American Brian Harman took control of the Open Championship with a superb second round at Royal Liverpool. Despite challenging conditions, Harman posted a six-under 65, leaving him five shots clear at 10 under. England’s Tommy Fleetwood, one of the overnight leaders, struggled to make progress and finished the round on five under. Austria’s Sepp Straka also emerged as a contender with a second-round 67, moving him to four under. Several other players threatened to make a charge, but the course proved difficult, with only 24 players finishing under par for the first 36 holes.
Harman’s success was largely due to his exceptional putting. He expressed his hope to continue his strong performance throughout the weekend. Harman started his round with a series of birdies and nearly chipped in for an eagle on the fifth hole. He maintained his momentum on the back nine, including a sensational chip-in on the 12th hole and a brilliant approach on the 18th, resulting in an eagle putt. With only 23 putts in his round, Harman will be a tough competitor if his stroke remains steady, even in predicted heavy rain.
Harman’s position after two rounds, 132, is a lucky omen as the last two winners at Hoylake also held the same score. However, pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy struggled with his putter and fell nine shots behind Harman. South African amateur Christo Lamprecht, who shared the overnight lead, had a disappointing second round but managed to make the cut. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, another first-round leader, dropped back to two under.
The galleries at Royal Liverpool were once again massive, witnessing not only the golf but also a brief interruption by Just Stop Oil protesters. The individuals were swiftly removed with the help of American golfer Billy Horschel, causing no damage. McIlroy provided early excitement for his fans with a birdie on the first hole and a superb bunker shot on the fifth. However, he struggled to maintain his form and finished the day tied for 11th. McIlroy remains hopeful, aiming to reach three, four, or five under par by Sunday.
Several former Open champions, including Phil Mickelson and Shane Lowry, will not be competing in the weekend rounds. However, Australian golfer Travis Smyth earned the loudest cheer of the day with a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. Despite this achievement, Smyth will miss the weekend as he finished at eight over par.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org