Viktor Hovland’s approach to the 18th digs in, instead of rolling close, but no matter! He rolls in the 20-foot birdie effort that remains for his sixth birdie of the day! Just the one dropped shot, at 2, and he ends the day at -5. He’d need quite a few things to fall his way, and for Brian Harman to collapse, but as things stand, going out in the last match on Sunday for the second Open in a row is still a live possibility for the 25-year-old Norwegian!

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Matt’s younger brother pours a 15-foot birdie putt straight into the cup on 18, and his eyes sparkle with delight! Out in 32, back in 33, with three birdies in the closing four holes! His look of glee is an absolute balm for the soul. What an Open debut the 24-year-old is having! He’s back in the house at -4. Now that’s moving.

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It would have been a terrible anti-climax had Rahm taken three to get down from the fringe at the back of 18. So we’re pleased to report that despite underhitting his chip, he rolls the very missable ten-footer he’d left himself into the heart of the cup, and that’s his sixth birdie on the back nine! Home in 30 for a 63, and that’s the lowest score ever shot at Hoylake in the Open Championship! He’s right in the mix now. Penny for the thoughts of Brian Harman, just as the leader takes to the first tee!

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-10: Harman
-6: Rahm (F)
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Hojgaard (8), Day (1), Straka
-3: Bland (9), Rozner (8), McIlroy (4), Young (3), Sharma (1), Lee

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record-breaking 63 for Jon Rahm!”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Sat 22 Jul 2023 17.51 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Sat 22 Jul 2023 13.50 BST”},{“id”:”64ba4d2b8f08ff360bcb1e2f”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Welcome to Moving Day at the 151st Open Championship! After 36 holes, the top of the leaderboard looked like this …

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-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Straka
-3: Lee, Sharma, Day
-2: Otaegui, Grillo, Spieth, Young
-1: Southgate, Lawrence, McIlroy, Homa, Migliozzi, Stewart, Jordan, Cink, Stenson, Clark, Hojgaard, Rozner, Bland

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… while these (selected) big names missed the cut …

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Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, Joaquin Niemann, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Sam Burns, Charl Schwartzel, Shane Lowry, Kim Si-woo, Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson

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… and that left us with a tee sheet that looked like this (all times BST, GB&I unless stated). It’s on! Hoylake ahoy!

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08.55 Rickie Fowler (USA), Robert MacIntyre
09.05 Scottie Scheffler (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)
09.15 Patrick Cantlay (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA)
09.25 Padraig Harrington, Scott Stallings (USA)
09.35 Christo Lamprecht -a- (Rsa), Andrew Putnam (USA)
09.45 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Victor Perez (Fra)
10.00 Richie Ramsay, David Lingmerth (Swe)
10.10 Sami Valimaki (Fin), Danny Willett
10.20 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA)
10.30 Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cameron Smith (Aus)
10.40 Kurt Kitayama (USA), JT Poston (USA)
10.50 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Patrick Reed (USA)
11.00 Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Hurly Long (Ger)
11.15 Tyrrell Hatton, Brandon Thompson
11.25 Sung-Jae Im (Kor), Jon Rahm (Spa)
11.35 Corey Conners (Can), Zach Johnson (USA)
11.45 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Gary Woodland (USA)
11.55 Romain Langasque (Fra), Brendon Todd (USA)
12.05 Zack Fischer (USA), Alex Fitzpatrick
12.15 Joost Luiten (Ned), Jordan Smith
12.30 Adrian Meronk (Pol), Thomas Pieters (Bel)
12.40 Oliver Wilson, Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
12.50 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Thomas Detry (Bel)
13.00 Alexander Noren (Swe), Marcel Siem (Ger)
13.10 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
13.20 Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor)
13.30 Richard Bland, Laurie Canter
13.45 Antoine Rozner (Fra), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den)
13.55 Wyndham Clark (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
14.05 Stewart Cink (USA), Matthew Jordan
14.15 Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Michael Stewart
14.25 Max Homa (USA), Rory McIlroy
14.35 Thriston Lawrence (Rsa), Matthew Southgate
14.45 Jordan Spieth (USA), Cameron Young (USA)
15.00 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Adrian Otaegui (Spa)
15.10 Jason Day (Aus), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind)
15.20 Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Sepp Straka (Aut)
15.30 Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman (USA)

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Key events

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It’s back-to-back birdies for Sepp Straka, the latest at 11. The 30-year-old Austrian, who finished tied for seventh at the PGA a couple of months ago, and also has a top-ten finish at the Players to his name, joins the party at -5. Also -5, but coming in the other direction, is Tommy Fleetwood, who can’t get up and down from greenside sand at 10. Now both Brian Harman and Fleetwood are back where they began the day.

