National Sports

Round two is underway, winds pick up

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HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Rory McIlroy is the man to chase in second-round play underway at the British Open at Royal Liverpool. And George Coetzee has gotten close, at least for the moment.

The little-known South African shot a 3-under 69 in early play to pull to within a shot of the leader.

After pristine conditions along the Irish Sea on Thursday, the wind was gusting up to 35 mph, whipping the flags and making it much tougher to go low. At least the expected showers held off, the morning starters going off in warm, sunny conditions.

McIlroy opened with a bogey-free 66 yesterday that included six birdies.

This year, McIlroy has started a couple of tournaments with 63s and another with a 64, but wasn’t able to win any of them. For some reason, he’s had a serious case of the yips in the second round, putting up a cumulative score of 15-over par compared with 55 under for the opening round, and 39 under on the weekend.

The world’s top-ranked player, Adam Scott, also got off to a strong start with a 68, but was 2 over for the round through 12 holes.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson got off to a frustrating start with a 74. A chip in for eagle at the fifth gave him a much-needed boost, and he seemed safe for the weekend at 1 under through 14 holes.

Tiger Woods starts the day three back of the leader.

 

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