A portion of the 2014 British Open's Day 2 early tee times are already through 36 holes at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, with some rather varied results.
Every member of the field set out on Friday in hopes of catching Rory McIlroy atop the leaderboard. However, that was no easy task, as the day featured winds upward of 16 mph in the morning.
One player was able to get through his Friday round unscathed. South African George Coetzee fired a three-under 69 to get to five under for the tournament and just one shot in back of McIlroy.
Here's a look at the current British Open standings:
While Coetzee made a nice run in the morning, other top golfers attempted to get through the blustery conditions as well.
Phil Mickelson began the day in danger of missing the cut and seeing his bid to defend his title come to a swift end. But he was able to right the ship in a big way, following his opening round of two-over 74 with a two-under 70 on Friday to get back to level par for the tournament.
After taking a bogey on the par-four third, Mickelson birdied the fourth after his approach shot spun back and nearly found the hole for an eagle:
Speaking of eagles, that's exactly what Lefty recorded on the following hole. He did bogey the par-four eighth but recorded a birdie on the 18th after nine consecutive pars to ensure a position in the field for the weekend.
PGA Tour Media noted Mickelson's record of cuts made at Open Championships:
World No. 1 Adam Scott was also out early on Friday morning and came away with quite a roller-coaster round.
After bogeys on the second and third holes, he birdied the par-five fifth to make the turn at one over on the day. His back nine continued in similar fashion, as he bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes and birdied the 17th and 18th.
Dave Tindall of Sky Sports gave his thoughts on Scott's finish:
Was getting a little concerned by main pick Adam Scott. But a birdie-birdie finish has got him into the clubhouse on -3. That's just fine.— Dave Tindall (@DaveTindallgolf) July 18, 2014
Scott's Day 2 round of 73 has him in good position entering the weekend at three-under par.
Justin Rose held one of the day's early tee times and made the most of it, following up his opening round 72 with a two-under 70.
One big reason for his nice round on Friday was his eagle at the par-five 10th. Take a look at this brilliant 45-foot chip Rose holed out to record a three:
Unfortunately, not everyone fared well early on Day 2.
Boo Weekley opened the tournament with a nice three-under 69 and looked ready to contend. However, a disastrous 79 on Friday dropped him to four over for the Open and will likely send him home early.
That's a shame considering Weekley's favorable position at the start of his round:
Boo Weekley at -3 starts with a par and is leader on the course #TheOpen— The Open (@LiveBulletins) July 18, 2014
Another surprising player who looks likely to miss the cut is the usually steady Lee Westwood.
Westwood is no stranger to being in contention in a major and looked like he would be once again after an opening round of 71 on Thursday. In uncharacteristic fashion, Westwood followed that up with a 76 on Friday and is now three over for the tournament.
At this time, the Englishman's chances of hanging around for the weekend are slim.
Round 2 features a bevy of talented players taking the course later in the day. McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and more will be slugging it out at Hoylake. According to Weather.com, they should play under decent conditions, with the wind predicted to die down a bit.
Expect to see plenty of movement on Friday afternoon, as players move up the leaderboard and others falter due to the always difficult test of the seaside links at Royal Liverpool.