McIlroy’s early verve has long been lost. He cracks two big shots down the par-five 15th, then wedges to eight feet … but yet another birdie putt goes by the wayside. If that flat stick had been hot today, watch out record-book! But for the most part it’s been stone cold. He remains at -3. Meanwhile up on 18, Antoine Rozner is forced to kneel by the side of a greenside bunker and reach inside to punch out … and he does so gracefully to four feet! In goes the birdie putt and that’s a superb 67 from the unsung 30-year old Frenchman. He’s -5.

Three birdies in a row for the local hero Matthew Jordan at 14, 15 and 16! After a quiet day, the long-time Hoylake member rises quickly to -2. Sepp Straka drains a 40-footer on 10 for his first birdie of the round; after bogey on 4, he’s back to where he started at -4. And back down the hole, Tommy Fleetwood clacks his tee shot down the track, as the gallery continues with its satirical mashed-potato subversions: “T-Bone!” Isn’t that one already taken?

Gammy’s getting upset!

Brian Harman clips his tee shot at the par-three 9th to three feet. He rolls in the birdie putt, and he’s back where he started the day. Given the shaky way he played the first four holes, this is the sort of determined behaviour that wins Open Championships. Par for Tommy Fleetwood.

-10: Harman (9)
-6: Rahm (F), Day (10), Fleetwood (9)
-5: Hovland (F), Young (13), Sharma (10)
-4: A Fitzpatrick (F), Rozner (17), Grillo (11)
-3: Detry (F), Kim (F), Bland (17), N Hojgaard (17), McIlroy (14), Straka (9)

Jon Rahm speaks to Sky Sports. “I rolled a few more putts in … weather conditions were easier … I was aware it was going to be an important round in terms of the Open … to get lower than 65 was really fun … I have to compare it to the opening round [of 65] at Augusta, a different start but a similar feeling … it’s big, no matter what happens … I’ve done enough to give myself the best chance … it looks like the weather is going to get a little bit worse so we’ll see where I end up at the end of the day.”

A 68 for Tom Kim. Not bad for someone who went over on his ankle on Thursday, suffering a “grade one tear”. There’s always something going on with Tom, isn’t there. A natural-born star.

Jason Day sends his tee shot down the side of the par-three 9th. He’s short-sided with a wibbly-wobbly swale in between. No matter! He rattles a confident putt through the indentations and straight into the cup! Birdie, and he’s out in 32. Day came up one shot short of making the play-off at St Andrews in 2015; he looks in the mood to right that wrong this week.

-9: Harman (7)
-6: Rahm (F), Day (9), Fleetwood (7)
-5: Hovland (F), Young (11), Sharma (9)
-4: A Fitzpatrick (F), Rozner (16)
-3: Detry (F), Kim (17), Bland (17), N Hojgaard (16), McIlroy (13), Grillo (10), Straka (8)

Viktor Hovland shoots 66!

Viktor Hovland’s approach to the 18th digs in, instead of rolling close, but no matter! He rolls in the 20-foot birdie effort that remains for his sixth birdie of the day! Just the one dropped shot, at 2, and he ends the day at -5. He’d need quite a few things to fall his way, and for Brian Harman to collapse, but as things stand, going out in the last match on Sunday for the second Open in a row is still a live possibility for the 25-year-old Norwegian!

Rory nearly bounces straight back on 13. He’s this close to draining a 40-footer across the green for birdie, but par will have to suffice. He remains -3. Cameron Young yips a short birdie effort on 11; he stays at -5. And up on 15, Antoine Rozner holes out from 30 yards for an eagle that whisks him up the standings to -4.

