Despite some horrific tee shots, Jordan Spieth is scraping together an even par back nine. At 17, after finding the rough again, he hit a superb second to about 12 feet but missed the birdie putt. If he can make par at 18, he should take it and sprint to the clubhouse the way he's hit it on this home nine.
7:50 a.m.: J.B. Holmes refuses to go away. Just made another birdie at the 12th and now regains the solo lead at eight under.
7:47 a.m.: Two-putt par for Brooks Koepka at the 18th, giving him one of the quietest two-under 69s we'll see all week. A lurking Koepka is scary, just imagine if he gets the putter rolling over the weekend.
7:42 a.m.: A few huge putts just dropped at the 18th green, yielding some PROPER roars. The first was a birdie conversion from Tommy Fleetwood to post a four-under 67, giving him the clubhouse lead at seven under. The second came from the putter of Thorbjorn Olesen, whose birdie chip nearly rolled back off the green toward him. But it hung on and he holed the lengthy par save to card a three-under 68. He's quietly lurking at two under through 36 holes. Lastly, Justin Thomas made his birdie to shoot a one-under 70 that featured a back-nine 32. If he could just get off to a better start on Saturday—he's played the first four holes in a combined five over the first two rounds—he'll be right in the mix.
7:35 a.m.: After gunning his birdie putt about five feet past at the 17th, Brooks Koepka drains the comebacker in typical Brooks Koepka fashion. Enormous putt to remain at five under with one to play.
7:30 a.m.: Tony Finau quietly creeping up the board, four under with a chance to get to five with six feet at the 10th. He's been top 10ing the majors to death without really contending; perhaps Portrush changes that fortune this weekend.
7:25 a.m.: Fleetwood finds the fairway at the final hole, a par gets him into the weekend at six under. Spieth, who's been on fire with his putter, makes a tricky 10-footer for a nice bunker save, five under with three holes to go.
7:16 a.m.: It's tame. Too tame. Weather has to speak up at some point, yes?
7:15 a.m.: Spieth can't get up and down, dropping a shot. Meanwhile, Just Rose drops a long putt off the green for birdie at the ninth to move to four under.
7:10 a.m.: Tiger had a small run going, but just bogeyed the par-5 seventh. That's no, no good. Back to six over, the next 11 holes are strictly ceremony.
7:05 a.m.: Spieth hits it so far off the map he's fine, but turns the approach over and will have major work to do to save par. Fleetwood, out of the same junk as Hatton, gets it on the green but can't clean it up, dropping to six under.
7:00 a.m.: Holmes makes his first mistake of the day, leaving his par attempt well short at the ninth to drop to seven under. Ahead, Spieth cleans up the remaining six feet for a par on the 13th.
6:55 a.m.: After a poor tee shot finds the bunker, Spieth makes a marvelous shot out of the sand to six feet for a chance to save par at the 13th. Hatton, after whiffing on his second shot, gets his third on the green from the heather to save par at the 17th.
6:50 a.m.: Spieth birdies the 12th, now in a tie for second with Fleetwood at six under. Koepka just misses another birdie, this one at the 14th.
6:35 a.m.: Brooks converts, moving to five under, while Holmes stays steady with a par to remain at eight. Tyrrell Hatton sticks it at the 14th, a chance to make amends for a double at the 13th.
Back on the fifth, Woods fails to get up-and-down for birdie. At six over and unable to make an early run, Woods' tournament is basically kaput.
6:26 a.m.: Koepka answers again, this time on the 13th, putting his tee shot on the par-3 13th to three feet. Just what the rest of the field wants to hear.
6:21 a.m.: Tommy Fleetwood shows on up on screens, and for good reason. He rolls in a birdie at the 13th to move to six under, now two back of Holmes. A hole behind, Koepka gets into the red for the day with a birdie, now four under. Things are happening.
6:15 a.m.: Woods continues to plod along, his third straight par coming at the fourth. With a handful of easy holes coming up, will need to string together some red numbers to make a weekend push.
6:08 a.m.: Oh my. Spieth is buried in the tall stuff, looks just to be hacking it out on the 10th hole...and somehow puts his shot on the green from 180 yards or so. What artistry from Spieth.
6:02 a.m.: So Jon Rahm was greenside at the second in two shots. He walked away with 7 on Portrush's easiest hole. Sound the volcano alarms.
5:55 a.m.: Spieth gives one back with a bogey at the ninth, making the turn in 32. J.B. Holmes, meanwhile, keeps on keeping on, three under on his day through six holes.
5:45 a.m.: Woods has a poor third shot, leading to a disappointing 5 at the second. Meanwhile, Koepka makes the turn at even. Not bad, given he's not hitting the ball well. Bad in the sense that Portrush is about as tame as it is going to get.
5:40 a.m.: Mr. Spieth, you had our curiosity. You now have our attention.
Jordan sinks one from deep for his fourth straight red figure to move into a tie for the lead.
5:30 a.m.: Tiger's second shot at the par-5 second is just right of the green. Good chance to get up and down for consecutive birdies.
