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Summary

  1. Leader: -6 Spieth
  2. -4 Kuchar; -3 Poulter, Koepka; -2 Ramsey
  3. Selected: -1 McIlroy, Bland (15)
  4. Projected cut at +5
  5. Blustery wind and rain at Royal Birkdale

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko, Luke Reddy and Alex Bysouth

All times stated are UK

Get involved

See you on Saturday!

Can anyone catch this man?

The gap is two shots but my word he looks solid on a course where many others are scrambling. Of 156 players, nine are under par, only around 78 of them are coming back for the weekend. The rest have been mercilessly cut!

Spieth
Getty Images

There's a target on Jordan Spieth's back though which brings with it a focused pressure. Sit back, click 'BBC Coverage' in this page and watch the highlights - they're also on BBC Two now. Then and only then should you decide on a winner.

Then, come back to us here tomorrow, live texting from around 13:00 BST, to tell us who you pick.

For now, the report from today is here and in an hour or so, the tee times for tomorrow will be published on the golf page of the BBC Sport website, which you can access here. To watch the best of Rory McIlroy, click here.

So farewell for now, we'll see you tomorrow. Thanks once again for your company.

FORE LEFT!

Leaderboard

-6: Spieth

-4: Kuchar

-3: Koepka, Poulter

-2: Ramsay

-1: McIlroy, Woodland, Connelly, Bland

Selected others:

Level: Hoffman, Matsuyama; +1: Els; +2: Garcia, Fowler, Stenson, Fitzpatrick; +3: Rahm, D Johnson, C Wood

'I'm ecstatic' - McIlroy

McIlroy -1

Rory Mcllroy, 28, told Radio 5 live after his second round. "I couldn't ask to be in a better position after yesterday, having been five over through six yesterday and now be in the clubhouse after two rounds under par.

"I can't wait to rest up this afternoon and see how the guys handle it out there.

"It was tough today, I had to make some big up and downs on 10, 11 and 12. Every hole seemed to be a cross wind that did not offer much help.

"The hardest thing was cross winds as heavy as that."

He added: "I wanted to be there or there abouts going into the weekend. I would have given anything after six holes yesterday just to be here. I am pleased with the way I have turned it around and I am looking forwad to being in the mix for Saturday and Sunday."

Bland makes it home at one under

Bland (-1)

Richard Bland has a tricky putt to make par on the 18th. He decides to ditch the baseball cap and coaxes it hole-wards - that drops!

A cheer goes out from those in the grandstand who've braved the weather to stick around and see him.

The world number 145 should be very pleased with his opening two rounds at The Open.

He's heading into the weekend at one under par and tied for sixth place.

Day to forget for Hadwin

Hadwin (+13)

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Royal Birkdale

One man who had a day to forget is Canadian Adam Hadwin, playing alongside Beef, in the first group out this morning.

Playing in his first Open Championship, after a first-day one-over 71, Hadwin again looked respectable enough when he reached the 12th tee on one over for the day, comfortably in range to make the cut.

But the short hole proved the undoing for the man from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan - the first of two successive triple bogeys in a run of 10 lost shots in five holes.

In the end, he signed for an 82, the joint worst round of the tournament so far.

"I guess I need to head home to Canada and press the reset button," he said. "I just didn't have the game to cope with the cross winds."

Currently, at 13 over for the Championship, only 2004 Open winner Todd Hamilton, on 18 over after matching 79s, stands below him.

Head scratching?

The leaderboard is confusing. One huge name at the top, only a handful of others under par. Then come a host of massive names around three or four over. Logic says their race is run but surely it can't be that simple. Will the leaders drop back? It seems delicately poised in a strange sort of way.

Bland (-1 after 17)

Le Tissier
Getty Images

Most of the crowd have dispersed at Royal Birkdale, but one chap no doubt still taking an interest in Richard Bland's round is former Southampton star Matt Le Tissier.

Bland had a trial as a goalkeeper with the Saints as a teenager, and Le Tissier has caddied for the 44-year-old in charity tournaments.

Dark days...

Mickelson and Oosthuizen
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Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen, Todd Hamilton, John Daly, Mark O'Meara, David Duval, Stewart Cink, Paul Lawrie, Tom Lehman, Sandy Lyle. Those are the major winners who are going home for the weekend.

Some good names in there claimed by this stretch of Merseyside coastline.

Bland (-1 after 17)

Incidentally, this is the first time Richard Bland has made The Open in 19 years.

That was his major debut and was, of course, also at Royal Birkdale back in 1998.

He'd only been a pro for two years then, and missed the cut by three shots.

Your pick now?

Tweet us on #bbcgolf

So at the halfway stage, who do you fancy? We're on #bbcgolf.

