England’s Marcus Armitage made the biggest move up the leaderboard in the early stages of the second round of the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.
Armitage began the day seven shots off the pace following an opening 71, but picked up birdies on the fifth, sixth and ninth to reach the turn in 33.
That took the 35-year-old Yorkshireman to four under par alongside South Korea’s Si Woo Kim and two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who had recovered from a bogey on the first with a birdie on the third.
American Talor Gooch, who has attracted ridicule for comparing the atmosphere at the second LIV Golf event to the Ryder Cup, had birdied the first and third to move within two shots of the lead held by compatriot Cameron Young.
Young’s brilliant opening 64, on his Open debut, meant he enjoyed a two-shot lead over world number two Rory McIlroy, who faced a long wait to resume his bid for a fifth major title with a tee time of 2.59pm.
“It’s another good start at a major, three in a row for me now, and I’m looking forward to the next few days,” McIlroy said after his 66, well aware that he has failed to turn those starts into overdue wins.
“I need to go out and back up what I did. I think that’s important. I’ve been playing well, I’ve been swinging the club well, and I think it’s better if I don’t think about it that much and I just go out and play golf and try to shoot some good scores on one of my favourite golf courses in the world.”
Tiger Woods has made it clear the Old Course is definitely his favourite course, but the winner here in 2000 and 2005 struggled to an opening 78 which took six hours and eight minutes to complete.
That left Woods likely to need a 67 or 66 to make the cut, with the 15-time major winner due out shortly before 10am alongside US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick (level par) and Max Homa (+1).
Former winner Mark Calcavecchia had hit the opening shot at 6.35am in what will be his final appearance in the game’s oldest major championship.
The 62-year-old is beyond the age limit of 60 for former champions, but was given an exemption due to suffering from an injury in 2021 and the Open being cancelled in 2020.
Calcavecchia, who lifted the Claret Jug at Troon in 1989, struggled to an opening 83 and played his first 14 holes in seven over par to remain in last place on 18 over.
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