Fleetwood & McIlroy in Open contention – highlights & report

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The 147th Open Championship
Venue: Carnoustie, Scotland Dates: 19-22 July
Coverage: Live across BBC Radio, highlights on BBC TV and online, live text commentary and clips on the BBC Sport website.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood is a shot off the lead at The Open Championship as Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also surged into contention at the halfway stage at Carnoustie.

Fleetwood, 27, carded a six-under-par 65 to stand a shot behind USA’s Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner on five under.

McIlroy, bidding for his first major since 2014, is a shot back on four under after a second successive 69.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth carded a 67 to move three under.

Persistent rain hampered those teeing off their second round on Friday morning – including Fleetwood and McIlroy – with conditions improving for the later starters on the links on the east coast of Scotland.

However, few players in the afternoon groups managed to take full advantage and seize control of the leaderboard.

Kisner, 34, had moved clear at eight under par with five birdies but double-bogeyed the 18th after putting his second shot into the Barry Burn.

Fellow American Pat Perez, 42, is alongside Fleetwood on five under after a 68, but a bogey on the last – his only dropped shot of the day – denied him a share of the overnight lead.

Perez and Fleetwood were joined by 24-year-old American Xander Schauffele, who sunk two birdies and an eagle on the back nine to card a 66.

Three-time major champion Spieth, 24, is three shots behind as he looks to become the first player to defend the Claret Jug since 2008, with Rickie Fowler joining him in tied 11th after shooting a 69.

England’s Danny Willett carded a 71 and is two under while US Open champion Brooks Koepka is one under after a 69.

Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods missed a short birdie putt on the 18th and remains level par for the tournament after a second successive 71, while 2013 champion Phil Mickelson is on the same score after a 69.

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Dustin misses the cut – Rose survives

Any player in 70th place or better – including ties – makes the halfway cut under Open rules.

At Carnoustie, it means those who were four over or worse after two rounds did not make the weekend – including the world’s top two players.

Dustin Johnson is the first world number one since England’s Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the Open.

The 34-year-old American followed his opening round of 76 with a one-over 72 to finish six over, while world number two Justin Thomas shot a 76 to end four over.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia was among the other major winners to miss the cut, as did his compatriot Jon Rahm after the world number five carded an seven-over 78.

However, England’s Justin Rose will return on Saturday after a birdie on the 18th moved back to three over and above the cut line.

Scottish 19-year-old Sam Locke finished on the same mark to continue his Open debut and secure the silver medal as leading amateur.

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Fleetwood recovers after ‘hitting it rubbish’

Fleetwood is aiming for his first major title after coming close at the US Open last month, where he fell a shot short of champion Brooks Koepka despite a scintillating final-round 63 – the joint-lowest score in the tournament’s history.

The world number 10 put himself into contention at the halfway stage with a superb round which did not feature a single bogey.

After carding a one-over 72 on Thursday, he wiped that out with a birdie on the fourth and moved under par for the tournament with another on the fifth.

He closed the front nine with another birdie and added three more on the back half, including one on the 18th.

Fleetwood holds the course record at Carnoustie after shooting a 63 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October.

“It was a struggle on Thursday,” he said. “I didn’t really hit it, I hit rubbish most of yesterday.

“We put in a good hour’s work last night and we played better. It was a really good round of golf.

“I came off the range feeling better and clearer and I thought if I could get it under par for the tournament that would be a great day.”

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McIlroy happy after ‘very different’ game plan

McIlroy, 29, is a four-time major winner but has not lifted one of the sport’s biggest prizes since the PGA Championships in 2014.

After an opening 69, the world number eight matched that round with four birdies on his card along with dropped shots on the 12th and 15th holes.

“I would have taken a second round of two under before going out today,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“The conditions are not too bad, but are bad enough to make you think I had to adopt a very different game plan.

“When these modern drivers get wet there is not too much spin on the ball, so I didn’t hit driver very much and I had to play the course the way it is supposed to be played.”

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