GULLANE, United Kingdom – Lee Westwood made the biggest early move as the second round of the British Open got under way at sun-drenched Muirfield on Friday.
The English former world number one birdied three of the first five holes to get to two under for the tournament, three behind first round leader Zach Johnson, who had a mid-afternoon tee-time.
Northern Ireland’s 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke also briefly climbed onto the leaderboard with three straight birdies from the second, but he came to grief at the sixth, taking two to get out of a pot bunker en route to a quadruple bogey eight.
Tournament favorite Tiger Woods, handily placed after an opening 69, made a solid start with three pars, followed by a birdie at the third, where he sank a 12-footer.
Veteran fellow American and close friend Mark O’Meara, equal second overnight on 67, fell away with a front nine of four over 40.
Luke Donald, who had a nightmare round of 80 on Thursday started to claw his way back with birdies at the first and third, while Masters champion Adam Scott dropped one at the fourth to fall over par.
Phil Mickelson (69), Justin Rose (75) and defending champion Ernie Els (74) all had afternoon tee-times as did Rory McIlroy, who was looking to bounce back after a crippling opening round of 79.