You may be wondering why there’s been no mention of the penultimate group of Min Woo Lee and Sepp Straka. That’s because they’re dragging each other down. Not a birdie between them. Straka has bogeyed 4 to drop to -3; Lee has shed shots at 1, 4 and 6 to tumble to level par. Best look away, for now at least.

The rain is still coming down. There’s no wind, though. Certainly not in Rory McIlroy’s sail; he can’t make his par putt on 12, which is always drifting left, and he trudges off in a funk. He drops to -3.

Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood take turns to go close, but no cigar, at the 6th. They remain at -9 and -6 respectively. Meanwhile up on 12, Rory McIlroy drives into deep filth down the left, then sends his second down a swale to the right of the green. He chips up, but in uncharacteristically unconvincing fashion, and he’ll be left with a 20-footer to save his par.

Five birdies in the last eight holes for Thomas Detry. It would have been six, had his ball not stopped half-a-dimple short on the edge of the 18th hole. He inspects the ball from all angles, but it’s not going to drop, and eventually he admits defeat and taps in the shortest shot. Back in 32 for a 67 and the 30-year-old Belgian, who has very little of note on his CV apart from a play-off berth at the 2021 Scottish Open, is currently tied for tenth at -3.

Back-to-back birdies for Cameron Young at 8 and 9. Last year’s runner-up fancies some more business-end action. He’s -5. Meanwhile the wits of Hoylake have entertained all week as they subvert the US mashed-potato trope. “Chips and gravy” is the latest gambit as Tommy Fleetwood fires into the heart of 6.

A quite brilliant eagle attempt by Brian Harman from 70 feet away at 5. The ball only just dies to the right at the last. What a boost that would have been! As it is, that’s a fine birdie that repairs some of the early damage and will de-jangle a few nerve endings. Meanwhile a disappointing six-foot miss for Tommy Fleetwood, and the momentum shifts again. Not for the last time, I’ll be bound.

-9: Harman (5)
-6: Rahm (F), Fleetwood (5)

The rain’s toppling down now. Brian Harman could be forgiven for slipping into Metaphor Mode, but instead he crashes a drive down the middle of the par-five 5th, then finds the back-edge of the green with a glorious second. Two putts for birdie would be quite the tonic, though from 70 feet nothing’s certain. Still, that’s a decent reaction to another bogey-infused disappointment.

On 5, Jason Day rakes in a long putt for birdie … while his partner Shubhankar Sharma rattles in an eagle putt from similar distance! They both jump to -5. Viktor Hovland isn’t too far away from eagle at 15, but he’s happy enough to tap in for par. Rory gets up and down from the bottom of the swale at 10, without breaking sweat. He’s in the mood. And back on 4, Brian Harman can’t make his par saver. This is really opening up now.

-8: Harman (4)
-6: Rahm (F), Fleetwood (4)
-5: Day (5), Sharma (5)
-4: A Fitzpatrick (F), Hovland (15), McIlroy (10), Young (8)

Harman plays the percentages. He certainly doesn’t want the ball coming back down the slope towards his feet. So he gives the chip a little extra oomph, and it rolls 12 feet past. But at least this way he’s guaranteed a putt for par. Meanwhile on 10, there’ll be no birdie putt for Rory this time, as his second into the monster par-four 10th hits the bank at the front of the green and kicks left.

Rory can’t make his birdie putt. He’s had an opportunity on every single hole so far! He’s three for nine. Not sure how to process this, because his play tee to green is outrageously good. But he’s still turning in 32, so it’s hard to criticise. He could be just four strokes off the lead soon, too, because back on 4, Brian Harman sends a hot approach out of the rough and over the back of the green. He’ll have to get up and down from the bottom of a swale, with not too much green to play with up top. Big moment coming up.

Brian Harman lags a long putt on 3 to kick-in distance. He scrambles his par. But he’s still not looking totally comfortable, cutting a completely different figure to the man who insouciantly strolled around the joint yesterday en route to that glorious 65. He sends his tee shot at 4 into the thick stuff down the left.

Alex Fitzpatrick posts 65!

