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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Jordan Spieth leads Open field by two after second day

The American reached the halfway stage at Royal Birkdale on six under par

Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of The Open REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of The Open REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Jordan Spieth moved into a two-shot lead of the British Open at the end of another day’s consistent play and is looking in good shape to pick up his third major. On a day of strong winds and heavy rain, the 23-year-old leads fellow American Matt Kuchar, with a rejuvenated Ian Poulter leading the home challenge a shot behind in third.

“We got in at six under and it was a very, very solid day,” Spieth said after his round. “Very pleased with the score.”

“I feel great right now. Anytime you're in the last group on a weekend in a major you get nervous.

"But I enjoy it because as long as I approach it positively and recognise that this is what you want to feel because you're in a position you want to be in, then the easier it is to hit solid shots and to create solid rounds."

Spieth’s high point of the day came at the 15th hole, where he made an eagle that temporarily took him three shots clear of the field.

“I didn't hit a great drive," he said. "With a nifty lie, I had a 3-iron out and I changed to 3-wood and let it just slide. It was the smart shot and it was really nice to capitalise on it.”

Spieth's two previous major victories came in 2015 at the Masters and the US Open.

“There will be nerves, for sure, in the next couple of days but controlling ball off the tee takes a lot out of it,” he said.

He will be paired on Saturday with Ryder Cup teammate Kuchar

“Kooch is tough because he's so consistent,” Spieth said. “He knows how to play his game. He knows his strengths. He knows his weaknesses and he knows how to play away from them. It will be fun.”