5:24 a.m.: Spieth drops an eagle putt from 20 feet. The three-time winner is now five under, one back of Holmes. Augusta is Jordan Spieth's personal playground. But the Open may be his panacea. Spieth has played in the final or penultimate group in 3 of the last 4 championships.
5:22 a.m.: Tiger rolls in a 30-footer for bird. So much for all that, "He looks lethargic" talk. I mean, he still does, but goodness.
Will need a 67 or 66 though to even sniff the weekend.
5:20 a.m.: From the rough, Woods is able to muscle out on the green and give himself a shot at a long birdie. Progress!
Elsewhere, Louis Oosthuizen misses a consecutive short putt, drops to two under for the tournament.
5:17 a.m.: Tommy Lad! Fleetwood rolls one from deep on No. 8 to stay at four under...
5:15 a.m.: Small complaint: the early coverage has shown a lot of putts, very few approaches. Not the shot of energy needed for those in the states while it's still dark outside.
5:10 a.m.: Tiger's first tee shot goes...left. NBC wouldn't pull Big Cat off coverage at 5:00 a.m., right?
5:00 a.m.: Koepka misses a short one for birdie at the seventh, but Spieth walks on in on the sixth. Both American stars are currently three under.
4:45 a.m.: A look at Tiger Woods at the range..and he has a resigned "Alright, I'm here" look of a man whose girlfriend signed the couple up for neighborhood leaf cleaning during a playoff game. Could be a long day at Portrush
4:36 a.m.: The feel-good-story shelf got a little empty as Day 1 played out at Portrush. But if you're looking for one to follow early, it has to be Lee Westwood. This is his 25th Open start, and his opening 68 on Thursday matched his second best first-round score in the championship. He's 46, an Englishman and majorless. This is the one major that seems to lend itself to players of this ilk.
4:25 a.m.: You weren't likely to find many people who predicted J.B. Holmes as the leader after Day 1 at Portrush. And interestingly enough as the Kentucky native gets set to start his second round, you're not finding many who think he will remain in first, at least come Sunday night. Our Stephen Hennessey wrote last night that live odds on Holmes to win despite being the first-round leader were only 33-1.
For a complete look at some of the more interesting wagers heading into Day 2, click here.
4:16 p.m.: How long a day are the first two rounds at the Open Championship? The final threesome of the day, Prom Messawat, Matthew Baldwin and Jack Senior, don't tee off for another 12 hours.
4:15 a.m.: Does Tyrrell Hatton have the temperament to be a major champion? That's the question dogging the 27-year-old Englishman, who fits of rage are part of Golf Twitter lore. Perhaps this is the week we get a little closer to answering it as Hatton makes back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to get to five under par and grab a share of the lead with J.B. Holmes.
4:01 a.m.: Brooks Koepka can make a bogey in a major. He does so on the par-4 fourth after missing the green short and left with his approach. He falls back to three under.
4 a.m.: Tiger Woods arrives at the practice facility, hoping, of course, he can salvage something of the tournament after his disappointing opening round.
3:54 a.m.: We said that the second hole was among the easiest, and it's yielded 12 birdies to one bogey through the first 10 groups. Which is why Jordan Spieth might be shaking his head as he walked off the green with only a par. He's only four off the lead, but has to feel like he might have given one back to the field here.
3:48 a.m.: It was a bit lost among all the hoopla surrounding some of the marquee players on Thursday, but there was an intriguing record set at the Open (any time you set a record in a 159-year-old event, it's intriguing). Ryan Fox of New Zealand became the first player to break 30 on the back nine in any round of the Open. He did it with birdies on his last six holes, posting a back-nine six-under 29. What made the feat even more intriguing is that he shot a 39 on the front nine. Apparently the good vibes from the back nine on Thursday, haven't carried over just yet as Fox is two over through his first four holes at Portrush on Friday.
3:37 a.m.: Playing one of the easiest hole on the course, the par-5 second, Brooks Koepka hits the green in two, leaving himself 20 feet for eagle. He missed the putt, but the birdie gets him to four under and one stroke off the lead.
3:17 a.m.: Conditions are calm, the sun is peaking through the clouds. There are threats of rain from time to time throughout the day and winds are forecasted into the 15-20 m.p.h. range, but presently the course is very scoreable. It's great news for some of the guys already in red numbers who'll tee off in the next 90 minutes: Jordan Spieth (3:25 a.m. Eastern, -1), leader J.B. Holmes (4:25 a.m., -5), Lee Westwood (4:36 a.m., -3), Justin Rose (4:47 a.m., -2) and Tony Finau (4:47 a.m., -3).
3:03 a.m.: Play began at 6:35 a.m. local time, and some big names are headed out early at Portrush. Among them is Brooks Koepka, fresh off a opening 68 that left him just two off the lead after Day 1 (see it wasn't all nightmares on Thursday). That said, Koepka's opening shot flirts dangerously with the O.B. stakes on the left side of the hole. Guess he didn't hear about McIlroy's start.
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