Matt’s younger brother pours a 15-foot birdie putt straight into the cup on 18, and his eyes sparkle with delight! Out in 32, back in 33, with three birdies in the closing four holes! His look of glee is an absolute balm for the soul. What an Open debut the 24-year-old is having! He’s back in the house at -4. Now that’s moving.

Rory McIlroy misses another birdie putt, this time on 8, though it wasn’t exactly the easiest read. He looks pained nevertheless. But he doesn’t let it affect him too much, and he sets up yet another chance on the par-three 9th, landing his tee shot 18 feet from the flag.

From the centre of the 3rd fairway, Brian Harman pulls his iron perilously towards the internal out-of-bounds on the right. He’s pretty fortunate that it’s a big mishit, because it’s well short of the green and the lack of distance means it stops well short of danger. But he hangs his head nonetheless and will have a tricky up and down if he’s not to drop another stroke. Tommy Fleetwood is also up against it, having pulled his approach down a swale to the left. A reminder that Harman is a lefty, just so you can process all these pulls.

The rain has started to fall reasonably heavily. That won’t help Jason Day’s mood, given he’s just misread a putt from off the side of 3, the ball breaking four feet to the left, then pulling the short par putt. He hands one of his early birdies back. He’s -4. Meanwhile up on 18, a birdie for the 28-year-old Frenchman Romain Langasque, who ends Moving Day with a 67. He’s -2 and well set to improve on his best finish at an Open, a tie for 63rd at Portrush four years ago.

Up until now, Viktor Hovland didn’t seem to have brought his A-game to Hoylake this week … and yet he’s been on the fringes of the action since the get-go. He’s belatedly showing signs of picking up some momentum, though. Out in 33, he’s just birdied 12 to rise to -3. Meanwhile back on 2, Brian Harman takes two careful putts to make his par, but Tommy Fleetwood rolls in his birdie putt and a gap between the players that was five less than half an hour ago is now just three. Open Championship golf, right here!

-9: Harman (2)
-6: Rahm (F), Fleetwood (2)
-5: Day (2)
-4: McIlroy (7), Young (5), Straka (2)
-3: A Fitzpatrick (17), Hovland (13), N Hojgaard (10), Spieth (5), Sharma (2)

An inscrutable look on Brian Harman’s face. If he’s been rocked by that opening bogey, he’s not letting it show. He guides a long iron into the heart of 2. Pin high. Not particularly close, but then that’s not really the point: that’s a lovely nerve settler. Half a chance of birdie, but he should make his par. Meanwhile his playing partner Tommy Fleetwood very nearly holes out for eagle, but the ball rolls ten feet past, so birdie’s not quite a gimme here.

A second birdie in three holes for Alex Fitzpatrick! He rakes a birdie putt across 17, and grins with innocent glee as he moves to -3. Matt’s younger brother is really enjoying his Open debut. Meanwhile a closing bogey for Corey Conners, the only blemish on an otherwise fine 68. He’s -1.

Brian Harman’s par effort horseshoes out, and that’s a far from ideal start for the overnight leader. An instant cry from the gallery. “Come on Tommy lad!” The local favourite makes his par. It hasn’t taken too long for the picture to change quite dramatically.

-9: Harman (1)
-6: Rahm (F)
-5: Day (2), Fleetwood (1)
-4: McIlroy (4), Straka (1)

A slightly nervous start for the leader Brian Harman. He sends his second shot at 1 over the back of the green, and he’s left himself a tricky chip from distance over a swale. He clips a pretty decent effort 12 feet past the flag, but that’s a tester coming back if he’s to save his par. Meanwhile it’s two birdies to start for Jason Day, the latest the reward for screeching his wedge to six feet. That birdie was as textbook as the opening birdie was comic-book.

Rory McIlroy sends his eagle putt along the right line … but doesn’t quite hit it. He taps in for birdie, looking slightly disappointed yet again. You know, this is a ridiculous thing to say really, but somewhere in the multiverse, McIlroy is six under through his first five holes. As it is back in reality, he’s just (!) three under for his round and -4 overall. Meanwhile a first birdie of the day for Jordan Spieth on 4; he’s -3.

