• Co-leader Kuchar underway in British Open second round

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    SOUTHPORT, United Kingdom: British Open co-leader Matt Kuchar got his second round underway on Friday morning as contenders at Royal Birkdale prepared to face some potentially treacherous weather conditions.

    Kuchar, the 39-year-old American who is looking to win a first major, teed off at the 448-yard par-four 1st hole at 8:36am (0736 GMT) looking to build on his opening five-under-par round of 65.

    He topped the leaderboard overnight along with compatriots Jordan Spieth, the number-three ranked former Masters and US Open champion, and Brooks Koepka, the reigning US Open champion.

    US golfer Matt Kuchar watches his iron shot from the 4th tee during his opening round on the first day of the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale golf course near Southport in north west England on Friday. AFP PHOTO

    Spieth tees off at 2:48pm with Koepka following soon after at 3:10pm.

    It was grey and windy first thing on the links in Southport, on the north-west coast of England, with the rain holding off for the early starters.

    But rain is expected to play a part by the time Spieth and Koepka begin their rounds, with heavy showers forecast for later in the afternoon. Wind speeds could get up to 40 miles per hour (65km/h).

    “I’m kind of prepared for the worst, having experienced it before,” said Spieth on Thursday of the weather forecast.

    “And understand that I can still make pars that way. You control the ball off the tee, keep your hands dry, and you grind from inside 10 feet or you make a mid-ranger for par, something to keep the momentum going, that’s important.”

    England’s Paul Casey and South Africa’s former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel both sat at four-under overnight after shooting rounds of 66 on Thursday.

    Casey went out in his second round at 8:25am with Schwartzel going out at 9:47am in the company of world number one Dustin Johnson and 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy.

    Johnson and McIlroy were two of the bigger names who failed to make inroads on Thursday, with both only managing one-over-par 71s.

    AFP

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