Spieth back to playing some good golf at British Open

British Open Darren Clarke off to great start at Portrush	
				Francois Nel  Getty Images

British Open Darren Clarke off to great start at Portrush Francois Nel Getty Images

David Duval of the United States cleans one of his clubs as he waits to play on the 5th tee during the first round of the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Thursday, July 18, 2019.

It was a moment McIlroy had dreamed about for much of his life. It's going to hurt for a little bit but I guess the good thing about golf is there is a tournament to play next week.

QUOTEABLE: "Actually I had two glasses of wine last night, but nothing else".

Lurking in a large cluster of players who shot 68s is Brooks Koepka, who has won four majors in the past two years - two U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships - and finished second at the Masters and U.S. Open this year.

Coverage: Live text updates and in-play clips on BBC Sport website, with live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and daily highlights on BBC Two.

From the first hole today, walking on to every hole and every tee-box, then walking down the 18th was something special.

Along the way, thousands of fans anxiously followed him on the Dunluce Course, where he set a course record with a 61 as a 16-year-old. "There are times when it's not going to be easy and I've just got to take it on the chin". "I just want to go home".

I'm playing well and I feel my game is where I want it to be.

McIlroy, who grew up in nearby Holywood, almost pulled it off. 10, 11 and 12.

With the bad weather now coming in Woods might have hoped that 3-over would squeeze in which meant one more birdie from his last six holes.

However, he three-putted from there to drop a shot and slip to eight under par, alongside Holmes.

South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen made the biggest move of the early starters with three birdies in his first five holes to join the group on three under.

Joining that English duo in the chasing pack was compatriot Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion signing for a 67 at a tournament where he shared second place a year ago. He drained it, sending the patrons into a frenzy. Commentators may point towards a birdie putt at the 17th which slid agonisingly past or an iron into the closing hole which bounded left of the green as crucial.

Afterward, while speaking to reporters, McIlroy was asked to describe his emotions. "It's your chance of putting your name in the history of the game", said the Southport golfer after a second-round 67 lifted him to seven under and back in contention again. "Disappointment to not be here for the weekend. Unfortunately, I've only had a chance to win one of them and was able to do it but at the other three I didn't do very well". He started out the final major in a tie for third after the first round. "Is it just a lost cause?" 'Whether I win or not, I literally don't have a care, ' he said.

I had a great time today.

Woods' struggles weren't a shock as he's clearly not fully fit but McIlroy's meltdown at Royal Portrush stunned the Northern Ireland nation.

"Over the last week, it has been an eye-opener for me", he said.

"Not making excuses for a year ago", Turner said, "it was hectic but I didn't play great and didn't prepare as well as I could". He hadn't made the cut in the Open since 2013 but said he was hopeful going in to Royal Portrush because he was playing well.

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