Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

McIlroy 'really pleased' after second round at Open

McIlroy 'really pleased' after second round at Open

Tiger Woods means business ahead of the Open and he had a great start on the front nine at Carnoustie.

Better yet, he didn't hurt anyone in the gallery.

Spectators who had forked out 80 pounds ($104) for admission feared disappointment when Woods turned up wearing a therapeutic tape on an apparently stiff neck, but he later downplayed the significance of it. "Today wasn't quite as good, but I finally birdied a par-5 [a two-putt at the par-5 16th], so that's a positive".

"The last day at Augusta, even the first day at Shinnecock, I just felt a little bit too ..."

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

But his second round got off to a hard start as he bogeyed the second and third holes to put himself two over.

His five-under-par 66 came thanks to a consistent display with the occasional gutsy call, most notably a bold tee-shot on six that handed him an eagle and set him on his way.

"When we play at home in the States, that's not the case. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it", he said.

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As it dries over the weekend (with no significant rain in the forecast), expect to see McIlroy, who won the last of his four majors in 2014, which makes him 0-for-his-last-14, going for the downs - the way Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton do at Yankee Stadium.

He still made bogey.

On Friday, he looked to the failed birdie at the par-5 sixth, a missed 7-footer at the 18th and 32 putts total.

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole.

McIlroy was particularly perturbed by his meek display in the final round of the Masters in April, which he started three shots off the lead and was only one back after two holes. Woods and the rest of the early starters faced an entire round of light rain, while it cleared out for the afternoon. This is his 12th tournament of the year, and Woods has been among the top 10 just once - the Valspar Championship in March - going into the weekend.

McIlroy's game plan this week has been to use driver to take a lot of the bunkers out of play, because with his length he can carry them.

The pin was toward the center of the green.

Talking about his aberration on the 15th, he put it down to a "brain fart", saying his second shot was a "really, really poor decision". "That was one of them", Woods said.

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