Bland (-1 after 17)

Richard Bland makes his way to the 18th tee box knowing he could be one of only 10 players to head into the weekend under par.

The Englishman is two over through 17 today, despite a scattering of birdies in his round, but it was a three-under-par opening round that put him in a strong position.

He's hung in there through wet and windy conditions.

Solid finishes!

Koepka (-3) Fleetwood (+5) Matsuyama (level)

To the 18th, the trio of Koepka, Fleetwood and Matsuyama trying to tidy up for pars. All three of them do. Matsuyama was in the sand, both Fleetwood and Koepka were in the rough. That's a good end to a tough day.

Fleetwood makes the cut with that par, Koepka stays in touch, perhaps Matsuyama will be left scratching the head as to how he threw a few shots away.

Birdie

Kang (-2 after 15)

Sung-hoon Kang stands over his putter, fires one in towards the cup and watches it drop to notch his second birdie of the day. That moves him within four shots of leader Jordan Spieth.

The Korean has three holes to make up some more ground... he's level for the day.

Spieth levels 1983 mark

Spieth (-6)

Spieth and caddie
.

Highlights for you...

A reminder you can watch highlights from day two on BBC Two now or just click 'BBC Coverage' in this page. Go on, kick back on a Friday night.

Rose (+5), Thomas (+7), Oosthuizen (+12)

Louis Oosthuizen finishes his Open campaign for 2017 at 12 over par.

But he did have a better day than Thursday...

A frustrated Justin Rose drops a shot on the 18th, that's two bogeys in his final two holes. But he's narrowly inside the cut line.

Justin Thomas completes that trio. He's going home to restock his tie collection after a bogey at the 18th sees the American sign off on a round of 80.

Snowman Streb

Streb (+3 after 14)

Robert Streb was ticking along nicely at one under and then came the 14th - where he converts an eight on a par four.

He's not walking in the air. He's stomping on the ground.

Snowman
Getty Images

Double trouble...

Matsuyama (level after 17) Koepka (-3)

Matsuyama
Getty Images

I did tell you Hideki Matsuyama had morphed into a club hacker on the 17th - a par five where birdies are sought. He has a chip from below the putting surface for his fifth shot... thins it. A putt for bogey... close. Double. Brooks Koepka is in for par and still without a birdie all day.

Rose (+4 after 17)

Justin Rose has his woolly hat on.

Hands in his hefty jacket pockets, he now resembles a soaking wet spectator more than a former major winner.

His approach on the 18th finds a greenside bunker.

HIghlights now

The highlights show is getting under way on BBC Two. Click the link at the top of this page or tune in to your telebox.

Rest of the field look away now...

Spieth (-6)

Jordan Spieth: 3rd time in career to begin major with consecutive rounds the 60s. He won the other 2 ('15 Masters, U.S. Open). #TheOpen

Unstoppable?

Spieth
Getty Images

For Jordan Spieth fans, we have a stat which will only add to your hope...

Spieth and Henrik home

Spieth (-6) Stenson (+2)

Where others have had swings in fortune, Jordan Spieth just plods along and his 18th hole is in keeping. Lovely little pitch in low leaves a foot for par. That's a one under round and six under on his book for the week. It's safe to say he is well placed.

Henrik Stenson drops one on the last, his bunker escape left too much to do. The Players' Championship winner Si Woo Kim will miss the cut at six over.

Harrington misses cut

Harrington +6

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Royal Birkdale

Padraig Harrington, Open champion here in 2008, will not be playing the weekend. A par on the last leaves him one shot the wrong side of the cut.

Before this year's event kicked off, he explained why so many comparative old timers have won The Open - Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Darren Clarke to name five of the last six.

"Clearly because obviously an Open Championship can be played by a shorter hitter," said Harrington. "As you get older, you get shorter, relative to the field.

"But a guy hitting the right ball flight will hit it further into the wind - 160 miles an hour efficient ball flight is going to go further than 180 miles an hour inefficient. That's why an older guy can compete with the younger guys.

"A lot of the younger guys are physically gifted, but they don't have the experience with links golf. It's a tournament for experience."

Not that experience helped the Irishman this time. Matt Kuchar, 39, might be interested though.

What was that?

Matsuyama (-2 after 16)

Yes, yes to this glorious day. I know it's a touch cruel and I'm not being a hater but it is at times nice to see a pro golfer play like a club hacker. Step forward Hideki Matsuyama. Now, Hideki is in the trees with a horrible stance. It's his third shot on a par five. Rather than take punishment, he goes down the club hacker route of chasing glory when deep down, he knows he's kippered. The result is a complete duff out of the trees and onto a nearby path. He may well get up an down for par but either way, he made us golfing embarrassments feel good for a moment.

