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|2017 Open Championship on the BBC|
|Venue: Royal Birkdale Dates: 20-23 July|
|Live: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary and follow text updates – including in-play video clips – on BBC Sport website and mobile app. TV highlights on BBC Two. Click for full times.|
Rory McIlroy shot a two-under-par 68 to trail clubhouse leader Matt Kuchar by three shots after their second rounds at The Open at Royal Birkdale.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy moved to one under overall with four birdies and two bogeys in Friday’s round.
Kuchar, who was joint overnight leader with fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka on five under, carded a 71 to set the target on four under.
Spieth and Koepka are among the late starters with heavy rain forecast.
Of the early finishers, Scotland’s Richie Ramsey is on two under, with Canada’s Austin Connelly a shot back.
Two-time champion Ernie Els of South Africa was three over for the day to drop to one over alongside 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who shot the lowest round of the day so far with a four-under 66.
England’s Ross Fisher is on two over, alongside Masters champion Sergio Garcia and American Rickie Fowler.
Paul Casey, who turned 40 on Friday, and had been in second place overnight on four under, dropped seven shots in his 77 to finish on three over.
He sits alongside England’s Andrew Johnston, world number one Dustin Johnson, Irish Open champion Jon Rahm and Australia’s Adam Scott.
I’m ecstatic – McIlroy
Four-time major winner McIlroy had been five over par after six holes in his first round, but he did not record another bogey until the 13th hole of his second round.
Three birdies in his first six holes on Friday pushed him up the leaderboard, but the 2014 champion was pegged back with bogeys on the 13th and 15th, before a birdie on the 17th put him into the red.
“I am ecstatic, ” Mcllroy, 28, told BBC Radio 5 live.
“I couldn’t ask to be in a better position, having been five over through six yesterday and now be in the clubhouse after two rounds under par. I can’t wait to rest up this afternoon and see how the guys handle it out there.
“It was tough today, I had to make some big up and downs on 10, 11 and 12. Every hole seemed to be a cross wind that did not offer much help. The hardest thing was cross winds as heavy as that.”
He added: “I would have given anything after six holes yesterday just to be here. I am pleased with the way I have turned it around.”
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