British Open live blog: Rory McIlroy hanging onto strong round at British Open

The world’s oldest major golf championship continues Friday at Royal Birkdale. Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar share the lead after 18 holes, but who will grab the lead at the halfway point of the 146th British Open?

We are tracking the second-round highlights all day in Southport, England.

How to follow the action:

All times Eastern

  • TELEVISION: Golf Channel, 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET
  • RADIO: PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM, 2 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • ON GOLFWEEK: Tour Tracker | All coverage

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UPDATE NO. 17 (8:16 a.m. ET): Sergio Garcia bogeys 18, but that’s a solid 69 and he’s +2. Garcia played 1-under golf in his final 15 holes – after hurting himself slashing at gorse.

UPDATE NO. 16 (8:09 a.m. ET): Zach Johnson posts 4-under 66, likely to be the day’s best round. He’s jumped 89 spots to a tie for 32nd at 1 over. Quite a fight from him. McIlroy has just bogeyed 13 after missing the green again, he’d been playing with fire for a while. Back to 1 under.

UPDATE NO. 15 (8:01 a.m. ET): Rory McIlroy just keeps on fighting. What a battle. After finding greenside bunker off tee at par-3 12th, he blasts out to 3 feet and cleans up for par. Three straight missed greens, three straight pars. Still 2 under.

UPDATE NO. 14 (7:52 a.m. ET): Kuchar bogeys 16 after approach finds bunker and he can’t make 10-foot par putt. That’s back to 5 under and a share of the lead.

UPDATE NO. 13 (7:48 a.m. ET): Sergio Garcia birdies 17 after a great up and down. A 30-yard bunker shot to 10 feet and then drained it. He birdied 15, too, and Garcia has now been 2 under since injuring himself slashing at gorse on No. 4. That’s unexpected. Masters champ is -2 today and +1 overall. Barring a complete meltdown on No. 18, he’ll make the cut comfortably.

UPDATE NO. 12 (7:42 a.m. ET): Rory’s putter is saving him. No, we’re serious. He makes another lengthy par putt at the 11th, jarring a 12-footer to stay 2 under and bogey-free. If he can hold on for a few more holes, this might be a really special round as par 5s await at 15 and 17.

UPDATE NO. 11 (7:34 a.m. ET): Kuchar two-putts from some 40 feet, rolling in a 3-footer for birdie at 15 and that moves him to 6 under. He’s now the solo leader. If he can get in at 6 under, that might be a lead of a few by day’s end considering the conditions are only expected to get worse for afternoon crew.

UPDATE NO. 10 (7:26 a.m. ET): Rory is still feeling it. A par at the ninth means a 3-under 31, and he makes a HUGE par save at the 10th. Drove into fairway bunker and chunked his approach well short of the green. Hit 50-ish yard third to 12 feet and buries the par putt – eliciting a fist pump. He remains 2 under and three back. That par putt could be monumental mojo-wise.

UPDATE NO. 9 (7:22 a.m. ET): A disappointment for Lefty. He went birdie-free Thursday in a 73, and then immediately birdied No. 1 today. It seemed like he might make a run, but then he tripled No. 3. A birdie at No. 4 helped a little, but then back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8. Mickelson is now +6 overall. Projected cut is +3, but with conditions being tough, that could move to +5 by day’s end. So Mickelson needs to play his final 10 holes under par to make the weekend.

UPDATE NO. 8 (7:20 a.m. ET): Matt Kuchar is holding steady. On a day where just 11 of 87 players on course are under par, his even par score through 14 is quite solid. Kuchar bogeyed No. 2 and then birdied Nos. 3 and 4 to move to 6 under and into the solo lead. A bogey at No. 8 means he’s back to 5 under, but he’s still sharing the lead and has two par 5s to come.

UPDATE NO. 7 (7 a.m. ET): Look who’s suddenly one back… Bubba Watson! He chips in for birdie at No. 6 to move to 4 under. He’s 2 under for the day. No top 40s in his last four starts and never better than T-23 at the Open, but sure he’s now closing in on 1st. That’s golf!

UPDATE NO. 6 (6:45 a.m. ET): McIlroy executes a lengthy two-putt to perfection at No. 7 and then hits a tasty bunker shot from a downslope, short-sided to 2 feet and cleans up. Back-to-back pars means he’s still rolling at 2 under. Three back.

UPDATE NO. 5 (6:38 a.m. ET): So maybe Sergio Garcia should not be fighting gorse. As detailed below, he should be fine. But this was a scary moment for Sergio fans when this happened.

UPDATE NO. 4 (6:25 a.m. ET): Lee Westwood, folks! He holes out for eagle at the fifth to move back to even par. Reminder: conditions are not easy today. Wind is up, 20+ mph. Not howling like in ’08 but enough to cause some discomfort. If 5 under holds up as the lead through 36 holes, it wouldn’t be a big surprise.

UPDATE NO. 3 (6:19 a.m. ET): BOOM. McIlroy buries it, and he’s now just three shots back. A reminder of who may have jumpstarted this run.

UPDATE NO. 2 (6:11 a.m. ET): Wow, was Rory McIlroy really +5 through six yesterday. Rors birdies Nos. 1 and 3 and then stuffs his approach at the sixth. If he can roll in that 5-footer, he moves to 2 under overall. That would make him 7 under in his last 14 holes. What. A. Turnaround.

UPDATE NO. 1 (4:54 a.m. ET): Matt Kuchar bogeyed the second hole, but has responded with back-to-back birdies to take the solo lead at 6 under.

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