Day 2 of the 2014 British Open in Hoylake, England, is underway, and the early wave of contenders are dealing with some increasingly difficult conditions. Winds at Royal Liverpool Golf Club have already reached upward of 16 mph early in the morning, making for tough scoring conditions—especially on a seaside links course.
Although, some players have been able to weather the storm so far, most notably George Coetzee. The South African fired a three-under 69 to follow up his opening-round 70 and now finds himself just one shot off the lead.
Here's a current look at the tournament's leaderboard:
It may be difficult for Coetzee to maintain his position throughout the day, as Weather.com forecasts winds to die down throughout the day. If that's the case, scoring conditions will be optimal once again, and we can expect more low numbers in the afternoon.
While Coetzee finished his round already, plenty of other big names are currently on the course, including defending champion Phil Mickelson.
Lefty is looking to rebound from his opening two-over 74 on Thursday, and so far, he's been on quite a roller-coaster ride on Day 2.
After taking a bogey at the par-four third, Mickelson came right back with a birdie at the fourth. Here's a look at his approach shot, which came inches from finding the hole:
Just one hole later, on the par-five fifth, Mickelson did make eagle and moved to two under for the day. He did bogey the eighth shortly after and made the turn at one under, putting him at one over for the tournament.
Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel gave a Twitter play by play for Mickelson's 10th hole:
Phil Mickelson on the par-5 10th: Tee shot O.B, reload, tee shot in fairway, approach to six feet, made putt. Just another routine par.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 18, 2014
Aside from his inconsistent ball-striking, The Open's official Twitter account noted the putter is one cause for concern for Lefty:
The putter not quite working for Mickelson at the moment. Not picked a shot up in his last seven holes #TheOpen— The Open (@LiveBulletins) July 18, 2014
Here's a look at some early-morning highlights from Coetzee and Mickelson, courtesy of ESPN Golf:
As it stands early in the morning, Mickelson is poised to stick around for the weekend.
World No. 1 Adam Scott is also on the course on Friday. Like Mickelson, he's been up and down as well. PGA Tour noted his early-round struggles:
After carding bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3, Adam Scott has dropped back to 2 under at Royal Liverpool. #TheOpen— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2014
Scott drained a long par putt but missed short birdie putts to make the turn at one over for the day. He's still well in contention at three-under par, but he'll need to make a bit of a move on the back nine to remain close in contention.
There are some notable players already in danger of missing the cut.
Usually steady in major tournaments, Lee Westwood is four over through the early portion of his Day 2 round. That's highly unexpected of him, considering his opening one-under 71. At three over, he'll need to make up a couple strokes to remain in the field for the weekend.
Boo Weekley suddenly finds himself in this category as well. He fired a brilliant three-under 69 on Day 1, and The Open noted his position as he began his second round:
Boo Weekley at -3 starts with a par and is leader on the course #TheOpen— The Open (@LiveBulletins) July 18, 2014
Well, after several mishaps—and no birdies to speak of—he's currently seven over for his round on Friday through 17 holes. Unfortunately, he may be taking an earlier flight back to the United States than he would have liked.
All eyes will be on Rory McIlroy on Friday afternoon. The Day 1 leader looked great and is sitting pretty at six-under par. However, his second-round struggles this season are well-documented.
Will McIlroy keep up his torrid pace, or will he fall back into the midst of the field?
Stay tuned for what's expected to be an extremely exciting Round 2 of the British Open.