The final pairing take to the first tee. Tommy Fleetwood splits the fairway. So does Brian Harman. Everyone out and about at last. Moving Day, right here, right now!

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Brian Harman of the U.S. on the 1st green.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Brian Harman of the U.S. on the 1st green. Photograph: Lorraine Osullivan/Reuters

A record-breaking 63 for Jon Rahm!

It would have been a terrible anti-climax had Rahm taken three to get down from the fringe at the back of 18. So we’re pleased to report that despite underhitting his chip, he rolls the very missable ten-footer he’d left himself into the heart of the cup, and that’s his sixth birdie on the back nine! Home in 30 for a 63, and that’s the lowest score ever shot at Hoylake in the Open Championship! He’s right in the mix now. Penny for the thoughts of Brian Harman, just as the leader takes to the first tee!

-10: Harman
-6: Rahm (F)
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Hojgaard (8), Day (1), Straka
-3: Bland (9), Rozner (8), McIlroy (4), Young (3), Sharma (1), Lee

Spain's Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th green.
Spain’s Jon Rahm celebrates on the 18th green. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

A couple of big putts here! Jason Day steers in a long left-to-right curler for a birdie-on-safari at 1. You wouldn’t have put too much money on that outcome when his drive was arcing towards the 2nd tee! He’s -4. Shubhankar Sharma scrambles his par. Meanwhile Nicolai Hojgaard trundles one in on 7 for his fourth birdie of the day. He’s -5.

Some hot big-name par-five action for you. On 18, Jon Rahm creams his second over the bunkers guarding the front left of the green, his ball stopping in the semi-rough at the back. He’ll have a chip for a 62! He doesn’t really hit that chip, though, and he’s left himself a ten-footer for the 63. Back on 5, Rory McIlroy lashes, and yet carefully threads, a long iron between the bunkers at the front of the green, and he’s pin high in two. He’ll have a 25-foot look at eagle!

If you didn’t know any better, you’d suspect Jason Day and Shubhankar Sharma had exchanged words on the first tee. Because the former has sliced his opening drive onto the 2nd hole, while the latter has pulled his onto a dirt track down the left. Day responds by looping his second into the heart of the green; Sharma leaves his approach in the thick stuff just to the left. Sharma, 27 yesterday, has only dropped three strokes so far this week. He’s got work to do if that total isn’t to rise imminently.

Jon Rahm, in the zone, cares not one jot for the OB down the right of 18. He absolutely larrups his drive down the middle. Meanwhile it’s another gettable birdie chance missed McIlroy; he’s now 50-50 for conversion, and growls in frustration as he tidies up for par. His tee to green play has been exemplary so far; he could so easily have started with four straight birdies. He arguably should have, because the putts he’s missed were makeable. Are we holding Rory to unreasonably high standards? Possibly. Probably. Though you suspect he’s doing that himself. He’s -3.

Rory McIlroy plays another hole perfectly from tee to green. He makes the putt this time, at 3, and joins the group at -3. The crowd respond accordingly. Roar! They also respond as you’d expect at 17: a sigh of disappointment as Jon Rahm leaves his 15-foot birdie putt short on the low side. He tidies up for his par and moves onto the last, where a birdie would give him a 63.

Rory McIlroy in action on the green.
Rory McIlroy in action on the green. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Jon Rahm is on one! He drains a tramliner across 16, and that’s six birdies in the last eight holes! Should he par the last two holes, he’ll be signing for a 64, which would be a new Open record at Hoylake, beating the 65 jointly held by Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Chris DiMarco, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Marc Leishman, Shane Lowry and Chris Wood. A reminder that the Open record is 62, set by Branden Grace at Birkdale in 2017, and that’s also the major-championship record, which was equalled by Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele at this year’s US Open. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. God speed, Rahmbo.

Spain's Jon Rahm reacts.
Spain’s Jon Rahm reacts. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

You can never quite trust Rory McIlroy’s putter. He plays the 2nd almost as perfectly as he did the 1st, but can’t make the very gettable birdie putt. He remains at -2. But there’s another birdie for Jon Rahm, this time at 15. Meanwhile last year’s runner-up Cameron Young trundles in an unexpected putt from distance on the opening hole to immediately climb the standings. Moving Day is beginning to heat up all right!

