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Poulter feeling his confidence rising at British Open

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Poulter feeling his confidence rising at British Open

After a horror start on Thursday, when he reached the turn in his joint-worst Open first nine of 39, he faced a tough task to break 80, but what a difference a day can make on the links.

World No. 3 Spieth, though, thinks the traditional Open weather lottery could discount half the field straight away.

After a gutsy even-par 70 in Friday's second round at Royal Birkdale, where wind gusts reached more than 35 miles per hour, Poulter stands at 3-under par, three shots behind leader Jordan Spieth entering the weekend.

Most pleasing of all was his position on the leaderboard on a course where he had his best chance in a major.

Behind them, England's Paul Casey - who came third in St Andrews in 2010 - had five birdies and one bogey in a 66 to sit at four-under.

"It feels absolutely marvelous, it really does", said the European Ryder Cup star, who has missed the last five majors with a foot injury.

"To be in after two days and be under-par for this championship after the way I started, I m ecstatic with that", said McIlroy.

Not to be overlooked was Rory McIlroy, who recovered from a awful start Thursday to salvage 71, then kept on rolling.

Though he did not record a birdie on Friday, the American was still enthused by the way he fought through the tough conditions. McIlroy also shot 71 and was relieved.

Shaun Norris, playing with a marker after making the cut on the number, shot a 5-under-65 on Royal Birkdale, setting the pace for what could be a day of low scoring.

Despite a bogey at the 2nd Kuchar immediately peeled off back-to-back birdies to touch six under before giving it back at the 8th, then coming back in one over after two more bogeys, one of them at the 18th, and a birdie at the par-five 15th.

Poulter feeling his confidence rising at British Open

The danger might not be Kuchar, who grins like he's had a facelift, but Spieth who already has a reputation for staring down his opponents. "You probably didn't understand me".

Stenson said the state of his golf game is comparable to last season, when he outlasted Mickelson in one of the most dramatic final days in the history of The Open.

"Because you're like, 'I can't shoot those scores". Seemed like the later your tee time, the better draw you got.

"Roger is the sporting athlete I look up to and can try and model", said Rose, who is bidding to become the first Englishman to win the Open since Nick Faldo in 1992.

That included a mis-hit fairway wood on the 15th which got just a few feet off the ground, but ended up 15 feet from the hole to set up an eagle for the 2015 Masters and US Open champion.

Koepka parred his first seven holes before a run of three successive birdies from the 11th.

His fellow countrymen Ian Poulter and Richard Bland are three under par along with Justin Thomas and the Canadian Austin Connelly.

How maddening it must be to play against Jordan Spieth.

The incident happened while the Swede was playing his first round on Thursday.

"He was rolling it superbly that week, and I don't think it was that far behind today", Stenson said. His head was in his hands twice on the 17th as he nearly holed out from a bunker after his approach shot had cruelly diverted into the sand.

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