Shane Lowry dreamed of winning the Open as a child. He never dreamed he would do it in Ireland. Alex Perry wraps up the action

2019 Open report: What happened on day two?

What a rollercoaster of emotions that was on a Friday afternoon at the Open Championship.

Rory McIlroy, who had been completely written off 24 hours before – including by a website not a million miles from here – treated the locals to the most incredible of comeback attempts.

Roared on by the huge crowds watching his every move, McIlroy carded birdies at 3 and 7 to go out in 34, then three more gains from the 10th and suddenly the galleries were getting bigger and bigger as word spread that he might do it.

There was a blip at the par-3 13th when his tee shot found the sand, but birdies at 14 and 16 had them believing.

Alas it was not to be, but boy was it entertaining.

There was also plenty for the home crowd to cheer at the other end of the leaderboard, as Shane Lowry moved into a tie for the lead at the halfway stage.

Lowry got off to an incredible start with birdies at the first three holes.

He reached the turn in 31 and then hit 10 under when he birdied the 10th. As the afternoon rain fell, Lowry found the back nine more difficult and, after dropping a shot at 14, did well to scramble pars at the next three.

But the lead he had held since his electric first few holes was dampened slightly with a bogey at the last – the result of a duffed approach that fell short of the green.

2019 Open report

Even so, Lowry was more than happy with his work over the first two days.

“I really, really, enjoyed today,” he said. “I’ve not had too many days like that on a golf course.

“The crowd were unbelievable and it’s hard to describe. Hopefully, it will be more of the same tomorrow.”

He added: “The three putt at 14 was a very tough two putt and I just duffed one on 18 and I haven’t done that for a while.

“I don’t know what it was, maybe I was trying to hit an 8-iron a little too hard. It’s just one of those. Every day you play golf it could be better but if you look at the start I got off to I couldn’t have done any better than that. I am very happy with where I am.”

Lowry will head into Saturday’s second round tied for the lead with JB Holmes, who fired a 68 to add to his first-round 66.

Following behind are the English pair of Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood, who is contending in a major for the first time since 2016. They both carded 67s to make the halfway stage in 7-under. Compatriot Justin Rose is one back at -6, alongside Cameron Smith and Justin Harding, while Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth are at 5-under.

What a leaderboard. Roll on the weekend.

2019 Open report: Who’s heading home?

As well as Woods and McIlroy, a host of other big names will be missing the weekend at Portrush. Most notably Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington and US Open champion Gary Woodland.

But the biggest heartbreak will be for Darren Clarke. The man who, along with McIlroy and McDowell, was so instrumental in bringing the Open to Royal Portrush and hit the first shot of the championship, was comfortably inside the cut line when he reached the 18th tee on Friday.

But he found a bunker with his drive from which he needed two shots to escape, then left himself a lot to do after his approach and ended up three-putting for a seven that dropped him two shots outside the cut line.

2019 Open report: Stat of the day

2019 Open report: Anything else?

It’s been a miserable week for Tiger Woods, who becomes the first ever reigning Masters champion to go on to miss the cut at both the PGA Championship and Open.

“I just want some time off to get away from it. It’s been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and a lot of different hotels. I just want to go home,” Woods said before presumably heading straight for the airport.

Mark Townsend followed the 15-time major champion during his second round and takes a deeper dive here.


Speaking of Tiger, remember earlier in the week when he revealed that Brooks Koepka had completely blanked him? Well Koepka has revealed his reason.

“If I changed my phone number, how is he going to text me?” he said, irritably by the looks of it, before adding: “I texted him my new number.”

No word yet on whether or not Woods replied.


Robert MacIntyre is having some season and enjoying his major debut at Portrush.

But playing partner Kyle Stanley found himself on the wrong side of the Scot on Friday – for failing to shout ‘Fore’.

MacIntyre was angered when Stanley, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, first hit a marshal with a wayward shot at 14, then hit the mother of MacIntyre’s caddie Greg Milne when he sailed one at 17.

“My playing partner doesn’t shout ‘Fore’, his ball goes into the crowd, we’re shouting ‘Fore’ as the ball is coming into the crowd,” MacIntyre told The Scotsman.

“He’s just standing watching it. And people didn’t have enough time to react when we shouted.

“It hit Greg’s mum. So I told him how it was. I said I wasn’t happy – and he didn’t really like my response.”


As always, there has been a number of excellent choices on the clothing front. There have also been a couple of horrendous choices. Equipment expert Hannah Holden has run the rule over a few of them, but I had to highlight this effort from Erik van Rooyen.

Erik Van Rooyen

I am all for abolishing dress codes in golf and I believe you should be able to wear what you want on the course, but I can’t get on board with this look – however much I want to in a desperate bid to cling to my youth…

2019 Open report: Shots of the day

Kevin Kisner dropped the longest putt of the day…

While Shane Lowry felt like he couldn’t miss either…

But Shot of the Day belongs to Rory McIlroy, who got us believing with this stunning approach at Calamity

If you missed any of the action from day two of the Open, head to the next page…