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Rahm (15), N Hojgaard (5), Straka
-3: Kim (7), Bland (6), Rozner (5), Young (1), Lee, Sharma, Day

Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard are identical twins. They haven’t been scoring identically this week, however. Rasmus shot an opening round of 78 and missed the cut as a result, but his brother is going along very nicely indeed. Nicolai has been improving slowly and steadily – 71, then 70 – until now, when the 22-year-old Dane has burst into action with birdies at 1, 3 and 5. He’s -4. Incidentally, the official Open player guide lists Nicolai’s birthday as March 1, and Rasmus’s as March 12. It’s either the sort of misprint the Guardian would be proud of, or it’s hats off to mum for putting in quite literally the mother of all shifts. I hope the midwife got x2 overtime.

Matt Fitzpatrick was going around with the reigning champ Cameron Smith. The genial Aussie also ended with a birdie, and signed for a round of 68. He’s -1 going into the final round.

A strong end to Matt Fitzpatrick’s round. Four birdies in the last five holes, a run only compromised by bogey at 16. He ends with a 67 at -2 overall, and with his brother Alex currently at -1 (having just bogeyed 11), it’s still possible that the pair could go round tomorrow. For that to happen, Alex will have to be the next player to complete his round at -2. Be nice, no?

Opening birdie for Rory McIlroy! He wedges his second pin high, and rolls in the 12-footer that remains. Fuss-free. Textbook. If he can keep that going, huh. He’s -2. Meanwhile the ever-entertaining Tom Kim provides some excitement of his own, by rolling of a hat-trick of birdies at 4, 5 and 6. He’s up to -3 in short order.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole. Photograph: Jared C Tilton/Getty Images

A par up the last for Xander Schauffele. A 68 and the 2018 joint runner-up ends Moving Day at -1 overall. Meanwhile back-to-back birdies for English veteran Richard Bland, who you may recall making waves at the 2021 US Open, breaking records by leading after 36 holes as a 48-year-old. He’s -3.

Here’s Rory! The 2014 champion walks to the first tee with the pleading of a young fan ringing in his ears. Aw! It’s beyond sweet. The little lad so wants his hero to do well today. But hey, don’t we all? The course is sitting there begging to be attacked, a birdie blitz waiting to happen, at least until the rain forecast for later this afternoon hits the Wirral. A quick wiggle of the shoulders before he belts one down the track. He’s going round with Max Homa who splits the fairway as well.

Alex Fitzpatrick walks in another birdie, this time at 10. Players are putting with increased confidence bordering on sass on these slightly slower greens. Attacking the pins is also the order of the day. Corey Conners wedges close on 12 from 115 yards and that’s another birdie for the Canadian, too. Both move to -2. There’s a score out here today.

Rahm’s run of birdies comes to an end at the par-three 13th. His tee shot doesn’t quite hold the green and topples over the back, but only just, and he’s able to pull putter and lag up to kick-in distance. He consolidates his birdie blitz with par, remaining at -3 and demonstrating what can be done to the entire chasing pack.

The young South African amateur Christo Lamprecht copped the cold wet fish of golfing reality full in the coupon yesterday. A 79 to follow up the astonishing opening round of 66 that gave him a share of the 18-hole lead. He only just squeaked under the cutline, but that’s the least he deserved after providing so many thrills on Thursday. He’s already more than earned the Silver Medal for low amateur guaranteed to be his providing he completes all 72 holes, as no other amateur has made the cut. He’s carded a 76 today, a slight disappointment given he was one over for his round through 13, going on to double-bogey 14 and 18, the latter the result of sending his second shot OB. But it’s easily done. He’s far from the first to run up a number on 18, and he most definitely won’t be the last. He’s +8.

… but the hottest property on the course right now is the Masters champion Jon Rahm. He’s just carded four birdies in a row around the turn, at 9, 10, 11 and 12. Throw in the one he made at the 5th, and that’s five under for his round. He’s catapulted himself up the standings into a tie for fourth, and so what better time to update the old leaderboard?

