Shane Lowry lights up Open with stunning charge

Darren Clarke hits the first shot of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush

Darren Clarke hits the first shot of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush

"You'd be surprised the sort of things we talk about out there", he said.

"But you've seen it with Rory (McIlroy) and other guys".

Roared on by a capacity crowd, Lowry carded a stunning eight-under-par 63 to get one hand on the Claret Jug as he tries to become only the fifth Irish victor of the Open after Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

This is the second time Lowry has had a 54-hole lead in a major.

Fleetwood played a starring role in Europe's victory at the Ryder Cup past year and the world number 20 has a chance for his first major heading into the weekend as he birdied the last for a round of 67.

- Home favourite McIlroy faces a mountainous task if he is to just make the cut after a disastrous first-round 79, which started with a quadruple bogey and ended with a triple. Irishman Shane Lowry, playing in the final pairing with J.B. Holmes, was the only true hope remaining from one of the two countries that make up this island in the North Atlantic. He finished with a 66.

"You can have that great round and that day where everything goes right, but it's nice to get two rounds in a row".

"It's a lot different than we play in the States, you're firing at flags and everything else". Spieth landed his tee shot just right of the green on 16, chipped up the sharp slope and nailed a short putt for par. That's a big advantage.

I can think of one another one that would do the same. I don't have to do anything.

"I felt like I could come here and come under the radar - I'm not quite under the radar any more", Lowry added. And that was the feel on this rain-soaked day, with up-and-down rounds all over the place.

While Irish pro Shane Lowry looked completely at home, shooting a four-under 67 to float near the top of the leaderboard, former Open victor David Duval was lost in space, taking an astronomical 14 on a hole - two strokes shy of tying an ignominious record - and playing the wrong ball in the process. "But everyone in Northern Ireland who came out to watch me, they definitely played theirs".

"Obviously I get on well with Helen", he said.

One of the Northern Irish boys, Graeme McDowell, will play on the weekend after making the cut on the mark, but Darren Clarke, double bogeyed the last, missed out by those two strokes.

He finished at 6-over 148, his second-highest total for 36 holes at the British Open.

"I had a great time today", Lowry said. "And, thankfully, I did that today".

Masters champion Tiger Woods followed his first-round 78 with a battling 70 to miss the cut.

The 39-year-old revealed he had to refocus after a troublesome opening round, determined to do himself justice as The Open returned to his home country for the first time in 68 years. His provisional sailed left, too, into the deep rough.

Schauffele struggled with his replacement driver on Thursday hitting just six of 14 fairways on his way to an opening three-over par round of 74.

From the light rough to the left of the fairway on the 17th, he hit a flawless chip-and-run to 3 feet for his final birdie.

Lee Westwood says he has "no expectations" after moving into contention at the British Open on Friday and reviving hopes of him ending his long wait for a major title. Bad weather happened at Bethpage.

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