Rose fires 64 at Open to get back in contention

Erik van Rooyen in action on the first day of the British Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday

Erik van Rooyen in action on the first day of the British Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday

His ball stayed dry but with 246 yards left to the hole he made a decision to lay up from the rough before punching a 100-yard wedge to three feet and saved par.

Of that, there is little doubt.

THE BUZZ about hair had been about Tommy Fleetwood's flowing locks.

"It's something about South Africans liking links golf", said Oosthuizen, the most renowned member of the quintet. McIlroy was within two shots of the lead until bogeys on two of his last three holes for a 70 left him four behind.

It was spectacular, though not entirely unexpected. "But, again, I'm very happy that I'm playing today", said the world No 87 who became the youngest Indian to make a cut in a major championship.

Considering Johnson is a twice major champion - he also won the 2007 Masters - he is often overlooked by the galleries who are drawn to more flamboyant players such as his big-hitting namesake. He's 29 and in his prime, and the oddsmakers in Britain make him one of the favourites to walk off the 18th green on Sunday with his second claret jug.

"I really didn't feel like I really made a bad swing until 18", he said.

One angry swish of the club indicated his irritation but it ended in smiles by the time he sank his par putt. I've never been anywhere near before. Sharma was 2-over after two rounds and he remained there after three, too.

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It's a nice position, and where he desperately wanted to be previous year when the Open was held in his hometown of Southport, England.

Fleetwood has such a delightful everyman quality about him.

Now he finds himself just a shot out of the lead heading into the weekend on a course he seems to own. Just go out there and give it your all, try 100% rather than hold back and maybe not give myself the opportunity to do well. "If it doesn't come in and we get conditions like this, then we know we're going to have to shoot between 6-, 7-, 8-under par tomorrow to have a chance".

He says he has a special affinity with the challenge of playing links golf and believes if he is to add to his 14 majors it is probably going to be The Open as it suits ageing players - Tom Watson and Greg Norman both came close when in their 50's. Today I just didn't make enough putts. He got married at Woods' tournament in the Bahamas and travels to tournaments now with a baby instead of his dog. I played so well today.

"He's a very, very solid player", Rory McIlroy said. Getting up-and-down for par from 83 yards on the last preserved his 5-under 66 - his lowest score in a major in more than seven years. He then missed a great chance to hit the front on his own at the 5th, pushing a straightforward six-foot putt to the right of pin. He's been putting himself in the mix. "I doubt he's been called Zach that many times".

A bogey was followed by a second at the next when he raced his 25-foot birdie attempt past the hole and could not convert the return.

"I wouldn't put it past him", Norris said. "We didn't steal it".

Speaking of prices, that's how we're going to take a look at this, as we always do.

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