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Straka
-3: Rahm (12), Lee, Sharma, Day
-2: Rozner (1), Hojgaard (1), Otaegui, Grillo, Spieth, Young
-1: Fowler (F), Cantlay (F), Schauffele (16), Smith (15), M Fitzpatrick (15), Conners (11), A Fitzpatrick (9), Matsuyama (4), Bland (2), Southgate, Lawrence, McIlroy, Homa, Migliozzi, Stewart, Jordan, Cink, Stenson, Clark

There are other big names still out there scoring well. Defending champion Cameron Smith, 2022 US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick, and regular major-championship nearly-man Xander Schauffele are all currently three under for their rounds through 15 holes, and -1 overall for the tournament. Nice and neat. Fitzpatrick’s younger brother Alex is also three under for his round having just hit the turn; he’s -1 overall on his major-championship debut. Corey Conners is yet another player three under for the day at -1; he’s through 11 holes. It’s a popular place to be.

It’s a dreich day on the Wirral. Damp, cloudy and occasionally rainy … but far from miserable because conditions are not bad at all for scoring. Hoylake is playing a little longer as a result of earlier rain, but the greens are slightly tamer, so it’s swings and roundabouts. The earliest beneficiaries? Rickie Fowler and Patrick Cantlay, both round in 67, both currently the joint clubhouse leaders at -1.

Preamble

Welcome to Moving Day at the 151st Open Championship! After 36 holes, the top of the leaderboard looked like this …

-10: Harman
-5: Fleetwood
-4: Straka
-3: Lee, Sharma, Day
-2: Otaegui, Grillo, Spieth, Young
-1: Southgate, Lawrence, McIlroy, Homa, Migliozzi, Stewart, Jordan, Cink, Stenson, Clark, Hojgaard, Rozner, Bland

… while these (selected) big names missed the cut …

Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Sahith Theegala, Joaquin Niemann, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Sam Burns, Charl Schwartzel, Shane Lowry, Kim Si-woo, Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson

… and that left us with a tee sheet that looked like this (all times BST, GB&I unless stated). It’s on! Hoylake ahoy!

08.55 Rickie Fowler (USA), Robert MacIntyre
09.05 Scottie Scheffler (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)
09.15 Patrick Cantlay (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA)
09.25 Padraig Harrington, Scott Stallings (USA)
09.35 Christo Lamprecht -a- (Rsa), Andrew Putnam (USA)
09.45 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Victor Perez (Fra)
10.00 Richie Ramsay, David Lingmerth (Swe)
10.10 Sami Valimaki (Fin), Danny Willett
10.20 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA)
10.30 Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cameron Smith (Aus)
10.40 Kurt Kitayama (USA), JT Poston (USA)
10.50 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Patrick Reed (USA)
11.00 Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Hurly Long (Ger)
11.15 Tyrrell Hatton, Brandon Thompson
11.25 Sung-Jae Im (Kor), Jon Rahm (Spa)
11.35 Corey Conners (Can), Zach Johnson (USA)
11.45 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Gary Woodland (USA)
11.55 Romain Langasque (Fra), Brendon Todd (USA)
12.05 Zack Fischer (USA), Alex Fitzpatrick
12.15 Joost Luiten (Ned), Jordan Smith
12.30 Adrian Meronk (Pol), Thomas Pieters (Bel)
12.40 Oliver Wilson, Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
12.50 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Thomas Detry (Bel)
13.00 Alexander Noren (Swe), Marcel Siem (Ger)
13.10 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
13.20 Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor)
13.30 Richard Bland, Laurie Canter
13.45 Antoine Rozner (Fra), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den)
13.55 Wyndham Clark (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
14.05 Stewart Cink (USA), Matthew Jordan
14.15 Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Michael Stewart
14.25 Max Homa (USA), Rory McIlroy
14.35 Thriston Lawrence (Rsa), Matthew Southgate
14.45 Jordan Spieth (USA), Cameron Young (USA)
15.00 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Adrian Otaegui (Spa)
15.10 Jason Day (Aus), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind)
15.20 Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Sepp Straka (Aut)
15.30 Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman (USA)

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