McIlroy finds momentum
Rory moves into contention – and Fleetwood also masters different conditions.
Rory McIlroy recovered from a slow and scrappy start to take a share of the lead in the second round of the Open at Carnoustie.
The three-time major champion and winner of the Claret Jug in 2014 moved to five under after 14 holes to go level with overnight leader Kevin Kisner, who was not due to tee off until early afternoon.
With rain falling on the second day conditions were very different from Thursday and McIlroy’s six successive pars, with a few fairways missed, were eventually ended with birdies at the seventh and 10th.
The Northern Irishman dropped a shot after leaving his approach short at the 12th but responded by hitting it close at the par-three next and adding another birdie at the par-five 14th despite his drive finding a fairway bunker.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood made light of the wet weather as he made a significant move to take a share of second place.
The Southport golfer began the day one over par but put in a brilliant performance with five birdies and, equally impressive, no dropped shots to get to four under after 16 holes.
The opposite was true for Tiger Woods as, having not carded a bogey until the 10th hole on Thursday, made two in his first three holes.
His decision to take driver – which he used just once on the par-five sixth yesterday – at the second proved to be the wrong one but it was almost more costly for spectators.
Having carved a shot into a bank of rough he attempted a raking hook with the ball above his feet at almost waist height but it came out low and hard and skirted inches away from the packed gallery he had only just asked to move back a couple of yards.
A bogey was followed by a second at the next when he raced his 25-foot birdie attempt past the hole and could not convert the return.
However, the 14-time major winner immediately posted back-to-back birdies to return to level par.
Former Open champion Zach Johnson recovered from a bogey at the first with three birdies on his front nine to also get into the group at four under along with Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.