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Golf: McIlroy three clear at Open

Rory McIlroy went three clear of the field around the turn in his second round at Royal Liverpool.

HOYLAKE, United Kingdom: Rory McIlroy went three clear of the field around the turn in his second round at Royal Liverpool on Friday.

The overnight leader by one, the Irishman saw his advantage disappear almost instantly as he overhit his approach to the first for a bogey.

He was then joined on five under by Italians Matteo Manassero and Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka of the United States and Sergio Garcia of Spain, who eagled the par four second.

But McIlroy, striking the ball beautifully again, had back-to-back birdies at five and six to move two strokes clear of the field.

He then tamed the par-five 10th to go three clear before missing a four-footer for another birdie at the 11th.

At that stage Molinari and Garcia were both six under with a few holes left to play.

The leader in the clubnouse was South African George Coetzee who came in with a fine 69 to set the benchmark at five under. Swede Robert Karlsson was in at four under.

There was trouble early on for Tiger Woods. He started at three under, but a double at the first and a bogey at the second saw him slip off the leaderboard at level par where he stayed through 12 holes with a run of 10 pars.

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