Bogey

Rose (+4 after 17)

Justin Rose heads to the 18th tee on the back of his fifth bogey of the day.

It was a little different here 19 years ago...

That face says it all. Rose is not impressed. He's soaking wet, missing putts and no doubt looking forward to the warmth of the clubhouse.

'Get in the..... bunker'

Stenson (+1 after 17) Spieth (-6 after 17)

Birkdale
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"GET IN THE HOLE", yells one supporter as Henrik Stenson takes aim at the 18th green. If that isn't annoying enough, Henrik only hit the bunker. And, if you're just joining us, the Swede was also burgled while on the course yesterday.

Jordan Spieth is in a safe place just shy of the putting surface and will surely get up and down to end his round and maintain a healthy lead at the halfway stage.

Bogeys...

Bland (-1 after 15), Kang (-1 after 13)

Richard Bland did all the hard to work to get back on track at 14, but he drops a shot a hole later.

There's been some inconsistent putting from the Englishman since the turn, and he skews a 10-footer wide before tapping in for bogey.

Sung-hoon Kang has also dropped back to one under after bogeying the 13th.

Day two highlights coming up

Watch on BBC Two and BBC Sport website from 20:00 BST

Ken Brown

BBC Sport commentator at Royal Birkdale

It has been a connoisseur’s day for golf fans.

Thanks to a day of weather that has produced a bit of everything from winds gusting up to 30-35mph to torrential rain, each player has had to produce a rearguard action and it has been interesting to see the stars craft, nurture and use their brains round the course.

Despite the conditions, I think the course has stood up to it really well.

The star has been Jordan Spieth. He played an almost flawless round of golf and it looks like he will be in pole position going into the weekend.

Firmly back in contention is Rory McIlroy. He really came flying out of the traps, went out in 31 and hardly missed a shot. He showed his real class as he kept his round going in errant conditions. From being 150/1 after six holes yesterday, he was almost favourite after his round had finished.

So many stories from a fascinating second round.

Pieters (+4)

Thomas Pieters has had a bit of a shocker down the back nine, and it all started so promisingly for the Belgian today.

Back-to-back birdies to begin, but two bogeys followed on the front nine and there have been another five since the turn - four of those in the final five holes.

He's not happy after missing a relatively straightforward par putt on the 18th to finish - throwing his putter away in disgust and ripping his cap off for seconds.

I'd love to say Hideki Matsuyama is skipping for joy but he's just puddle dodging.

Matsuyama
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Birdie for Matsuyama

Matsuyama (-2 after 16) Spieth (-6 after 17) Stenson (+1 after 17)

Jordan Spieth, black pants, yellow scorecard hanging out of the back pocket. He will not make birdie on the par-five 17th as his putt from off the green is short. Henrik Stenson goes closer but there are no prizes for close in this game.

Birdies make prizes and Hideki Matsuyama is very much in this raffle as he puts away a long snake on 16. Did this young Japanese man celebrate wildly, did he fist pump? Did he heck. Like a poker player sitting on a jackpot, he barely flickered.

Harrington chasing birdie

Harrington (+6 after 17)

Padraig Harrington, winner of the Claret Jug the last time The Open visited Royal Birkdale needs a birdie on the 18th to make the cut.

The Irishman, champion golfer of 2008, has just picked up a shot at the par-five 17th and is six over...

The top 70 plus ties will play the final rounds.

Spieth (-6 after 16)

Jordan Spieth lofts his third shot at 17 up towards the green, it finds a bank at the back and threatens to roll back towards the flag before slowing to halt.

He looks puzzled? I think the American expected to find more spin from there. The sodden short grass says otherwise.

Birdie for Bland!

Bland (-2 after 14)

Richard Bland pulls one back.

A screaming spectator in a nearby stand loves it.

Bland nods in their direction with a sense of satisfaction and perhaps a hint of embarrassment too - that howl was out of character to the crowds that normally follow the 44-year-old Englishman around.

Get Involved

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James, London: Speith is showing no respect whatsoever to Birkdale or the Great British Summer! Making it look easy

Spieth (-6 after 16)

Jordan Spieth is a relaxed man. He opens up his umbrella and nearly takes out his caddie, which brings a giggle from both of them.

His tee shot found the rough, but it's a decent lie for the leader and he hacks one down the fairway before it slopes off on to the fringes.

He won't mind that.

Fleetwood fighting

Fleetwood (+5 after 15)

Just eight players are under par today. One of them is Tommy Fleetwood.

The local lad has just birdied the 15th and that could be a crucial one. It's got him to five over par. The cut is projected to be five over.

I think he'd take three pars from here.