A star-studded leaderboard at the 2014 Open Championship makes following Friday's second-round action all the more worth it.
With television coverage starting on ESPN at 4 a.m. ET, it may be difficult for stateside golf fans to keep up with the latest developments.
Thankfully, there are plenty of places to view the live scores as they come in from Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Look no further than the display below to see how the top performers are doing throughout Day 2:
For the complete scores and statistics, check out TheOpen.com's Score Centre, which has the complete list of players and is also updated in real time.
Rory McIlroy is the leader entering Friday, having carded an opening-round 66 to stand at six under par, one stroke better than another young star in Matteo Manassero.
Youth is a theme among those in contention, but a plethora of major champions are in hot pursuit, too.
McIlroy is the best of both worlds, but he must back up his strong start with another good number, given the caliber of players chasing him.
Think there's any pressure on McIlroy? Check out the history he stands to make if he can raise the Claret Jug in Merseyside, England, per Golf Channel's Justin Ray:
History Rory McIlroy is chasing this week: trying to become 3rd player with 3+ majors at age 25 since Masters began (Jack, Tiger).— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 17, 2014
Similar to McIlroy, Manassero may be younger in age at just 21, but he has a wealth of experience already, as Jason Sobel of Golf Channel observed:
Matteo Manassero posts 5-under 67. He's 21 years old and already making his fourth Open start. And you thought college was higher education.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 17, 2014
It looked as though Manassero would be well on his way to another lackluster showing at a major, but at the par-four opening hole, he holed out from the fairway to get his round off on the right foot, per ESPN Golf:
Shots like those suggest that it may be time for Manassero to show up at a major and remain a factor into the weekend, something he's yet to do. Manassero has won four times already on the European Tour, including the flagship BMW PGA Championship, which McIlroy won this season.
A couple of young Americans in Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler are continuing their momentum from a high finish at the U.S. Open, sitting at four and three under respectively. Steve Elling noted the parallels in their coaching:
Harmonic convergence: Rickie Fowler, coached by Butch Harmon, tied for lead with Brooks Koepka, coached by Claude @CH3golf.— Steve Elling (@EllingYelling) July 17, 2014
Butch Harmon coached Tiger Woods in his heyday, and the 2006 Open champion at Hoylake didn't fare too shabbily in his first major action in 2014.
Woods showed no signs of the rust that caused him to miss the cut at the Quicken Loans National. ESPN Stats & Info provided an idea of what Woods is facing moving forward:
For a long time it was Woods who occupied the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, but in his absence, Adam Scott has risen to the occasion. Scott striped the ball on Thursday to get to four under par, just two shots off McIlroy's pace.
After finishes of second and third in the past two Opens, Scott appears poised for his second major title.
During another solid effort from veteran Jim Furyk, Golf Digest's Mike O'Malley noted how Furyk has had success at Hoylake in the past, which bodes well for his chances at major No. 2:
Jim Furyk, one shot out of the lead through 13, likes this track. Finished fourth in the Open in 2006 with rounds of 68-71-66-71.— Mike O'Malley (@GD_MikeO) July 17, 2014
Sergio Garcia has always had the talent to win a major, but hasn't managed to pull through. The Open Championship has been the site of his best results, and it looks as though that trend will continue, as Garcia sits on four under par.
That 68 was a score Garcia was pleased with:
Difficult to get a nicer day to play golf than today and if you manage to play well, even better!! Let's keep it going!— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) July 17, 2014
So as can be deduced from the incredible number of storylines just from the top of the first-round leaderboard, Day 2 of the 2014 British Open will be an elite golf exhibition few will want to miss. McIlroy has struggled to back up his low opening scores, so it'll be interesting to watch how he responds alone on the major stage.
Scores figure to be higher amid more blustery Friday conditions as well. Rain and potential thunderstorms are expected, per BBC Weather.
That will truly distinguish the contenders from the pretenders. Although there should prove to be very few players in the hunt after 36 holes who aren't deserving, the jumble at the top is bound to be broken up if and when the wind or precipitation picks up.