Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Conditions take hold at Hoylake

Adam Scott has dropped back to two under
Adam Scott has dropped back to two under

Windier conditions on the second day of the 143rd Open Championship prevented the morning starters making significant inroads into Rory McIlroy's overnight lead.

Although some early rain quickly disappeared a brisk breeze remained and that gave some of the big names teeing off plenty to think about.

World number one Adam Scott, who began the day just two behind McIlroy's six-under 66, had an error-strewn first four holes which saw him bogey the second and third after missing the green to drop back to two under.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, starting at two over, went the other way, however, as after missing a 15-foot par putt on the third he bounced back by almost holing his approach to the next after a wild drive into the right rough.

He improved on that birdie with a 10ft eagle putt at the 528-yard fifth to get back to level par.

US Open champion Martin Kaymer began with three birdies in his first five holes to get to two under but an erratic drive into gorse at the par-five seventh cost him two shots.

In fact, birthday boy George Coetzee - 28 today - was the only man making rapid progress as he got to four under with three birdies and only one bogey through 13 holes.

It meant McIlroy, not off until 2.27pm, could enjoy a relaxing morning as he prepared to face his second round attempting to avoid the problems which have dogged his Fridays this year.

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