British Open: Roaring Rory McIlroy on the move at Birkdale


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. It also marked the third time in Spieth's career that he has shot in the 60s each of the first two rounds of a major. Some of the assembled press considered it a straight knockout.

There are seven courses featured at St. Andrews with the main course the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews the championship course. Facing a softened course when play resumed and with the winds having temporarily eased, he duly put the hammer down.

Richie Ramsay's even-par 70 left the Scot resting up in a tie for seventh at two-under, no doubt hoping the leaders would falter further.

Spieth's last start was a victory at the Travelers Championship.

"I watched some of the golf this morning and it looked awfully challenging and like under par would be a good score", Kuchar said. One sucker, one knockout? Spieth is aware that his opponents here are world class - even the younger-still Austin Connelly, who he knows better than most.

"To do it at the Open Championship is pretty special". "My ball-striking has been better than in any years that I've ever played golf".

In '08, the scoring average was 4.77, making it the second-most hard hole at an Open Championship from 1982-2016 after the 17th at St. Andrews in 1984. Kooch is tough because he's not out on many holes. A birdie at the long 17th, his second in successive days, got him back to four over for the day and three over for the competition and he was glad to complete the 18th without mishap for par.

The day was, in truth, a thrill throughout. Conditions were glorious on Monday and Tuesday but it is set to be much cooler and more unsettled for Thursday's first round and there is a risk it could be downright unpleasant by Friday.

In fact, while Branden Grace would go on to shoot the lowest round in men's major history, he wasn't the only one who threatened to.

Reigning champion Henrik Stenson, whose accommodation was burgled during Thursday's opening round, was two over with Dustin Johnson one worse off, while several big names - including last year's runner-up Phil Mickelson - missed the cut.

Eleven players, including several 2017 winners such as Alex Noren and Hideki Matsuyama, hold a share of 12 spot at 2-under with former major champion Bubba Watson. "A couple of bad swings but really take away those two three putts and just two-putt and I shoot under par".

He has missed three of his last four cuts, stretching back to the US Open, and is consequently rated a general 20-1 shot with oddsmakers. Spieth then delivered his second bogey-free round of the week in which he never came seriously close to a bogey.

Midway through the third round, Jordan Spieth still has the same two-shot lead he began the day with. 36 down, 36 to go, and Spieth has his sights firmly set on the Claret Jug.

The 39-year-old was expecting them to encounter plenty of problems as conditions deteriorated so he may have been surprised by the quality of Spieth's round.

When The Open last came to the links at Southport, near Liverpool on the coast of north-west England, it was 2008 and Tiger Woods had just won the US Open. That drought may very well conclude Sunday.

Afterwards Kuchar made for the TV lounge, where he anticipated "some fun" watching afternoon starters Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, compatriots with whom he shared the overnight lead, grapple with the gathering wind.