Jul 23 2017
The 35-year-old from Johannesburg got off to a flying start with birdies on the first, third and fifth before picking up further shots on the 10th and 17th to get back to level par for the tournament. He's keen to return to form, remembering how he revelled in the 2014 season when he won four top tournaments, including the Open at Hoylake, and the US PGA title at Valhalla, which was his fourth major victory in three years.
Martin Kaymer was approaching the sixth tee during a practice round at Royal Birkdale when he told his playing partners that he was calling it a day.
The duo were eventually joined by fellow American Matt Kuchar, who matched their efforts later in the afternoon with a 65 of his own.
After bogeying the 13th and 15th, McIlroy calmly rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
"I set myself a target of being in a better position today than I was yesterday". Very simple, but obviously quite effective over the past 27 holes, and I feel like I have. So things are in check. And the birdie chances I had early on I didn't make them. This is the 12th time he has been atop the leaderboard at the end of a round in a major, including the final rounds of the Masters and U.S. Open that he won in 2015.
McIlroy hasn't missed the cut at consecutive majors since 2010 (Masters, U.S. Open) and is taking confidence from winning the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston in September a year ago after being 4 over through three holes.
Spieth, though, defied a torrential downpour - which led to ground staff needing nearly half an hour to sponge the rain-soaked greens - to assume control with his eagle on the par-5 15th. But having said that, digging myself out of the run of bogeys on the back nine, is something I am proud of. I'm just waiting for that round or that moment or that week where it sort of clicks and I'll be off and running.
"I feel like I can hit the ball in the fairway, and from there I can hit the ball on the green", McIlroy said. He opened this one with an even-par 70, then added a 72 in blustery conditions in the second round.
As the final groups headed out on to the course, the American pair enjoyed a two-shot lead over compatriot Justin Thomas and the English duo of Ian Poulter and Richard Bland, with Welshman Stuart Manley part of a group on two under on his Open debut.
South African Ernie Els and BMW PGA champion Alex Noren are among those on two under, three back, alongside World No 2 Hideki Matsuyama.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy waits for a sign to be moved so he can play his shot in the rough on the 15th hole during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale, Southport, Friday July 21, 2017.
"I am just trying to remember the last 12 holes and scrub the rest out of my mind", McIlroy said. There were some [Open] Championships where I really played well and others where I just kind of hung in there like a horse race.
There were wet and windy conditions as The Open Championship kicked off at Royal Birkdale on Thursday. The Swede lies four shots back alongside Australian Jason Day.
Poulter, runner-up in the 2008 Open on this course, rattled in four birdies and made only one bogey as rain and strong crosswinds caused problems for the early starters.
Jul 23 2017
Spieth to take three-shot lead into British Open final round
He was five shots off the pace, tied with Branden Grace , who broke the major championship scoring record with a 62. He had a chance for an eagle at the par-5 15th, but missed an 8-footer and settled for a birdie.
Jul 23 2017
Spieth moves clear of field at British Open
And thought to myself, I am glad I'm over here, glad I'm doing this. "I was very pleased with our tee-to-green performance". He doesn't have any plans to treat himself to something special - although the Claret Jug might be nice to get on Sunday.
Jul 22 2017
Froome's 2017 Tour de France victory was his 'most hard-fought'
While the gap between the two isn't the largest, Bardet is basically going to have to put together the time trial of his life. American Taylor Phinney has posted the best provisional time in the Marseille time trial, in 29 minutes and 21 seconds.
Jul 22 2017
Poulter feeling his confidence rising at British Open
His fellow countrymen Ian Poulter and Richard Bland are three under par along with Justin Thomas and the Canadian Austin Connelly. Though he did not record a birdie on Friday, the American was still enthused by the way he fought through the tough conditions.
Jul 22 2017
Three Israelis stabbed to death in West Bank attack
Israel and Jordan have been in talks to defuse tensions. "This is not a political matter; it is a professional security issue". Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, said the barriers should be removed, while Jerusalem police insisted they stay.
Jul 21 2017
Barcelona plot €113 million move for Real Madrid's top target — Reports
One that would instantly make them a top contender for the UEFA Champions League title. The 28-year-old has just one year left on his current Gunners deal.
Jul 20 2017
USA stars arrive in Philly ahead of Gold Cup quarterfinals
The U.S. dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes and seemed to have little problem venturing into El Salvador's half. El Salvador is arguably one of the weakest teams that are in the knockout stage of this tournament.
Jul 20 2017
Morata: Chelsea agree terms with Real Madrid
With Zidane appearing to consider that Morata is not good enough to be a first-choice starter, the player has chose to leave. Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata has agreed to join Premier League Champions Chelsea , the club have announced.
Jul 20 2017
OJ Simpson robbery victim to testify in favor of Simpson's parole
Simpson would at times get teased about the killings and trial, former guards Jesse Mandoki and Jeffrey Felix recalled. Unlike the drawn-out court proceedings over Simpson's 1995 charges, Wednesday's hearing, which begins at 1 p.m.
Jul 20 2017
Democrats Call on Trump Vote Fraud Panel Co-Chair to Step Down
He said that more than 30 states have already indicated that they will comply, pursuant to the laws of those states. You still won't know whether those people who were ineligible voted for Trump or for Clinton or for somebody else.
Jul 22 2017Linkin Park cancels 'One More Light' tour after Chester Bennington's death
Jul 21 2017Froome extends overall lead in Tour de France
Jul 21 2017#SikkimStandoff: Ex-Chinese diplomat says Indian troops must withdraw or die
Jul 21 2017Extreme Heat Blanketing the Chattahoochee Valley and the Plains
Jul 21 2017LaHood, Davis call for Senate to act on ACA
Jul 20 2017Heat expected to build through the week
Jul 20 2017Riveting 'Dunkirk' is Nolan's, and year's, best film
Jul 20 2017Detwiler Fire Forces Mass Evacuations In Mariposa, Grows To 45000 Acres
Jul 19 2017BBC reveals its highest paid stars and a major gender gap
Jul 19 2017Google Glass returns from the dead and this time it means business
Jul 23 2017England want 'perfect game' against India
Jul 23 2017Kuchar in strong position at Open as McIlroy emerges
Jul 22 2017Sessions discussed Trump campaign with Russians
Jul 22 2017British Open officials say no to shortcuts on Royal Birkdale's ninth hole
Jul 22 2017GOP health plan fiasco a long-running drama
Jul 21 2017Apple's iPhone Manufacturers Join Lawsuit Against Qualcomm
Jul 21 2017British Open 2017 Leaderboard: Updating Results and Standings for Thursday
Jul 21 2017Australia wary of India heading into Women's Cricket World Cup semi-final
Jul 21 2017Queen Latifah, Regina Hall star in raunchy comedy 'Girls Trip'
Jul 20 2017Last Sri Lanka tour changed India's mindset, says Kohli
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Jul 20 2017Todd Frazier, David Robertson Traded to Yankees for Tyler Clippard, Prospects