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Snedeker enters the history books

American Brandt Snedeker today claimed his place in Open Championship history to set a daunting clubhouse target at Royal Lytham.

Snedeker added a brilliant 64 to his opening 66 for a 10-under-par total of 130, equalling the lowest score over the first 36 holes in championship history and the lowest Open round at Lytham.

Nick Faldo also shot rounds of 66 and 64 at Muirfield in 1992, while Tom Lehman's round of 64 on his way to winning here in 1996 was matched by first-round leader Adam Scott.

Snedeker, who had been 25 over par for his previous three Open appearances, was two behind Scott overnight but wiped out his deficit in style with a flawless front nine of 30.

The 31-year-old from Tennessee picked up shots at the first, sixth, seventh and ninth, before adding further birdies on the 11th and 12th to move four shots clear of the field.

He looked in danger of dropping his first shots of the week on the 15th and 18th, but saved par superbly each time to complete a remarkable 36 holes without a bogey on one of the most difficult courses on the Open rota.

Scott remained six under after seven holes with 1999 champion Paul Lawrie five under after eight, while Tiger Woods was seven off the pace on three under.

World number one Luke Donald had earlier carded four birdies in five holes from the fourth to be out in 31, but then fluffed a chip on the 10th to bogey and eventually signed for a 68 to lie two under.

That was considerably better than former US Open champion Rory McIlroy however, who found five of Lytham's 206 bunkers and dropped six shots on those holes in a 75 that left him two over.

Four-time major winner Phil Mickelson fared even worse with a 78 to finish 11 over, but England's Greg Owen looked to have found the ideal way to make the cut, holing his second shot to the 18th for an eagle two and a second consecutive round of 71. Owen also had an albatross on the par-five 11th when the Open was last staged at Lytham in 2001.

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