If you’re just waking up, here’s what you may have missed from Day 2 of The Open Championship. First-round leader J.B. Holmes is on the course, but several big names are nipping at his heels, including Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – The second round of The Open Championship started under sunny skies and perfect scoring conditions. How nice was the weather? Erik Van Rooyen was sporting bare ankles, and the television broadcast showed people swimming in the ocean.
Holmes, who finished a distant third behind Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson in the 2016 Open at Royal Troon, made two birdies on his first five holes to maintain the solo lead.
SPIETH’S SURGE: The biggest charge was being made by Spieth, whose last win came at the 2017 Open. He played his first eight holes in 5 under, including an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole. He holed putts of about 25 feet on 7 and 8 to reach 6 under for the tournament. Perhaps it’s a good sign that he compared Royal Portrush to the site of his Open triumph, Royal Birkdale.
“I think it's played more from the air,” Spieth said. “But it's still very, very links. Birkdale was played from the air. You could only bounce it up on maybe half the holes, which is pretty similar to around here, with all the fall-offs and false fronts.”
ENGLISH CHALLENGE: The Open’s two visits to Royal Portrush represent the only times that the event has been played outside Scotland and England. The English players are still feeling right at home. Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood are all on the golf course this morning and on the first page of the leaderboard. Hatton was 5 under after shooting 34 on his front nine. Fleetwood was one shot behind him after a front-nine 35. Rose and Westwood are early in their rounds.
KOEPKA ON THE COURSE: Brooks Koepka also teed off early Friday. He shot 68 in the first round but was unable to make an early move in Friday’s pristine conditions. He shot even-par on his first nine Thursday. He’s still in contention for another major championship.
TIGER MAKES BIRDIE: Tiger Woods is playing for little more than pride on Friday after shooting 78. He did birdie his first hole, though, after struggling physically in the first round.